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Pirates Cove Trail



1.5 mile 2.4 kilometer point to point
78% Runnable


Ascent: 468' 143 m
Descent: -307' -94 m
High: 570' 174 m
Low: 180' 55 m


Avg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)


No Dogs
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Trail shared by Phil DiGirolamo

Traveling along coastal chaparral doesn't get any better with views, crashing waves, soaring birds.

Phil DiGirolamo

Features Birding · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Runner Notes

This trail can't be beat for either the views or the challenge. The steep areas will give you the "burn".


Picture just you, the chaparral, the crashing waves, the sky, and a trail that runs along the rugged coast just south of Muir Beach. The Pirate's Cove Trail is probably what you've been imagining.

From the north, connect to this trail from a section of the Coastal Trail at Muir Beach. When you first get on the trail, stand perfectly still and see if you can take in the moan of the buoy that is just off shore. The spooky noise is unique to the area, and is worth a listen.

At the halfway point, you'll be at the cove. There is a little spur that takes you to the occasional beach. Time your trip accordingly, because if the tide is high and or the swell is big, there wont be a beach!

From the cove, the remaining trail becomes quite strenuous; the steps and terrain are steep. Many find that poles are a very good option going up or down this section. Once you reach the top you can opt to head north or south to regain the Coastal Trail.

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Jul 12, 2019
Laura Lynn Bean
Feb 2, 2019
Atsuko Ohtake

Trail Ratings

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in California


44 Views Last Month
3,645 Since Aug 31, 2015



View Down Pirates Cove
Nov 6, 2017 near Tamalpa…, CA
Great views on the Coastal Trail.
Apr 25, 2016 near Tamalpa…, CA
On an especially foggy day, you can see the fog rolling over the hills.
May 19, 2018 near Tamalpa…, CA
All your senses are in awe at the end of the Pirate's Cove Trail!
Feb 18, 2016 near Tamalpa…, CA
During certain times of the year, this rock is covered in birds.
Feb 18, 2016 near Tamalpa…, CA
Tennessee Valley
Jul 26, 2018 near Tamalpa…, CA


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