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South Headlands Loop (Coast-Miwok-Alta)

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7.8 Miles 12.6 Kilometers


89%

Runnable

1,243' 379 m

Ascent

-1,239' -378 m

Descent

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

25%

Max Grade (14°)

1,026' 313 m

High

45' 14 m

Low

Shared By Ariel Zucker

Conditions


Unknown

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Steep hills but level terrain take you through coastal scrub to views from the ridge.

Ariel Zucker

Dogs Unknown

Features Spring · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

From the ocean to the Golden Gate, the Marin Headlands are full of views. Runners will start with a fantastic views and a gentle descent toward the ocean on the Coastal Trail, then turn to a laborious climb up Miwok Trail to rewarding views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is an extremely accessible run from San Francisco.

Need to Know

The Coastal Trail Parking Area has a decent outhouse.

Runner Notes

The run primarily follows fire-roads, so the footing is good. Cyclists love the loop as well, but are extremely gracious.

Description

This is an extremely accessible run from San Francisco. From the west end Coastal Trail Parking Area, take the Coastal Trail downhill. This wide trail winds into Rodeo Valley with views of the ocean ahead. When you reach Bunker Road, briefly run along it until you reach the crosswalk. Cross the road at the crosswalk and take the bridge to the junction with the Rodeo Valley Trail. Turn left at the junction to take the Rodeo Valley Trail toward the Miwok Trail, following the signs.

This is where it gets fun: Miwok winds steeply up to the ridge with little respite. Since you'll probably be going pretty slowly, keep an eye out for hawks, coyotes, bobcats, and other wildlife. Stay right at the junction with the Miwok Trail Connector, which will bring you onto the Bobcat Trail. Follow the grassy Bobcat Trail to the connector to the Alta Trail on your left, and then turn onto Alta Trail in order to stay on the ridge.

The ups and downs of the Alta Trail end at the crossing with Wolfback Ridge Road. Cross the road to the trailhead for both the SCA Trail and Upper Rodeo Trail, and turn left onto the SCA Trail. At this point, the trail is mostly downhill. Continue on SCA Trail to the junction with the Coastal Trail, and then take a final descent on the Coastal Trail back to the parking area.

Flora & Fauna

Coyotes, deer, bobcats, hawks.

Contacts

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Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 1 vote

#2596

Overall
  4.0 from 1 vote
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Rankings

#417

in California

#2,596

Overall
231 Views Last Month
523 Since Dec 10, 2018
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