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Muir Beach Loop



5.8 mile 9.4 kilometer loop
85% Runnable


Ascent: 1,164' 355 m
Descent: -1,164' -355 m
High: 889' 271 m
Low: 14' 4 m


Avg Grade: 8% (4°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)


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Trail shared by Phil DiGirolamo

If you want to experience rugged California coast, this loop is perfect for you!

Phil DiGirolamo

Features Views · Wildflowers


From beach level to ridgetop and descend! As you make your way along this beautiful set of trails you'll be immersed in the rugged California Coast. From doubletrack to singletrack, flat to steep, you'll be experiencing all of the things that a great route should encompass.

Need to Know

You'll be crossing private land at the Green Gulch Organic Farm. Close the gates behind you to keep unwanted grazers out.

Runner Notes

This route is nearly 10k in length, and the hill make this a great strenuous route. Use caution on the steep sections. Pirates Cove Trail is very popular with runners because of its location along the coast.


Start this route from Muir Beach, at the well marked trailhead near the swimming beach. As you leave the parking lot, cross the bridge and head left. Once you come to the California Coastal Trail go right and head up the trail.

You'll climb steadily for almost a mile to meet up with the Pirates Cove Trail. This is one of the most magnificent single rack trails along the rugged coast. As you slowly descend down to Pirates Cove, making your way down toward the water, your peek into Pirates Cove will open up. The spur down to the beach is very steep and the beach is not always accessible because of the tide or the crashing waves. Use caution here! Oh my, what a steep climb back up to the ridge. There are plenty of stairs in this section, and they are not so evenly spaced.

Once at the intersection with the Coastal Trail, turn left and continue on past the Fox Trail. Turn right on to the Coyote Ridge Trail. A short way ahead and the Middle Green Gulch Trail will appear on your left. Take this trail to descend into the Green Gulch Organic Farm. Did you find the "Hope Cottage" tucked into the hillside?

If it is a clear day, your view to the north will extend across Highway 1 to include the Dias Ridge and Point Reyes. As you come up to the farm, be sure to close the gate behind you and leave no trace. If you have a carrot or apple, the horses there will be your new best friend. Once you leave the farm there is another gate to close. Your exit will put you right back where you started!

Notice that across the street sits the Pelican Inn, the oldest coastal inn in this part of California.

History & Background

The Green Gulch Organic Farm is a working farm with inservice programs. It is part of the Zen Retreat Center and is open to public visitors. Did you see the Hope Cottage tucked into the hill? At the Pelican Inn plan to have lunch or snack in the bar, restaurant or out on the lawn.

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Aug 18, 2019
Graeme Williams
Nice to in with the family — 1h 12m
Mar 4, 2019
Jay Lund
Feb 22, 2018
dry run. chilly and windy but oh so beautiful! a must. 5.6mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 27 votes


  4.3 from 27 votes
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in California


600 Views Last Month
35,788 Since Apr 5, 2016



View Down Pirates Cove
Nov 6, 2017 near Tamalpa…, CA
Muir Beach.
Apr 25, 2016 near Tamalpa…, CA
Great views on the Coastal Trail.
Apr 25, 2016 near Tamalpa…, CA
Trails above Tennessee Valley.
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


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