Rocky Point Trail and Red Rock Beach, Mt Tamalpais State Park - Steep Ravine Environmental Campground, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California

Rocky Point Trail and Red Rock Beach - 1.6 miles

Mt Tamalpais State Park - Steep Ravine Environmental Campground

Red Rock Beach on the north side of Rocky Point

Red Rock Beach on the north side of Rocky Point

Round-Trip Length: 1.6 miles (see distance notes below)
Start-End Elevation: 42' - 432' (432' max elevation)
Elevation Change: +390' net elevation gain (+421' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy-Moderate
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: No
Related Trails:

Rocky Point Trail and Red Rock Beach - 1.6 Miles Round-Trip

Rocky Point is a protruding headland that separates Stinson Beach and Red Rock Beach (north) from North, South and Muir beaches (south).

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The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground is located here, a complex of 9 rustic cabins and 7 campsites on a coastal bluff that overlooks Red Rock Beach. The Rocky Point Trail explores this diversely vegetated headland with beach access and terrific ocean views throughout.

Both segments of the Rocky Point Trail are located off of Rocky Point Road, which is gated and open only to campground occupants; others will have to walk .6 miles down the road (variously called Steep Ravine Road) to reach them.

The following describes one-way distance from the bottom of Rocky Point Road to Highway 1:

To reach Rocky Point Trail, follow Rocky Point Road down to the campground. The lower portion begins at the end of the road and loops .3 miles around the level bluff.

Follow the road .1 mile up to regain the trail (.4 miles : 216'), where grades steepen and may be obstructed by overgrowth through mid-summer (be especially mindful of stinging nettles).

The trail climbs Rocky Point with panoramas that stretch from San Francisco to Palomarin. Look for rabbit, quail, deer, fox and coyote in the chaparral, and seals, whales and sharks in the ocean.

The trail reaches an unceremonious end on Highway 1 (.8 miles : 434'), at which time it's advisable to return the way you came. Walking Highway 1 is a shorter but risky alternative back to the parking area.

Red Rock Beach is a small, wave-battered crescent on the headland's north side. Stairs lead from the cabins to a stable of rocks that can be safely negotiated at low tide to reach the beach. Be especially mindful of tides, as the way back to higher ground can be quickly swallowed by the ocean at high tide.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N37 53.019 W122 37.437 — .4 miles : Mid-point of Rocky Point Trail on Rocky Point
  • N37 52.965 W122 37.283 — .8 miles : Rocky Point Trail terminus on Highway 1

Worth Noting

  • For those without a permit to park in the Steep Ravine Campground, the full roundtrip distance - which includes mileage from the Steep Ravine Trailhead to the trail, Highway 1 and back - is 3.0 miles.

  • Portions of the Rocky Point Trail may be obscured by overgrowth through mid-summer. Be especially mindful of stinging nettles on this trail. Help minimize erosion by staying on designated paths around Rocky Point.

  • Respect the privacy of Steep Ravine Cabin occupants.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Backcountry camping is not permitted within Mt Tamalpais State Park.

Pantoll Campground

  • The Pantoll Campground is located on Panoramic Highway adjacent to the Pantoll Ranger Station. It has 16 campsites, each with a table, rock barbecue, food locker and space for a tent. Phones, faucets, firewood and flush toilets are nearby. There are no showers. Sites are first-come, first-served.

Steep Ravine Environmental Campground

  • The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground is located on a coastal terrace off Highway 1, one mile south of Stinson Beach. It has nine rustic cabins and seven primitive campsites. Each cabin has a wood stove, picnic table, benches, sleeping platforms and outdoor bbq.
  • The cabins do not have running water or electricity. Primitive toilets, faucets, and firewood are nearby. Primitive campsites are located a few hundred yards from the parking area. Each site has a table, fire pit, food locker and space for a tent. Primitive toilets and water faucets are nearby. There are no showers at Steep Ravine Campground.

Alice Eastwood Group Camp

  • Alice Eastwood Group Camp is located off Panoramic Highway on Alice Eastwood Road. It has two campsites. Site A holds up to 50 people; Site B holds up to 25 people. Both sites have tables, flush toilets, water faucets with sinks, bbq grills and a large area for tents.

Frank Valley Group Horse Camp

  • Frank Valley Group Horse Camp is located 1.5 miles West of Muir Woods National Monument on Muir Woods Road. It has 12 pipe corrals, water faucets, watering troughs, picnic tables, fire rings and a pit toilet. The minimum group size is 2 horses; the maximum size is 12 horses.
  • To reserve a campground visit or call 800.444.7275. For specific camping and campground questions, call Pantoll Ranger Station at 415.388.2070.

Rules and Regulations

  • No Dogs or Bikes are permitted on the Rocky Point Trail or on Red Rock Beach.

  • Parking is not permitted within the Steep Ravine Environmental Campground without a permit. Use designated parking areas on Highway 1 to access the Rocky Point Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

Mt Tamalpais State Park is located north of San Francisco in Marin County. The Rocky Point Trailhead is located on Highway 1 within the Steep Ravine Environmental Campground, one mile south of the Panoramic Highway - Highway 1 intersection at Stinson Beach.

The parking area is located at the Steep Ravine Trail terminus on Highway 1, across from the gated campground.

Cross Highway 1 and walk .4 miles down Rocky Point Road to the Rocky Point Trailhead on the left (east) side of the road. The trailhead may be obscured by overgrowth in mid-spring.

Contact Information

Mt Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941

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