|From the intersection of Throckmorton and
Cascade Drive in Mill Valley:
Proceed southwest on Cascade Drive. Old Mill
Park is on your left.
The beginning of the Dipsea Trail looks like a driveway that is straight
ahead as Cascade begins to bear to the right. Go up that driveway, and it
will soon lead you to "the stairs."
This is the first of three flights of stairs that will take you uphill
through the Mill Valley section of the trail. Iíve actually counted 676
steps total for the three flights. Others confirm this count.
When you get to the top of the first flight of stairs, turn right on the
road. Go just a short way to the intersection with another road, and turn
left onto that next road. The second flight of stairs is just ahead on your
right. Look for the obvious staircase. In many places, the word "DIPSEA" is
stenciled on the pavement or the stairs. That helps.
At the top of the second flight of stairs, turn left and look for the
third flight of stairs on the right. Trudge up the third flight of stairs.
This will put you out on a more significant looking street. Bear right on
the street, Sequoia Valley Road, and follow it uphill. There is no sidewalk
or shoulder here.
After about a block, bear right onto Walsh and into the sub-division. Go
to the end of the cul-de-sac and straight out the back onto a trail. Follow
this short trail until it comes out onto the paved residential drive, Bay
View Drive. Follow Bay View to its intersection with the main road,
Turn right on Panoramic Highway and cross to the other side of the
street. The trail is on the left after a short distance.
Take the trail down. Youíll soon cross a small wooden bridge. After the
bridge, thereís a trail junction. Stay left, and continue down to Muir Woods
Cross the road, and look for the trail on the other side.
Take the trail down and through a few short switchbacks. The trail
generally parallels Muir Woods Road for about 2/3 mile where it comes out
onto a fire road that leads onto Muir Woods Road.
Cross the fire road, and look for the single-track trail directly on the
other side. Follow the single track down steps and switchbacks to the Muir
Woods Road again.
Cross Muir Woods Road into the parking lot and look for a trail on the
right with steps that lead down to Redwood Creek. Cross the creek, and
follow the obvious single-track uphill and through dense woods.
After about a quarter mile, the trail will level off a bit and come to
Deer Park fire road. Stay on the single-track.
From here, the actual Dipsea Trail more or less parallels fire roads for
a few miles. Stay on the single track when possible.
After weaving back and forth across and along the fire road, the single
track goes into dense woods again. When it comes out onto Deer Park Fire
Road, keep an eye on the right side of the road. The single-track trail will
depart on the right and go up a gnarly hill known as Cardiac Hill. The top
of this hill is generally the high point of the course.
Stay on the single-track which now begins to parallel the Dipsea Fire
Road. Follow the trail for about a mile, then look for the fence at which
the trail does a big right hand switchback. Follow the trail, and plunge
down through the woods then onto to a rather intimidating section of widely
spaced steps. Keep going down these steps and rough trail until you arrive
at the bridge that takes you over Webb Creek in the Steep Ravine Canyon.
Go left after the bridge, and do the short climb up Insult Hill.
Stay left on the trail. At the top of this hill, you can see Stinson
Beach for the first time. The trail crosses a couple fire roads and
continues over open, rolling terrain toward the northwest and Stinson Beach.
You come out onto Panoramic Highway where you cross to the other side and
cut a diagonal toward Highway 1. Go right (north) on Highway 1 and get over
to the left side of the road.
Take the first left on Arenal Avenue, and follow it to the end where
there is a gate for the beach and a small snack bar on the left. This is the
Go back to Mill Valley the same way you came.