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Mount Tamalpais, Matt Davis Trail

 

Trail

 

Trailheads

by Transit & Trails

Park

Wildlife Sightings

by iNaturalist

 

Length: 5.25 miles
Difficulty: Moderate
Duration: Halfday
 
 
Created by Bay Nature

Good for:
  • Waterfalls
Habitat:
  • Forests and Woodlands
Attributes:
  • Trail Hiking

Overview

On Mount Tamalpais's eastern slopes, a five-mile loop on the Matt Davis and Troop 80 trails will take you across four small creeks and through stands of California bay, Douglas fir, and live oak. You'll dip into misty redwood valleys and get sweeping views past the Marin Headlands toward San Francisco, the East Bay, and even the San Mateo County coast. Go in winter, and you might even have the trails–and rain-swollen waterfalls–mostly to yourself.

Trail making has about as long a history here as in any local parkland. Native American Hoo-Koo-E-Koo tribe members were the first trail makers here, walking the deep canyons, shady forests, and open scrubland in pursuit of deer and other game, but these two trails were named for more contemporary trail builders. Matt Davis, who worked on this segment of trail through the 1920s, lived in a small cabin on the mountain and was paid to cut trails by the Tamalpais Conservation Club. San Francisco's Ingleside Boy Scout Troop 80 cleared and built its namesake trail in 1931, replacing the old Pipeline Trail (bits of old steel pipe are remnants of a water pipeline that once ran to Mill Valley).

Getting there Take Highway 1 to the Panoramic Highway and proceed until you see the Mountain Home Inn on the right. Park across from the inn and cross the road, heading up Hogback Fire Road past the green water tank. A sign marks the Matt Davis Trail on the left at a set of stairs. Bootjack Camp, a bit past the hike's halfway point, is a perfect spot for a picnic lunch, with water and bathrooms.

Hike by Jessica Taekman, originally published in the January 2008 issue of Bay Nature magazine

 

 

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3 comments:

Mount Tamalpais and the Wildflowers of Persephone - Greenfriar on April 4th, 2014 at 9:38 am

[…] Trial farther up Mount Tamalpais instead. But because no fewer than three people told me the Matt Davis Trail was their favorite, I decided to give it another shot. And now here I […]

Five Lessons From a Nat Geo Photographer – Intelligent Travel on July 3rd, 2014 at 3:31 pm

[…] photograph. As we explored one of Catherine’s favorite hiking trails–the Matt Davis Trail on Mount Tamalpais–in Marin County, where she lives, we came upon a beautiful panorama of Stinson Beach. […]

Five Lessons From a Nat Geo Photographer | National Geographic on July 14th, 2014 at 12:25 am

[…] make a “wow” photograph. As we explored one of Catherine’s favorite hiking trails–the Matt Davis Trail on Mount Tamalpais–in Marin County, where she lives, we came upon a beautiful panorama of Stinson Beach. “Wow! […]

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