The Dipsea Race
(Mill Valley to Stinson Beach via Muir Woods)
The 110th running of the Dipsea — the resumption after the pandemic of 2020 — will be held on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at exactly 8:00 AM.
The Dipsea Race starts in downtown Mill Valley, running down Throckmorton and through Old Mill Park before they have to survive the 672 wooden steps that lead up from Mill Valley onto the slopes of Mt. Tamalpais and the Dipsea Trail. Just think of running up the stairs of a fifty-story building and you get the idea. They’ll pass through Muir Woods en route to the western slopes of the mountain and the descent into Stinson Beach.
Along the trail Dipsea Race runners will pass colorful places named “Windy Gap”, “Dynamite”, “Cardiac”, the “Swoop”, “Steep Ravine”, “Insult Hill” and “The Moors.” I have hiked the route rather than run it. In addition to consulting the Constitution’s ban on torture going up the Dipsea stairs it was a long and arduous trek. I tip my cap to the people who run it.
The Dipsea Race started in 1905, but we lost two years when the race was not run due to The Depression (1932-33) and four years due to World War II (1942-45), and we are now returning (barely) after the pandemic year of 2020.
If you zoom in tightly to the little bulls-eye on the map just below the Mill Valley trailhead below (and I mean zoom way in), you’ll see the spot where the Dipsea trail breaks away from city streets and you can then follow it all the way down to the Stinson Beach trailhead. It’s a long way, and the Dipsea Race competitors have already climbed hundres of steps to get to this starting point!!
Google would not trace the path of the trail on the map for me, so for contrast the blue line on the map is the driving route between the same two points, which takes a very different course between Mill Valley and Stinson Beach.