A Visit to the Famous Dipsea Stairs

Climbing the 52-story 555 California building twice might seem like enough stairs for one weekend, but NOPE! It wasn’t. So, the day after the race, I went with my brother Steven and my sister-in-law Alexis to the Dipsea Stairs, a public stairway in Mill Valley, California. These were some long flights of stairs!


The Dipsea Stairs are well-known because they’re on the route of the annual Dipsea Race, the oldest trail race in the country – it’s happened every year since 1905. The Dipsea Race follows the Dipsea Trail, a gorgeous 7.4-mile trail that winds up and down hills, through redwood forests (including the famous Muir Woods), and ends at the beach on the Pacific Ocean. These stairs are on that trail.

RELATED CONTENT: Want to read about more famous stairs? Check out my posts on running stairs at the Hollywood Bowl and where they filmed a Laurel and Hardy movie!

The stairs are divided into three sections, and total about 680 steps. We parked near the bottom, near the intersection of Cascade Drive and Molino Avenue in Mill Valley. The Lower Dipsea Stairs has around 300 steps, and many of them had plaques to honor donors.


There were some concrete steps at the bottom, but most were wooden.


And at the very top, a couple dozen beautiful steps made of stone.


At the top, you follow the sign and head down the street a little ways, and there’s the Middle Dipsea Stairs. The first photo in this post is of those stairs. They go alongside a stunning grove of redwoods. There’s about 225 stairs.


Here’s Steven and I on the middle section:


The last chunk of stairs are the shortest, but they still have around 150 steps, so it doesn’t seem short. We got a selfie before starting this climb:


The stairs end near the intersection of Edgewood and Sequoia Valley Roads, but the Dipsea Trail continues. We decided to keep going on the trail to check it out further, and had a nice walk in the woods and along some residential streets. It was a little muddy – it was raining off and on – but it was a nice way to spend a Sunday morning. Our walk lasted 55 minutes, and we went 1.8 miles – and up and down 680 steps.

The next time I visit, Alexis and I want to do the entire Dipsea Trail – all 7.4 miles of it. Maybe Steven will join us too!

Keep it up, David!


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