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.

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
Rodeo Beach 0 3.2 620 430 0:00hrs 7:30 AM
Tennessee Valley - East 3.2 3.3 940 500 1:00hrs 8:30 AM
Highway 1* 6.5 4.7 1,340 640 2:00hrs 9:30 AM
Cardiac Hill 11.2 4.6 730 2,020 3:30hrs 11:00 AM
Stinson Beach 15.8 3.6 1,590 300 5:00hrs 12:30 PM
Cardiac Hill 19.4 3.8 80 1,380 6:15hrs 1:45 PM
Santos Meadow 23.2 4.0 800 800 7:30hrs 3:00 PM
Tennessee Valley - West 27.2 3.9 890 910 8:45hrs 4:15 PM
Rodeo Beach (Finish) 31.5       10:00hrs 5:30 PM

* 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 Rodeo Beach Start at the beach opposite from the parking lots. From the Start, follow the beach toward the trailhead at the South side of the beach.
0.3 Keep left on that trail and turn left going down the steps toward Bunker Road. Turn left and follow Bunker Road to the pedestrian crosswalk where you turn right to cross Bunker Road, past the corner of Building T1111.
0.9 Bear right through/around gate and onto Miwok Trail (fire road).
1.2 Stay left on Miwok Trail (fire road).
1.35 Continue straight on Miwok Trail (fire road), where Bobcat Trail turns right.
2.5 Continue straight on Miwok Trail (fire road).
2.8 Turn left on Old Springs Trail toward Tennessee Valley.
4 At Miwok Stables turn left onto Miwok Trail (fire road), and head towards Tennessee Valley parking lot.
4.1 Tennessee Valley Aid Station
4.15 Turn right on Tennessee Valley Road, and then almost immediately left on Miwok Trail (single track), toward Coyote Ridge and Highway 1.
5.1 Turn left staying on Miwok Trail (fire road) at intersection with County View Road (fire road).
5.1 Almost immediately head straight onto Miwok Cutoff Trail. Miwok Trail (fire road) bears right.
5.5 Cross small single track trail and turn left on Miwok Trail (fire road).
5.8 Bear right on Miwok Trail (fire road). Coyote Ridge Trail goes straight and uphill.
7.3 Approaching Highway 1, stay left on the single track trail, parallel to Highway 1, keeping wooden posts on your right.
7.4 Cross Highway 1 to Highway 1 Aid Station.
7.4 Continue on Miwok trail (single track) toward Dias Ridge.
7.75 Bear left on Dias Ridge Trail.
7.85 Turn right on Miwok Trail (single track). Dias Ridge Trail continues straight.
9.5 Turn right on Redwood Creek Trail at "T" intersection (Miwok Trail ends).
9.6 Cross small bridge, don't take horse trail into and back out of creek.
9.8 Cross Muir Woods Road, go through/around the gate, and head up Deer Park Fire Road.
10.3 Intersection 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.
11.8 Bear slightly left on Dipsea Trail (Ben Johnson Trail goes right).
11.85 Turn left on Deer Park Fire Road.
11.9 Turn right and uphill on Dipsea Trail (single track).
12 Bear slightly left up Dipsea Trail (Stapeveldt Trail turns right).
12.1 Cardiac Hill (Dipsea Trail) Aid Station
12.1 Turn right on Coastal Fire Road, uphill toward Pantoll Ranger Station.
12.2 After 100 yds turn right onto Old Mine Trail toward Pantoll Ranger Station.
12.7 End of Old Mine Trail, turn right on paved road, toward Pantoll Ranger Station.
12.75 Veer left across parking lot towards small fight of steps up to Panoramic Highway (step by blue Ridge Trail sign).
12.8 Cross Panoramic Highway, and bear left uphill on Matt Davis Trail, toward Coastal Trail and Stinson Beach.
12.82 Bear left on Matt Davis Trail (single track).
14.1 In an open grassy area cross small single track trail as Matt Davis Trail turns right (north) toward Coastal Trail.
14.4 At a "Y", bear left on the lower trail, Matt Davis Trail to Stinson Beach.
14.8 Matt Davis trail turns right and enters the woods.
15.6 Stay on Matt Davis Trail as it makes a hard right, as smaller trail veers left.
15.9 Pass Table Rock Trail on right. Cross bridges at 16.1 M and 16.4 M.
16.4 Turn left on Matt Davis Trail and immediately cross a bridge.
16.5 Stay straight on Matt Davis Trail (smaller trail to left).
16.65 Cross Bridge and turn left on Belvedere Avenue (paved).
16.7 Stinson Beach Aid Station (by Community Center & Fire Station)
16.7 Turn left on Shoreline Highway (Highway 1).
16.8 Turn left off Shoreline Highway, and up steps onto Dipsea Trail (single track).
16.95 Cross Panoramic Highway, and continue on Dipsea Trail toward Mill Valley.
17.75 Cross fire road, and stay on Dipsea Trail.
17.9 Cross fire road, and stay on Dipsea Trail.
18 Stay on Dipsea Trail (smaller trail comes in from right).
18.1 Continue straight on Steep Ravine Trail towards The Ladder and Pantoll Ranger Station. Do not cross bridge on right (Dipsea Trail).
18.9 Ascend ladder.
19.7 With 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).
20.2 Exit Old Mine Trail, and turn left (downhill) on Coastal Fire Road, 100 yds to Cardiac Hill Aid Station.
20.3 Cardiac Hill Aid Station
20.4 Stay straight onto Coastal View Trail toward Muir Beach and Highway 1, as Deer Park Fire Road veers left.
22.8 Turn left on Heather Cutoff Trail.
24 Exit Heather Cutoff Trail, and bear right around the horse corral toward the picnic area. Take the bridge across the creek and turn left going uphill to where you cross the Muir Woods Road onto the trail.
24.35 Go uphill toward Redwood Creek Trail, and after several switchbacks turn right on Redwood Creek Trail, heading west toward Muir Beach and Highway 1.
25.05 End 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.
25.3 Turn 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.
25.5 Bear right, cross small bridge over small creek, and continue straight past the gate to Middle Green Gulch Trail on the left.
25.8 Turn left (uphill) on Coastal Trail (fire road) towards Pirates Cove, Tennessee Valley, and Rodeo Beach.
26.3 Stay straight and continue on Coastal Trail (single track trail) towards Pirates Cove. Coastal Fire Road bends left.
27.4 Following descent to Pirate Cove turn left (uphill) continuing on Coastal Trail.
27.8 Leave single track trail, head straight, then downhill, merging onto Coastal Trail (Fire Road). Coastal Fire Road comes in from left. Descend to Tennessee Valley.
28.45 Turn left onto Tennessee Valley Trail (Fire Road).
28.5 Turn right off Tennessee Valley Trail (Fire Road) onto Coastal Trail (single track trail).
28.6 Cross Tennessee Valley Trail (single track), and continue on Coastal Trail, toward Wolf Ridge and Rodeo Beach.
29.8 Top of Wolf Ridge, turn right on paved path toward Rodeo Beach.
29.9 Turn right off pavement onto single track trail (route leaves Coastal Trail), and follow along the ridgeline past foundations from fortifications.
30.2 Follow trail downhill to right off ridgeline.
30.25 Trail becomes width of fire road, with fortification foundations above to the left.
30.35 Turn 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.
30.42 Turn left down stairs (Coastal Trail).
30.5 Turn right onto pavement (Coastal Trail).
30.52 Turn left on trail (Coastal Trail).
30.6 Stone Steps (now mostly wood) with metal railings.
30.78 Left onto pavement (Coastal Trail).
30.8 Right on pavement (Coastal Trail).
31.2 Right off pavement onto Coastal Trail (Hikers Route).
31.44 Right onto pavement, and proceed through/around gate, and continue straight to Rodeo Beach parking lot and bathrooms.
31.5 Turn left at the bathrooms and head for the Rodeo Beach Finish.