Muir Woods: Ben Johnson to Dipsea Trail Loop

MODERATE 84 reviews

Muir Woods: Ben Johnson to Dipsea Trail Loop is a 3.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features beautiful wild flowers. The trail is rated as moderate offers a number of activity options.

DISTANCE
3.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
987 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

old growth

no dogs

Parking along Muir Woods Rd. This can be backed up for several miles due to the popularity of this area.

30 days ago

Took about 3 hours. Beginning portion on Dipsea trail is all in the sun and uphill. Once Ben Johnson starts it’s all downhill and shade.

hiking
1 month ago

Honest review by a hiking newbie family of three, with the kid being a 7 yr old girl. We did the trail in reverse with the intention that we might attempt the Dipsea depending on how the kid was doing. Had a parking reservation at 8am and snagged a parking spot very close to the Dipsea trail marker. Trail was very doable for us, but quite warm (full sun on ridge -- end of June). Lots of solitude (maybe encountered 5 hikers), distant ocean views, meadow and forest trails, and tons of butterflies. Kid had heel complaint so we went Stapelveldt (steep desent switchbacks) to Ben Johnson (busy trail, terrain is filled with roots that trips up heavy tired feet, steep in parts, log crossings) to Hillside to Main Muir Woods trail which completes the loop. Before taking this on, we already bought the $1 trail map in Muir Woods.

nature trips
1 month ago

The trail starts off with half a mile of the scenic redwoods. They are as beautiful and poised as they come. Soon after the scenic trail, going towards Ben Johnson, the trail becomes an elevated climb and is progressively becomes steeper until about a mile from summit where it is the steepest. but don't stop until you reach the summit since the view is awesome with lofty terrain around and a view of the bay if there's no fog. also you can top off your potable water at the summit. then turning back towards dip see trail is all downhill and equally enjoyable.

1 month ago

It’s a beautiful hike. Not too crowded. A little tougher than I expected. The sign says allow 3 hours but we did in just under 2 with lots of photo ops.

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful trail with lots of shade. Went with my girlfriends and her 2 friends on a Sunday afternoon in mid-August. We hit the fog in the scenic spots, which was a slight shame. Fun hike nonetheless.

2 months ago

Need to know. No more free parking along the road. Reservations to park within the Muir Woods parking lot required. Cost $6.00. Reservations now required to enter the park. Bus reservations required as well. You can park your car at the Muir Beach public parking lot then walk back up the road to Muir Woods.
It’s a great trail offering redwoods and coastal marine views on the westerly Dipsea trail. Exit back to Muir Beach when you hit the coast road.

hiking
3 months ago

It is an easy evening hike. Takes roughly 2.5 hours to complete. A smaller deviation to pantoll before taking the dipsea downhill will give you more rewarding views of the ocean and bay area.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Fantastic ascent through the redwoods then down through grassy meadows on the Dipsea Trail with views back toward the Pacific. There was a lot of lingering fog on the day we went but it was still spectacular. Would love to come back and try some of the other hikes in Mt. Tamalpais nearby.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful hiking trails and beach view. National park so there is other fun things to do.

4 months ago

Really nice trail. It’s been awhile since I’ve been hiking in the area and this was a nice trail to get reacquainted! We started in the Muir Woods overflow parking lot (remember that reservations for parking are now always required, and they scan your barcode at the entrance so be sure to download before your trip; there’s no service in the park). From the overflow parking lot, you can hop right onto the Dipsea Trail and hike up to Ben Johnson which will take you straight to the scenic walk and visitor’s center. Redwoods require fog for much of their water supply, so regardless of time of year, some places will be wet. If you start at the Dipsea trail from the parking lot, you miss the ticket booth so may want to give a donation at the end. If you start from the scenic walk and take Ben Johnson to Dipsea you’ll need to pay $10/adult to enter. If you have more time, I’d definitely recommend the Matt Davis trail from Stinson Beach, too!

hiking
Friday, June 02, 2017

They aren't joking about this being a cardio trail, especially the last 1/2 mile heading up to the ridge. The Redwoods are so tall and cool and provide a lot of shade during the hike. Once you get to the ridge you overlook much of the bay area to the south. There was some lingering fog, but still a welcome view after coming out of the forest. Potable water is provided once you reach the ridge, a nice chance to fill up before heading back to the visitor center.

hiking
Sunday, January 29, 2017

Awesome views great place to hike

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Great Trail , stunning views

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Fun and beautiful trail half uphill not bad at all. Muir Woods is definitely an amazing place.

hiking
Monday, July 25, 2016

Beautiful trail, the first half is pretty much all climb, really enjoyed it.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Amazing

hiking
Saturday, May 31, 2014

FYI for people planning to take this trail, the Ben Johnson Trail "loop" actually connects to a portion of the Dipsea Trail to make the loop. Also, you can do it in reverse (Dipsea to Ben Johnson) to avoid paying the Muir Woods entrance fee, but it's always best to support our federal and state parks so donate on the way out if you can :). Anyways, either way you take the hike it is easy at most parts, with the most difficult inclines at the beginning, but even then it's pretty easy for most people. There's not a ton of features, but the vibrant greens and reds of the redwoods is beautiful enough. The beginning of the Ben Johnson trail gets crowded with tourist buses around noon, so go early to avoid crowds. If you want, you can take the Dipsea trail all the way to Stenson Beach, but that is about 10 miles.

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