Double Dipsea

I’ve always been a little intimidated by the Dipsea, what with it being the site of the oldest, continuously-running trail race in the country, not to mention having a reputation for being mercilessly hard. But mostly I was intimidated by the fact that it wasn’t a loop. So on my only other attempt, 7 years ago, I hiked a few miles in, taking pictures of flowers along the way, and then turned around and headed back to Mill Valley. At the time I’m not sure I was as acutely aware of my limits (in terms of miles-per-day-hike) as I am now.

So when I looked at the Dipsea Trail again two weeks ago and saw that it’s “only” 7.5 miles from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, I was a little surprised by my prior reticence. I’ve been looking to push the envelope beyond my recent 12-mile day hiking threshold, so a Double Dipsea seemed like just the ticket. I left Mill Valley at 10:30am and emerged on the beach at Stinson at 1pm. Exactly 3mph, just like clockwork. I sat down in the sand facing the waves and ate my lunch of beef jerky, marcona almonds, and mozzarella string cheese. Then I got up, turned around, and headed back from whence I came. I arrived at my car around 4:30pm, about 3 hours after leaving the beach. A little slower, a lot sorer.

Hiking the Dipsea from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach and back again

Hiking the Dipsea from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach and back again
Hiking the Dipsea from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach and back again

2 Comments

Wonderful, I’m glad you did this since I too have heard about the trail race and how hard it is.

Next time you’re here, we should hike it together. If we do a “double”, there’s a pretty nice restaurant at the “midpoint” in Stinson called Parkside which apparently serves up a mean burger.

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