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Adventure, Travel / April 9, 2014

Take a soak in Steep Ravine

Written by: Joslyn Hamilton

A midnight soak in natural, undeveloped hot springs … just within a stone’s throw of the waves of the Pacific Ocean. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? Well it is nice. But it isn’t easy. A visit to Steep Ravine Hot Springs demands keen navigation and expert timing.

Hidden in a cove near the Steep Ravine Cabins in Mount Tamalpais State Park, the springs are only accessible during extreme negative tides, and even then only for a few hours.

That doesn’t stop die-hard soakers, though, who time their visits around the area’s tide table. Many visitors make a reservation (as far in advance as possible) at the nearby Steep Ravine campground.

Day (or night) trippers can park near a gate along CA Highway 1 and follow a short, steep trail to the beach. Less sure-footed hikers can head down the long paved drive to the campground, then across the beach to where a cluster of boulders conceals the springs.

Getting there: From Mill Valley, take CA Highway 1 North 11.4 miles to Rocky Point Road, before the town of Stinson Beach. Park at the gate, then follow the road on foot about a mile to the Steep Ravine Campground. 



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