Dipsea Trail from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach

HARD 213 reviews

Dipsea Trail from Muir Woods to Stinson Beach is a 9.3 mile moderately 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
9.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2631 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

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.

21 days ago

Amazing historic trail going through the woods, grassy hilly pastures and along the coast. I parked on the highway and walked down and then on the way back took the matt Davis trail up and connected to old mine trail to get back to the dipsea. That was about 15 miles and worth it

hiking
23 days ago

Wow! Started off surrounded by giant redwoods and Sequoias, ended surrounded by the ocean. A beautiful hike. Very challenging going up and over the mountain and lots of stairs in parts. Only went out...not back (that would have been a bit crazy for my family). Loved every second of this trail!

hiking
1 month ago

The only way to the trail head we could find is through the main park entrance and then taking bridge number 4 and Ben Johnson trail up where it intersected with Dipsea trail. We followed the Dipsea trail sign after that but it looped and we noticed from Garmn navigation device that we were only a mile away from the car at some point. So we had an option of taking the road and coming back to the car or going back the same way we came in. So most probably we were on a sort of different route but still enjoyed climbing up and later descending in redwood forest as well as distance Pacific views from the top. Even came across a deer.
The trail was crowded and full of trail runners who ran despite the risk of tripping hazard. One of them ended up falling and bleeding...ouch

hiking
1 month ago

The only way to the trail head we could find is through the main park entrance and then taking bridge number 4 and Ben Johnson trail up where it intersected with Dipsea trail. We followed the Dipsea trail sign after that but it looped and we noticed from Garmn navigation device that we were only a mile away from the car at some point. So we had an option of taking the road and coming back to the car or going back the same way we came in. So most probably we were on a sort of different route but still enjoyed climbing up and later descending in redwood forest as well as distance Pacific views from the top. Even came across a deer.
The trail was crowded and full of trail runners who ran despite the risk of tripping hazard. One of them ended up falling and bleeding...ouch

1 month ago

It is soooo goood trail!!!!!

2 months ago

Great workout! Lots of stairs and incline.
My friends and I started at the wrong trailhead...not sure how...but we ended up adding an additional 4miles roundtrip to the hike.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful trail. Do note reservations are required ahead of time to park at the lot. We had to park at a different trailhead and backtrack to Dipsea.

hiking
2 months ago

Awesome Trail. I would rate this trail as moderate.

2 months ago

Step up to breathtaking views of this beautiful earth and feel one with our natural habitat on the Dipsea Trail. This was our first real Marin hike; definitely the gateway drug to other hikes in Marin/Mill Valley. Been going every weekend since. Just know you can’t get an Uber at Stinson beach.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail is awesome! Can get very tiring with the ups and downs, but there are stairs built in to some parts. It goes in and out of trees and open areas. Great views

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail but only did one way. One part of the trail was overgrown. Took public transit to go back to Muir Woods visitors center. Doable with a 8 month old.

hiking
4 months ago

Great trail...not as difficult as I expected. Lots of wildlife early in the morning before lots of people show up. Took about 3 hrs to complete with a few stops in between for photos. Very rewarding finish at Stinson Beach. If you have time hit The Siren Canteen on the beach to "refuel".

hiking
4 months ago

We started the hike from Muir Woods, parked at the Muir Woods Monument overflow parking. Tip: arrive early (7-8AM) to avoid the tourist crowds that fill up the lots quick. The hike begins at around mile 3-4 of the “Dipsea Race”. It is a steep 1,300+ foot climb thru the beautiful wilderness, frigid and moist in the cold months, hot and dry in the summer months. The trail intertwines with the fire road, either one is fine to take, but the true Dipsea Trail offers more shade. Once you summit at a point called “Cardiac”, there are sweeping views and a small pit stop with a water fountain. This marks your descent to Stinson beach, about 3.5 miles. You enter the abyss of moss covered trees and towering redwoods. Descending down 100+++ steps, a little muddy and slippery. When you arrive at a foot bridge, go left, and continue to follow signs to Stinson Beach. At this point you have about 1.5 miles left! Enjoy your time at the beach, take a dip, have a bite to eat because you’re about to do it all over again, in reverse!! Then upon returning to Muir Woods, you would have completed the “Double Dipsea!”

hiking
5 months ago

Unbelievable views of the Pacific and SF. The trail is diverse going from densely wooded to standing on the sand with the waves crashing. Stinson Beach is a bit of a tourist trap with restaurants and gift shops which could be good or bad depending on what is desired. The trail was heavily trafficked. I had to stop multiple times to allow runners and mountain bikers to pass safely. If you access the trail from the overflow parking lot you can avoid the $10 entrance fee at the main gate. Overall a must have experience.

hiking
5 months ago

Absolutely gorgeous. Incredibly foggy day added to the magic of this beautiful place, definitely where the fairies live!

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked from Mill Valley to beach and back. Beautiful trail with enough variety to keep it interesting. Great to have the beach as a midday break.

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful and majestic. Highly recommended. If you do t want to do out and back have transportation lined up at Stinson beach. Got stranded for several hours waiting on a shuttle we weren't confident would show up! No ubers or cabs available

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
9 months ago

We had a hard time finding a parking spot as we came around 9:30am. About half of the hike was shaded, but I would recommend shades and a hat for sun protection. We took the bus back close to Muir Woods after spending some time at Stinson beach. Despite the seagulls, the beach was really enjoyable. Be prepared for many staircases, some fallen branches, and scenic panoramas.

hiking
9 months ago

Went by 66 bus to Muirwoods , back with 61 bus from Stinson Beach. Beautifull! Various vegetation and view points, done in 3h .

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful. Minimal exposed trail. Fairly steady breeze. Challenging climbs and descents

hiking
10 months ago

Beautiful. Minimal exposed trail. Fairly steady breeze. Challenging climbs and descents

hiking
10 months ago

Amazing trail! Very challenging but so worth it! Stinson Beach is beautiful. Check out the Parkside Cafe.

trail running
11 months ago

05-23 Began around 12pm, weather was perfect (as compared to Sacramento heat of high 90s). We hiked/trail ran to Stinson Beach in under 2 hours. Near the beach, there are several cute shops and food places with healthy options. It is beautiful out there, will surely come back again!

It is a good idea to head back around 5pm because the way back is not easy. We took Steep Ravine - Stapelveldt - Ben Johnson - Hillside trails when returning. Do that if you feel like the way there was not enough of a workout. The stairs on Steep Ravine certainly gave me a kick, but I loved it!

hiking
11 months ago

Hard hike so start early! Enjoy at least an hour's rest at Stinson Beach before the arduous climb back from seal level. Round trip took 4.5 hrs at a fast pace including an hour at Stinson. Also, I think you can get back to Muir Woods via Marin transit + a shuttle bus if you decide to beach bum it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Get back before dark!

trail running
Sunday, March 26, 2017

The beginning of the trail was a little hard to find since the entrance at the parking lot is shut down due to the rain storms. This trail has everything you would look for, beautiful redwoods, waterfalls, open valley, and ending at Stinson beach is a nice reward. Overall it was about 10 miles because of the slight detour. Be prepared for mud (at the moment)! Well worth the run.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Love this trail! Breathtaking in its views and difficulty!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Amazing trail! My first solo hike, I did 12.8 miles. The trails were easy to follow at most points and beautiful views that range from forestry to meadow views to costal and in between. I will definitely be back to explore this area more.

hiking
Monday, December 19, 2016

One of my favorite trails. Some fallen trees from the recent storm made it extra adventurous this past weekend (12/18/16). Beautiful as always, with frost everywhere and icy muddy puddles.

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