Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop
The Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop beckons the exploration of adventurers seeking a coastal day hike near San Francisco. Meander atop the fog-shrouded headlands and revel in the beauty of the coastal environment. This wonderful hike is a must-add to your Bay Area itinerary.
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Route Description for Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop
The Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop is an incredibly beautiful adventure. The exposed headlands offer epic vistas but also warrant unbearably hot conditions—so we encourage you to head out in the early morning to beat the heat and the crowds! Pack plenty of water, and wear sun protection and SPF to avoid over-exposure. Additionally, this coastal route boasts windy and foggy conditions, so dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions. Finally, note the Green Gulch Trail is not dog-friendly, so those with pups will have to transform this hike into an out-and-back adventure.
Exhibiting the area’s diversity of flora and fauna while offering epic maritime panoramas, the Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop packs a punch. Immerse yourself in a sea of vibrant wildflowers and revel in the beauty of the dramatic coastline along this route. Pack a picnic and treat yourself to lunch on the pristine, secluded shoreline of Tennessee Beach. Though this route can be incredibly hot, Muir Beach provides the perfect opportunity to cool off after your tiring hike! Finally, don’t forget to charge your camera; this trail boasts countless photo opportunities! We love this hike if you can’t already tell, and we know you will too.
Setting out from the Coastal Trailhead, the Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop follows the Coastal Trail southeast to an intersection. Here, veer left onto the Middle Green Gulch Trail, which wanders north, to Green Gulch Farm. Explore Zen practice center. Enjoy the serenity of this route and keep right at the next junction—ascending a set of switchbacks. Now traveling eastwardly, you will be guided along a scenic trail bound by lush vegetation. Turn right onto the Coyote Ridge Trail at the following juncture and left onto the Fox Trail at the next.
Enjoy the scene of the surrounding wildflowers, and you wander down into Tennessee Valley. At the end of the route, veer right onto the Tennessee Valley Trail, heading southwest through the lush canyon. Follow this path, connecting onto the Lower Tennessee Valley Trail and hiking all the way down to Tennessee Beach. Explore the pristine beach at your leisure, and revel in the beauty of the surging surf and bounding headlands. After enjoying the postcard perfect scenery, retrace your footing back up the Tennessee Valley Trail and Lower Tennessee Valley Trail back to the junction. Here, turn left onto the Coastal Trail.
Follow the Coastal Trail northwest, back up to the top of the coastal headlands. Meandering along the undulating cliffside, you will be granted inspiring vistas of the dramatic coastline and the impressive outcrops that adorn the water. You may even notice whales or dolphins as you hike if you are lucky. Eventually, the path will plunge down to Pirate’s Cove—another charming beach nestled amongst the looming cliffs. Explore the beach, then continue your walk along the Coastal Trail. Follow this route all the way back to the trailhead at Muir’s beach, marking the end of your adventure. If time and weather permit, take a swim here!
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop?
The Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop is a 14.6 km hike in the Bay Area.
Can you explore Muir Beach?
Yes, Muir Beach is a local favorite—offering wonderful swimming and lounging opportunities.
Insider Hints for Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop
- Be mindful of your footing on the steep terrain down the headlands
- Most of the route is exposed—wear SPF and sun protection
- Pack a lunch and have a picnic on Tennessee Beach
- Charge your camera, the scenery along this route is picture perfect
- If you have a pup you will have to make this route an out-and-back adventure
- The trail is extremely muddy after a rainfall—so don’t wear your new white runners
Getting to the Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop Trailhead
The Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop departs from the Coastal Trailhead off the Pacific Way.
Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop Elevation Graph
Weather ForecastCheck Area Weather
Muir Beach and Tennessee Beach Loop Reviews
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