Thursday, April 06, 2006

I was curious, after reading several articles extolling the virtues of the Environmental Cabins at Steep Ravine in Mount Tamalpais State Park, why is this location so popular? So about 6 months ago I woke up on the first day of the month and at 8:00 AM struggled to make reservations for two days (Friday and Saturday) at the park. I wasn't successful getting Saturday just one day Friday March 31st was available.

Well six month later the upcoming weekend didn't look good, March was one of the wettest months in memory, I didn't cancel my reservation and the rain Goddess was kind.

The Steep Ravine Cabins are about 20 miles North of San Francisco on Hwy 1 about one mile south of Stinson Beach. The cabins are not for those who cannot live without luxury, they are without water, electricity, toilets or even curtains treatments on the windows.

The toilets are pit and the water facets are shared with other cabin dwellers and campers. There is a wood-burning stove in the cabin for cooking and heat, I think it's fair to say this is a primitive campsite.

The lack of interior amenities did not bother me, when we arrived at the cabins it was dark but not raining. We started a fire had dinner and enjoyed hearing the ocean crashing on the shore and the general quiet of the night. Because of the rainy weather half the cabins weren't occupied.

In the morning we received the treat of the most beautiful ocean view from our cabin. I left the cabin and enjoyed the solitude of the park, it's quite pretty with great coastal views including waterfalls flowing into the ocean and beautiful lilies gracing the park. The other treat, it was not stormy only a few drizzles. The sky was mostly blue and slightly overcast.

One of the perks of the park is its' location only 1.1 miles from Stinston Beach and minutes from the City of Bolinas. We left the cabin around 12:00 PM, checkout time, and drove to Bolinas for lunch at the Coastal Cafe. For those who don't know the Bolinas' Road signs were removed from Hwy 1. To get there drive pass Stinston Beach continue pass Bolinas Bay after the lagoon ends make a left on the first road you see. When the road ends make another left and within minutes you will be driving through the downtown Bolinas. The cafe was reasonably priced, the service was friendly and professional

After lunch we returned to the entrance of the cabins on Hwy 1 and parked. Across Hwy 1 is a trail head for the Steep Ravine Hike, it's a popular hike known for it crowds but it was relatively empty because of the rains damping the Bay Area. Walking into the Steep Ravine took us into a moss covered fern and redwood forest it was a dramatic change

After the hike we headed back to City, a day of site seeing and hiking without substainal rain I could only thank the Ancestors and the Rain Goddess for her generosity.

Steep Ravine Trails

Butterflies on the trail

View of the Environmental Cabins from Hwy 1


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