Course Information

The Headlands 50K course is incredibly beautiful, running through redwood rain forests, along coastal bluffs, ridges, and wild flowers. The course consists of a mix of single track & fire road.

Elevation Profile - Total elevation change approximately 7,300

Aid Stations with Cutoffs

Aid StationDistance
(in miles)
to next aid
(in miles)
Elev gain
to next aid
(in feet)
Elev loss
to next aid
(in feet)
DurationTime of day
Santos Meadow (Start)0.08.31,6901,710n/a
Rodeo Beach8.33.2620430None
Tennessee Valley - East11.53.39405004:00hrs11:30am
Highway 1*14.84.71,3406405:00hrs12:30pm
Cardiac Hill19.54.67302,0206:30hrs2:00pm
Stinson Beach24.13.61,5903008:00hrs3:30pm
Cardiac Hill27.73.8801,3809:15hrs4:45pm
Santos Meadow (Finish)31.510:00hrs5:30pm

* Water Only at Highway 1 Aid Station.

Course Description

Distances Measured with Garmin 310XT, subject to variation between other runners and forms of measurement. Hundredths of a mile provided only to give relative distance between way points.

0.00Santos Meadow Start, between two vertical poles, southeast side of horse corral next to Muir Beach Volunteer Fire Department Event Facility. Run east across Santos Meadow, bearing right toward entry gate.
0.15Exit Santos Meadow at entry gate, and turn right onto Muir Woods Road, cross road and run on left side, and continue west on road for 0.2 M.
0.35Turn left off Muir Woods Road at trail sign post, toward Redwood Creek Trail, and after several switchbacks turn right on Redwood Creek Trail, heading west toward Muir Beach and Highway 1.
1.05End of Redwood Creek Trail, turn left onto Muir Woods Road heading west, stay on left side of road as Muir Woods Road ends and intersects Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway), cross Highway 1 bearing left and run on right side of Highway 1 South heading towards Muir Beach.
1.3Turn right on Pacific Way (paved) toward Muir Beach, the Pelican Inn in on the corner. Almost immediately turn left onto Muir Beach Trail towards Middle Green Gulch and Coastal Trails.
1.5Bear right, cross small bridge over small creek, and continue straight past the gate to Middle Green Gulch Trail on the left.
1.8Turn left (uphill) on Coastal Trail (fire road) towards Pirates Cove, Tennessee Valley, and Rodeo Beach.
2.3Stay straight and continue on Coastal Trail (single track trail) towards Pirates Cove. Coastal Fire Road bends left.
3.4Following descent to Pirate Cove turn left (uphill) continuing on Coastal Trail.
3.8Leave single track trail, head straight, then downhill, merging onto Coastal Trail (Fire Road). Coastal Fire Road comes in from left. Descend to Tennessee Valley.
4.45Turn left onto Tennessee Valley Trail (Fire Road).
4.5Turn right off Tennessee Valley Trail (Fire Road) onto Coastal Trail (single track trail).
4.6Cross Tennessee Valley Trail (single track), and continue on Coastal Trail, toward Wolf Ridge and Rodeo Beach.
5.8Top of Wolf Ridge, turn right on paved path toward Rodeo Beach.
5.9Turn right off pavement onto single track trail (route leaves Coastal Trail), and follow along the ridgeline past foundations from fortifications.
6.2Follow trail downhill to right off ridgeline.
6.25Trail becomes width of fire road, with fortification foundations above to the left.
6.35Turn right and slightly uphill onto Coastal Trail (route rejoins Coastal Trail). Do not go downhill to the fence & pavement, which is Coastal Trail, but in the wrong direction.
6.42Turn left down stairs (Coastal Trail).
6.50Turn right onto pavement (Coastal Trail).
6.52Turn left on trail (Coastal Trail).
6.60Stone Steps (now mostly wood) with metal railings.
6.78Left onto pavement (Coastal Trail).
6.80Right on pavement (Coastal Trail).
7.20Right off pavement onto Coastal Trail (Hikers Route).
7.44Right onto pavement, and proceed through/around gate, and continue straight to Rodeo Beach parking lot and bathrooms.
7.6Cross to right (south) side of Bunker Road, and continue east along dirt path.
8.25Bear left on trail, and cross over Bunker Road, past the corner of Building T1111.
8.3Rodeo Beach Aid Station.
8.3Bear right through/around gate and onto Miwok Trail (fire road).
8.6Stay left on Miwok Trail (fire road).
8.75Continue straight on Miwok Trail (fire road), where Bobcat Trail turns right.
9.9Continue straight on Miwok Trail (fire road).
10.2Turn left on Old Springs Trail toward Tennessee Valley.
11.4At Miwok Stables turn left onto Miwok Trail (fire road), and head towards Tennessee Valley parking lot.
11.5Tennessee Valley Aid Station
11.55Turn right on Tennessee Valley Road, and then almost immediately left on Miwok Trail (single track), toward Coyote Ridge and Highway 1.
12.5Turn left staying on Miwok Trail (fire road) at intersection with County View Road (fire road).
12.5Almost immediately head straight onto Miwok Cutoff Trail. Miwok Trail (fire road) bears right.
12.9Cross small single track trail and turn left on Miwok Trail (fire road).
13.2Bear right on Miwok Trail (fire road). Coyote Ridge Trail goes straight and uphill.
14.7Approaching Highway 1, stay left on the single track trail, parallel to Highway 1, keeping wooden posts on your right.
14.8Cross Highway 1 to Highway 1 Aid Station.
14.8Continue on Miwok trail (single track) toward Dias Ridge.
15.15Bear left on Dias Ridge Trail.
15.25Turn right on Miwok Trail (single track). Dias Ridge Trail continues straight.
16.9Turn right on Redwood Creek Trail at "T" intersection (Miwok Trail ends).
17.0Cross small bridge, don't take horse trail into and back out of creek.
17.2Cross Muir Woods Road, go through/around the gate, and head up Deer Park Fire Road.
17.7Intersection with Dipsea Trail. Deer Park Fire Road bends left and uphill. Transition onto Dipsea Trail (on right). Over the next 2 miles the Deer Park Fire Road and Dipsea Trail cross each other multiple times. Stay on the Dipsea Trail (single track) where available.
19.2Bear slightly left on Dipsea Trail (Ben Johnson Trail goes right).
19.25Turn left on Deer Park Fire Road.
19.3Turn right and uphill on Dipsea Trail (single track).
19.4Bear slightly left up Dipsea Trail (Stapeveldt Trail turns right).
19.5Cardiac Hill (Dipsea Trail) Aid Station
19.5Turn right on Coastal Fire Road, uphill toward Pantoll Ranger Station.
19.6After 100 yds turn right onto Old Mine Trail toward Pantoll Ranger Station.
20.1End of Old Mine Trail, turn right on paved road, toward Pantoll Ranger Station.
20.15Veer left across parking lot towards small fight of steps up to Panoramic Highway (step by blue Ridge Trail sign).
20.20Cross Panoramic Highway, and bear left uphill on Matt Davis Trail, toward Coastal Trail and Stinson Beach.
20.22Bear left on Matt Davis Trail (single track).
21.5In an open grassy area cross small single track trail as Matt Davis Trail turns right (north) toward Coastal Trail.
21.8At a "Y", bear left on the lower trail, Matt Davis Trail to Stinson Beach.
22.2Matt Davis trail turns right and enters the woods.
23.0Stay on Matt Davis Trail as it makes a hard right, as smaller trail veers left.
23.3Pass Table Rock Trail on right. Cross bridges at 23.5 M and 23.8 M.
23.8Turn left on Matt Davis Trail and immediately cross a bridge.
23.9Stay straight on Matt Davis Trail (smaller trail to left).
24.05Cross Bridge and turn left on Belvedere Avenue (paved).
24.1Stinson Beach Aid Station (by Community Center & Fire Station)
24.1Turn left on Shoreline Highway (Highway 1).
24.2Turn left off Shoreline Highway, and up steps onto Dipsea Trail (single track).
24.35Cross Panoramic Highway, and continue on Dipsea Trail toward Mill Valley.
25.15Cross fire road, and stay on Dipsea Trail.
25.3Cross fire road, and stay on Dipsea Trail.
25.4Stay on Dipsea Trail (smaller trail comes in from right).
25.5Continue straight on Steep Ravine Trail towards The Ladder and Pantoll Ranger Station. Do not cross bridge on right (Dipsea Trail).
26.3Ascend ladder.
27.1With picnic tables and parking lot on left, continue on the trail up to the paved Pantoll Ranger Residence & Maintenance Yard access road and turn right. Run a very short distance (25-50 yds) on the paved road and turn left onto Old Mine Trail (same trail as outbound route).
27.6Exit Old Mine Trail, and turn left (downhill) on Coastal Fire Road, 100 yds to Cardiac Hill Aid Station.
27.7Cardiac Hill Aid Station
27.8Stay straight onto Coastal View Trail toward Muir Beach and Highway 1, as Deer Park Fire Road veers left.
30.2Turn left on Heather Cutoff Trail.
31.4Exit Heather Cutoff Trail, and bear right, keeping corral on your right.
31.5Finish (through two vertical poles)