Best Coastal Trail: Dipsea Trail (Mill Valley to Stinson Beach, California)
Difficulty: Very Hard
The 7.4-mile Dipsea Trail is an open secret that starts in downtown Mill Valley, ascends no fewer than 676 steps, then zags before entering the redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument. Two famous climbs follow – Dynamite and Cardiac – before a steep descent to the ocean at Stinson Beach, for a total of 2,200 feet of vertical gained and lost. First-timers should swing by the Marin Running Company in San Anselmo to buy a map or connect with the Tamalpa Runners to find a club member willing to guide you.