Above: Muir Beach
Posted in Blogging Marin on Thursday, November 20, 2014 by MCVB Staff
The Marin Headlands are a perfect destination for hiking any time of year. In the fall and early winter, when the weather is moody and mixed, there's no better place to take in refreshing Pacific breezes, sweeping banks of fog and wide views of the ocean and Golden Gate.
Among the myriad choices for headlands hiking, the Coastal Trail offers some of the headlands best terrain and ocean vistas. Start from the parking lot at Muir Beach (a 20 minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge). Cross the boardwalk and go left on the Coastal Trail. Follow the signs to Pirate's Cove and start climbing. After about three-quarters of a mile, the trail crests and provides sweeping vista of southern Marin's jagged coastline. After a few hundred feet, go right and uphill at an unmarked intersection. A spur trail for Pirate's Cove, a pocket beach used as a staging area for bootleggers in the 1920s, is reached in just over a mile.
After visiting Pirates Cove (best at low tide), clamber up the wooden stairs and continue on the Coastal Trail. At the next intersection, turn left on Coastal Fire Road. In less than a mile, turn right on the Coyote Ridge Trail; then, after a few hundred feet, turn left down the Middle Green Gulch Trail with views of Mount Tamalpais. When you reach Green Gulch, veer left toward the ocean. After going through the second gate, turn left and follow the trail along a creek back to Muir Beach, a reinvigorating five-mile hike in all.
Winter hiking checklist:
Water (available at the Muir beach parking lot)
Hat and layers, especially a windbreaker or rain gear
Marin hiking guidebook
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