Dipsea Trail is a 9.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Mill Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 9.7 miles Elevation Gain: 2,545 feet Route Type: Out & Back

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

beach

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

no dogs

The Dipsea Trail (or the Ben Johnson Trail) through Muir Woods National Monument to Stinson Beach is an amazing trail through the famous California redwoods.

hiking
2 days ago

A nice walk through the woods, and few views are worth the effort, highly recommend for first timers and intermediate hikers

hiking
17 days ago

Love this hike!

hiking
22 days ago

Good hike.. Ascends were not steep. Beautiful redwood views if you take hill valley route one of the ways to or from Stinston. The beach area was not my fav as it felt very commercial, did not feel like a fitting reward to such a hard hike

we took the hillside trail to cardiac hill then took the dipsea trail on the way back down. probably other small trails incorporated and way awesome, such a good workout with a beautiful view of the redwoods, great view of the ocean and top at cardiac hill and more variety of scenery on dipsea. Great experience!!

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked this today and it was absolutely stunning. The surroundings when going up the stairs make it completely worth it. It wasn't too crowded, I only passed hikers coming in the opposite direction. So if you like feeling a quiet hiking experience this one delivers.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike it was a bit too foggy for my 18 year old son who wanted views of the Pacific but the fog created a mystical experience thru the redwoods and he loved it regardless. Loved the changes in topography. Lots of stairs a lil hard on my knees but just took it slow. The boys wanted to Uber back from Stinson ha ha but we just took a 30 min break then rallied back. Give yourself lots of time to explore and stare in awe at the remarkable surroundings. We ended a full hour & a half later then expected cuz of exploring. Reserved parking on line for Muir Woods was easy done in advance. Getting there early helped, when we left it was so crowded. Stretching before & after a must! Priceless memory!

hiking
1 month ago

I did this trail last week. Decided to go up to the peak and then back down to avoid having to take a cab or depend on friends to get me back. The reviews that are posted are not helpful. You don't need reservations as one reviewer said. The stairs that say "not the Dipsea" will get you to the top but are not actually the real Dipsea stairs. Those are likely further to the left. They are wooden -at least in part - and have stone stairs at the top. I took the "not the Dipsea" stairs due to the review and at the top you are left w/no instructions. and have to go to the right to catch the stairs again Intersection of Molino and Cascade to start stairs --right at top down Millside to before Marion - -to top and then left on Hazel to top stairs -you should come out at Sequoia Valley Road and then there are signs. Beautiful views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

I loved this. Start at 8am when the park opens. You will need a reservation. It’s quiet and uncrowded, and you can easily get a few amazing pictures at the start. The midpoint, Cardiac Hill, is unbelievable. I got up there around 9:30 and I was literally standing in a cloud. There were no other people around and it was so peaceful. I can’t wait to do it again.

hiking
1 month ago

Started at bottom of stairs in Mill Valley—about three sets at onset with minimal space between and in a residential setting. First is longest and they get shorter after that. If going Dipsea to Stinson Beach, there will be 3–4 more noticeable uphill parts and several downhill parts. The final downhill before the beach dunes will be through the Redwoods and it’s very steep and can be muddy from the fog condensation. Trail is well trafficked but you should have stretches of alone time with yourself/hiking group (I went on a Saturday from 11:30–3:30). Great for bird watching as well. Saw a couple lizards on the dirt trail in the sun and a deer at top of trail in the woods. I think you’ll find it’s not as bad as it sounds. I’m recovering from shoulder surgery so I was a bit intimated to take this trail on visiting from the east coast since I haven’t been hiking regularly. Was manageable but challenging in the best way. Once down at the beach, Parkside Cafe is a great reward for a bite and drink. Stinson is one of the only NorCal beaches you’ll see people actually swimming in, but careful of the undertow. You can walk back or catch the bus (53?) back to where you parked in Mill Valley. It’s $2.50 and cash only so try to bring exact. Look up times ahead of hike.

hiking
1 month ago

If you start in Old Mill park, start on the stairs to the left of the parking lot. The stairs that say “not dipsea trail” are the stairs that you start on. There is a sign at the top instructing you were to go from there. It’s a technical and steep trail! Follow it all the way to Stinson beach for a total of over 7 miles. It’s gorgeous

hiking
2 months ago

Very classic trail in NorCal. Started from Muir Wood park and heading to Stinson Beach. Great view at the highest point on trail which is good time for snacks and there is a water fountain, then all the way down (lots of stairs). I would highly recommend for a half day worth of effort.

hiking
2 months ago

Start right by Old Mill Park in Mill Valley if you want the total experience. Once you park, signs are hard to find, but they are there. Started at 7am on a weekday, parking was a breeze, saw two other hikers the entire 7.5-9-mile trek to Stinson Beach. Beware there is no Uber cars at Stinson Beach (at least my experience), bring some cash to call Marin Taxi to take you back to Mill Valley. Great hike—diverse terrain and challenging inclines. The Redwoods near the end are otherworldly.

hiking
2 months ago

Lived up to the hype! Such great views, the landscape changes so quick. Enjoyed it midweek in the morning with very few cohikers so extremely pleasant.

hiking
2 months ago

This is an awesome trail. Plants were a little bit over grown at the time I was visiting but still 5 out of 5.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite trails around the Bay. Relatively accessible. Lots of great views.

hiking
2 months ago

I absolutely LOVE this hike, my favorite to date. All of the elements you crave in a hike and never disappoints. Words, nor photos will do it justice. I feel at peace on this trail. I even ran the Double Dispea in a trail race (four times), hardest thing I've ever done physically, but the beauty of it always brings me back. I highly recommend this if you find yourself in Northern Ca. Parking at Stinson Beach might be easier than Mt Tam.

2 months ago

This is my favorite hike of the bay and has all the elements of a great hike: the length for endurance, challenging but pleasant elevation, the redwoods, a creek, a bridge, flowers, a high point for cloud watching, a beach, trees, the shady and the sunny. Nothing beats eating your lunch sandwich on a sunny beach. You want to start early. Also I think the overall length is 15 mi round trip, as you'd pass 7 mi mark, and there's a 0.5 mi approach. There're multiple water refill stations on the way. If you don't want to do the round trip, you can take the bus from the beach. Rumor on the street that it's not a very pleasant ride though.

hiking
2 months ago

Must do hike if visiting San Francisco area.

hiking
2 months ago

Loved it! Take loads of water and sip! I take about 1 gallon and go down to Stinson beach and then work my way back. I walk it the whole way and takes me about 6 hours at the most to complete including having fun at the beach. Be prepared for a good hike. One of the best! Half way, gets very sunny! But there is a lot of shade most of the way. Beautiful indeed.

hiking
2 months ago

By far one of my favorite trails. Just make sure you don’t hike on the race days because it gets a little much dodging all the runners! At least they were all very nice

hiking
3 months ago

This was a beautiful hike. The beautiful redwoods and just breathtaking scenery. You will want to start early for sure. Once the fog blows through the sun will make it's presence felt. Definitely bring lots of water and sunscreen. We started at the Muir Woods forest and journeyed our way to the Dipsea trail towards Stinson beach. We ended up doing more than 9.7 miles....we actually hiked over 11 miles. Once you get to Stinson beach you will come across a cafe. You can take a little break and have a little snack. It's a long and strenuous hike so be prepared for some soreness....especially when you head back to Muir Woods. We are for the most part experienced hikers and we felt the burn. It's definitely a good challenge. It's pretty close to a Mt. Diablo challenge. We will definitely do this trail again. FYI....you will need to go online and pay for your parking reservation for Muir Woods. We had purchase our reservation a week in advance and when we arrived they already had a sign saying the parking was full. So you will want to reserve at least a week in advance. Good luck and enjoy!

hiking
3 months ago

5 miles from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach. We started at the overflow parking lot of Muir Woods National Monument. The sign said 5 miles to Stinson Beach. We hiked Dipsea Trail to Stinson Beach. It was 5 miles according to our recordings all well. We had parked at the Manzanita Park n Ride and Uber’d to the Muir Woods overflow parking lot. We hiked the most gorgeous Dipsea Trail (all clearly marked with signs) Once we got to Stinson and enjoyed a lunch and a stroll, we hopped on the #61 bus and took it straight back to the Manzanita Park n Ride. It was a perfect day.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike with some very nice views of the pacific. Would recommend to anyone looking for a good cardio. Lots of steps while coming back to the trailhead. If you are planning to do this on a weekend, do not forget to reserve your parking spot. We didn’t know this and we had to park at a turnout area almost a mile away from the trailhead. We couldn’t use the shuttle since that requires a reservation too.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike! Watch out for the steps going back to Muir Woods. They are killers.

Go left!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike but I would say it was a 15.2 mile hike from where we started and back, based on my mileage counter that was on me. I enjoyed the long hike and the view from the top as well as the redwoods and the beautiful wild flowers along the trail.

4 months ago

cool trail, pretty well-marked, scenic while still being challenging saw woodpeckers and banana slugz go early or good luck tryna make the incline steps back! we had to use a cab service w a nearby b&b to go back to muir woods

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

hiking
4 months ago

Good hike from muir woods to stinson beach. We got an early parking at muir woods. For some reason the bridge was closed so had to take deer park fire road until we crossed dipsea trail. We got beautiful views of the sea after we just cross coastal trail junction. Usual drill : get 2L water, start early, take breaks and bring lunch to have it at the beach.

hiking
4 months ago

Good workout trail. Gets hot in the summer but the redwood part is nice.

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