Dipsea Trail from Mill Valley Trailhead

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Muir Woods National Monument

Dipsea Trail from Mill Valley Trailhead is a 7.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Mill Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, running, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 7.6 miles Elevation Gain: 2,037 feet Route Type: Point to Point

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

running

beach

event

forest

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

This trail takes you from the picturesque town of Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, it can also be hiked from either direction, but most people opt to go from Mill Valley to the coast. The Dipsea Race, for which the trail is now famous, takes place here every year, and it’s speculated as one of the oldest trail races in America. The start from Mill Valley begins with nearly 700 steps in the first mile, the plaques with names on the steps honors previous Dipsea winners and participants. The trail is well marked with a Dipsea sign, it gets very steep in sections, and some parts through fire roads which are more exposed, offering less shade. Some sections are especially technical through forests, flowy singletrack among majestic redwoods and coastal landscapes, with breathtaking views of the Pacific. Please note: This is a point-to-point trail, you’ll need to either leave a car at Stinson Beach for your return trip, or take the Marin Transit shuttle (No. 61) back to Mill Valley. Or if you are feeling up for a challenge, you can do “the Double Dipsea” and run the legendary Dipsea Trail both directions.

hiking
bridge out
6 days ago

Beautiful trail - not too heavily trafficked on Memorial Day weekend. Parking was fairly easy. Only hiccup was a bridge is closed near Muir Woods to protect the breeding ground of a sensitive species, so they send you on a fairly lengthy detour so it can up the mileage. But the views from the top are worth it!

hiking
bridge out
over grown
rocky
7 days ago

hiking
2 months ago

Double Dipsea completed on 3/7/2020. Deer Park Road was open that Saturday to hike, but the road was super muddy from recent rains and construction vehicles. During the weekday, there is construction on Deer Park Road and it's closed to hiking. You will need to use alternate route via Ben Johnson Trail

hiking
4 months ago

A little hard to figure out the trail head but once we were on our way (up up up stairs) it was a great hike! The mileage listed is just one way so we didn’t do the whole thing but would be a mighty round trip day hike. Parking near the trailhead marked here is really limited so would park near the park in mill valley and walk up from there.

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

Amazing trail. DOUBLE DIPSEA FOR THE WIN

hiking
bridge out
4 months ago

1/5/19 - great weather could see Farallon Islands from the trail once we reached beach.

hiking
5 months ago

Very fun trail! Lots of things to see! The views of the hills are incredible. It is pretty steep uphills for the majority of the hike, so I would be prepared for some good cardio!

hiking
6 months ago

So beautiful, and really varied scenery helps keep it interesting. Lots of trail runners. Bring plenty of water-- the climbs are intense. Parked at Old Mill Park and did out and back. Took 6 hours/15.36miles/4,352 elevation. At Stinson Beach there's a snack stand so you can treat yourself halfway.

hiking
9 months ago

No double/quad dipsea for me, just a stroll through the woods to hang out at the beach. Worth it, so much tougher than I thought it was going to be. It's not a mountain hike or anything, but it's pretty and it'll get your heart pumping if you're walking with somebody on a mission. It gets really hot, really consider your options for the return trip from the beach because we saw a lot of families struggling with those stairs heading into the woods from the beach. If you can't do it, take a bus or plan your shuttle options before hand.

hiking
scramble
9 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

This is a great hike that loops together two of the bay area's best trails (Dipsea & Matt Davis) in their entirety. This would be an option to doing the "Double Dipsea" which is the out & back version of just the Dipsea trail. I usually prefer loops to out & backs. But Matt Davis stops well short of Mill Valley, so a combination of the unmarked "ZigZag trail" and Cascade Drive are used to get you back to where you started. ZigZag is pretty technical; I would have preferred to go up it instead of down. And Cascade Drive is a nice walk through a sleepy Mill Valley neighborhood that follows Old Mill Creek. If I have to walk along a road to make a loop work, this is the one of the nicest roads to walk on (although there isn't a sidewalk). The track that is posted for this trail needs some work. First of all, the starting point is a ways off from where Dipsea actually starts and the directions took me to someone's house. You want to park and start around Old Mill Park. I'm assuming the track was uploaded by someone who started their recording at their house. So that needs corrected.

Great walk. Mostly foggy but cleared up near Stinson beach

hiking
10 months ago

Didn’t see the RT version of this on AllTrails, but a round trip needs to be contemplated on Dipsea (over 15 miles and nearly 4k of gain) because few options exist to return from Stinson to Mill Valley (other than hiking back). A rigorous RT hike but with beautiful NorCal vistas. While water is available on trail, bring A LOT if hiking in the summer due to elevation gains.

hiking
10 months ago

This is a famous trail with lots of climbing and descending - much of it on stairs. Scenery is stunning and includes redwood forests, creeks, and ocean vistas. Begin at Old Mill Park and climb the stairs, all 600+ of them. Start early, parking is at a premium.

11 months ago

The bus back to Mill Valley never showed up, so had to pay $60 for a private cab ride from Bolinas. Great hike, nonetheless!

hiking
11 months ago

I have hiked this trail many times over the years. It never ceases to impress. Varied terrain and great views. But make no mistake: this hike is rated moderate but there is a lot of climbing. If you don’t want to do the hike back to Mill Valley you can take the West Marin Stagecoach bus back. So no need to be dropping off cars.

Thu Nov 01 2018

Diverse trail

hiking
Tue Oct 23 2018

It's actually 7 miles from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. I did this up and back Oct 20, 2018 from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. I even touched the ocean. I had over 15 miles of hiking before it was all done. Great hike that has so much varied terrain and even multiple climates.

Sun Oct 07 2018

Recorded route is shorter than mine. I recorded 8 miles to the beach.

hiking
6 days ago

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