Hello Hikers! This is an epic Bay Area Hike, beginning from Old Mill Park in Mill Valley all the way out to Stinson Beach! Lovely scenery with lush, shaded forests, and beautiful views once you reach the Ocean. Hikers will have the option of doing a shorter, 7.4 mile hike, which is the single Dipsea Trail or a longer, 14.8 mile hike, which is referred to as the Double Dipsea (the Dipsea Trail plus the same in reverse to get back). Those who choose the shorter 7.4 mile hike can take a shuttle from Stinson Beach to get back to the cars near Old Mill Park. People actually do this as a trail running event in early June, but it is also a trail that hikers are fond of. I'll be doing the longer 14.8 mile hike, and you are welcome to do whichever option suits you best.
I am putting this up early so people can plan ahead. Also, there is significant elevation gain/loss and seriously steep stairs are part of this hike, so you will need to be in very good cardio shape to do it. In fact, there are over 600 stairs!! Some sources have said 676 while another I found says 688. No matter, that's a lot of stairs to climb! Climbing stairs wherever you are, doing hikes on a regular basis, walking on treadmills on inclines, cycling, and running are all great ways to prepare for this beautiful North Bay hike.
Ideally, we'll do the hike and have lunch together when we arrive to Stinson. We can take short breaks on the way if needed. After we eat at Stinson, those who want to leave can get the shuttle, and then those who want to do the Double Dipsea trail hike will hike back from Stinson to Old Mill Park. There are plenty of restaurants in the area, so afterwards, both groups can get a bite to eat as a group if people want to do that. If it is raining moderately or heavily that day then this hike will be rescheduled for the next weekend that is available. There are parts of this hike that can be dangerous in the rain, and safety, as well as fun, is a top priority. Hikers should bring the following:
-2 liters of water (highly recommended if you're doing the Double Dipsea; if you're doing the shorter single Dipsea you may be able to get by with 1 liter). Hydration bladder, Nalgene, platypus, whatever works best for you.
-Daypack (18L to 30L is a good size)
-Headlamp (it will be staying lighter out until later in the evening, but always a good idea to have)
-First aid kit with band-aids, gauze, tape, sports wrap for ankle/wrist injuries (I will have one on me, but it's always wise to bring your own first aid supplies)
-Lunch & snacks
-Layers (it may get cool in the forest areas & windy by the ocean. Weather varies often in the bay area). Softshell, light fleece, light down sweater over your tee shirt are good examples of upper layers. COTTON IS NOT RECOMMENDED.
- Lace-up Hiking boots OR trail running shoes & socks. Your footwear should have good, sturdy traction.
-Trekking poles (optional). Some people hate 'em, some people love 'em. I recommend bringing collapsible poles since they will be very helpful in certain sections, but totally unnecessary in others (i.e. the stairs), when you'll want to stash 'em in your pack.
-Personal medications (ibuprofen, salt pills, etc.)
If you are not dressed appropriately for the conditions and do not have adequate hydration or adequate footwear at minimum then you will not be able to do this hike with us.
Mileage: 7.4 single Dipsea Trail/14.8 Double Dipsea Trail
Elevation Gain: 2,056 single Dipsea Trail/4,112 Double Dipsea Trail
Difficulty: 6/10 Single Dipsea Trail, 8/10 Double Dipsea Trail
Hope to see you there!