The Dipsea Trail is a popular trail in Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais State Park, just one hour north of San Francisco. This 7 mile trail goes from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, meandering through lush forest and up to sweeping views. There are many ways to cut through other nearby trails to create a nice day hike away from the city.
Trailhead: Dipsea Trail near Stinson Beach, CA
On this day, we decided to start at Dipsea Trail near Stinson Beach. There is a nice parking area at the intersection of Panoramic Highway and Highway 1. From there, we ascended up the Dipsea trail with nice views of the ocean. Soon we turned in to a more dense forest that was covered in classic San Francisco fog.
We decided to head to Pattoll Campground and make a loop from there. 2 hours after we had left the Dipsea trailhead we arrived. We stopped for a quick water and bathroom break before heading to the Old Mine Trail. There we found a nice lunch spot and was lucky enough to have a few minutes of sun before the fog set in again. We took the Steep Ravine trail down which cuts back to Highway 1 and then took the road back to the our car. On our way down, we came across a fun ladder section of the trail!
Overall the Dipsea Trail is a nice day hike to escape from the city. It's a close enough drive and has some elevation to make it feel like a more intense hike. The views can be great if it's a clear day. I personally enjoy fog and enjoy that misty forest feel of SF.