The more than 100 year old June race over this route has planted elegant stone markers along the way.
In reality, there is no fixed course; in the race, runners choose whatever short cuts get them over the hills most rapidly, at some risk to life and limb. I stick to the most conventional version of the trail. This marker is near the parking lot at Muir Woods National Monument.
Mile 3 is about half way up the long rise that's known as Cardiac Hill.
And Mile 4 is just about at the top.
One website describing the trail warns:
I agree, but getting lost in the section around Mile 5 is not likely to be a problem, unless perhaps there's a thick ocean fog coming in.
On the way to Mile 6, you come down what I find the trail's most difficult section, the slippery wooden steps on the way to the Steep Ravine (that's actually the name of the other trail that goes up along a creek from where the Dipsea crosses a bridge.)
At Mile 7 you are home-free, just outside the town of Stinson Beach -- except there's no way back to your car in Mill Valley except to run up all those hills you just came down ...