Hike the Iconic Dipsea

San Francisco Old Mill Park

Added by Jennifer Heifferon

  • You may not be able to enter the famous Dipsea race, but you can still enjoy the trail at your own pace
  • Feel good knowing you're actually doing the "Double Dipsea" if you hike out-and-back
  • Enjoy the 15-mile out-and-back trek through towering redwoods
  • There is a Shuttle that will take you back to Mill Valley from Stinson if you're too tired to hike all the way back
  • Duration: Half Day

The Dipsea Race is the 2nd oldest foot race in the US. The race is named after the Dipsea Inn at the end of the trail at Stinson Beach. The good news is that you can enjoy this scenic trail and it's sweeping ocean views at your leisure. The bad news is that the race is only one-way. If you choose, your leg can be out-and-back for a total of 15 miles. Ok, so maybe you don't have to do the full 15. A Shuttle, which picks up at Stinson Beach, can you back to either Muir Woods or Mill Valley.

Starting from Old Mill Park in Mill Valley, you'll head onto Cascade Way, hanging a right on Millside Ln, which connects with the Dipsea Trail. At this point, it's straight on the Dipsea until you reach your 7.5-mile destination at Stinson Beach. Along the trail, you'll come across multiple terrains from Redwood canopies to exposed hillsides with stunning views of the Pacific.

Photos: Carlos de Leon; Alexi Ueltzen; Emily Hoyer

Pack List

  • Trail Shoes or Hiking Boots
  • Lightweight Hiking Clothes
  • Lightweight Jacket
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Sunscreen
  • Cash for beers at the Tourist Club or the Shuttle from Stinson back to Mill Valley
Read More

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Share

Activities:

Hiking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Year Round

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

15 Miles

Elev. Gain:

2730 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Easy Parking
Forest
Scenic

Are we missing something?

Suggest an edit

How to Get There

2 months ago

Worth the hike

Everything from the shaded descent, to the open hills, the verdurous seaside stairs and then the beach. We started from the trailhead at Panoramic Highway, and followed signs for Dipsea trail for approximately six miles, and after resting at Stinson beach we retraced our steps back up.

2 months ago

8 months ago

gotta do the double dipsea at least once :)

The double dipsea is worth it! Views, redwoods, and elevation. The Lunch Box break in Stinson is great. Feeling of accomplishment when you hit that last step at the end...

8 months ago

9 months ago

Walk..Don't Run :p

Love the Dipsea Trail! The beginning sucks with three different sets of stairs.. :) Once your lungs recover from those it's a beautiful hike. The best part is when you finish at Stinson Beach you can grab a delicious lunch and a beer at one of Stinsons many eateries. When you are finished there take the $2 shuttle back to your car.

9 months ago

over 1 year ago

I've run the Dipsea multiple times (even the double dipsea)

over 1 year ago

almost 2 years ago

Tourist Club closed to non-members sometime last year - bummer! But Parkside Cafe in Stinson is a great place to refuel as well. They have an actual restaurant/cafe, but also a snack window. NB: The shuttle back to Mill Valley is on the smaller side and can get crowded on nice days.

almost 2 years ago

almost 2 years ago

The double dipsea is what convinced me to moved back to the Bay Area. You pass through so many ecosystems and fauna that it's a truly rewarding day.

almost 2 years ago

almost 3 years ago

This hike is a great workout and Cardiac Hill is a butt kicker. It's great to chill out in Mill Valley post-hike too.

almost 3 years ago

almost 3 years ago

Going out-and-back can be a real trip. Make sure to bring plenty of water. You can also stop at The Lunch Box in Stinson to grab a sandwich and to catch your breath before heading back.

almost 3 years ago

More Adventures Nearby

Camp at Juniper Campground in Mount Diablo State Park

San Francisco / Juniper Campground

Mount Diablo's summit in Mount Diablo State Park rises to 3,848ft.  Juniper Campground in Mount Diablo State Park is set at approximately 3,000ft in elevation.

Skyler Hardy
3 Saves

Photograph Trojan Point on Mount Tamalpais

San Francisco / Trojan Point

The endlessly scenic Trojan Point can be reached by taking the Panoramic Highway to Pantoll road from Stinson Beach to the west, or Mill Valley / Highway 1 to the east.

Josiah Roe
14 Saves

Hike the Chinquapin Loop on The Lost Coast

San Francisco / Hidden Valley Trailhead, Lost Coast

I did this hike the day before setting out on a backpacking trip along the northern section of The Lost Coast Trail and it was a fantastic warm up hike.

Mike Servedio
7 Saves