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Visit Muir Beach, California

Updated on July 20, 2016

Muir Beach

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Located just two miles from Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach is a quaint cove, surrounded by stunning coastline and small beach cottages. It is a family friendly place, suitable for children, has easy access, and allows bonfires.

The Northern California Coastline can be rocky and full of intense currents. What makes Muir Beach one of the best Bay Area beaches, is its soft sand and relative protection. Due to its position within a cove, it is less likely to get heavy surf.

From the parking lot, take the bridge, across the nature preserve, to the short tails that leads to the beach.  If you turn left at the end of the bridge, you can hike the coastal trail through the Marin Headlands.
From the parking lot, take the bridge, across the nature preserve, to the short tails that leads to the beach. If you turn left at the end of the bridge, you can hike the coastal trail through the Marin Headlands. | Source

Access

Muir Beach is located at 199 Pacific Way, Muir Beach, CA 94965. If you go North on Highway 1 from Sausalito, you wind down a steep hill into a small valley. Turn left on Pacific Way, and the Muir beach parking lot is 0.2 miles on the left.

Parking in the Muir Beach parking lot is free and restrooms are available. At the end of the parking lot, there is a 450 ft long bridge and a couple hundred foot long path to the beach. It is flat and well marked with signs.

The area under the bridge is being protected from human traffic and being restored back to a natural habitat for the endangered coho salmon, steelhead trout, and California red-legged frogs.

According to the National Park Service, "the Redwood Creek watershed is one of the 25 global biodiversity "hot spots" recognized by the Nature Conservancy and targeted by the global conservation community as key to preserving the world's ecosystems."

The beach is open to the public from 9 am to one hour after sunset. Dogs are welcome.

The Hills Behind Muir Beach Offer Excellent Hiking

A very peaceful setting.
A very peaceful setting. | Source

Safety Tips

1. Just like all California beaches, be careful of rip currents and undertows. There are No Lifeguards on Duty. Don't swim alone. Common sense would suggest doing as the locals do. Be mindful of your own abilities.

2. Although the beach is full of families enjoying themselves, the north end of the beach, past the rocks, has a reputation for being clothing optional.

3. The hikes up the cliffs are often unguarded. Be careful of unstable ground and don't go too close to the edge.

Activities

Muir Beach is a popular surf and boogie boarding spot. Often, you'll find surfers out until the sun goes down ripping it up, and trying to get in one last ride.

Muir Beach allows bonfires and you will find families picnicking, roasting marshmallows, and telling stories around the campfire.

A salmon filled creek makes its way to the ocean, creating a generally knee to ankle deep playground for children. It's a great place to look for wildlife and get wet, without worrying about the local shark population.

Muir Beach is surrounded by miles of trails, leading to other beaches and stunning lookouts. For a quick hike, take the trail on the south side of the beach up the hill. It is several hundred feet of elevation gain and only a fraction of a mile. Up at the top, you can see the Farallon Islands, the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge, and miles of rugged coastline, making it well worth the effort.

The Trail Above Muir Beach

The trail is an adventure itself.  For an easier route, take the fire road up the hill.
The trail is an adventure itself. For an easier route, take the fire road up the hill. | Source

Just Sit Awhile

While sitting on Nature's bench, you can watch the ships come into the San Francisco Bay from China.
While sitting on Nature's bench, you can watch the ships come into the San Francisco Bay from China. | Source

A View from the Top

The view is worth the climb.
The view is worth the climb. | Source

Muir Beach, California

A markermuir beach -
Muir Beach, CA, USA
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Muir Beach Overlook

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Local Attractions

Muir Beach Overlook: Used in World War II to spot enemy ships, the overlook is now a major tourist attraction on Highway 1. A few of the military stations remain in ruins. It is 0.5 miles north of Muir Beach. Complete with guard rails, follow the stairs out to the end of the point for a fantastic view of Muir Beach and the California coastline.

The Pelican Inn: A famous restaurant and inn with the simple and quaint decadence of the English countryside.

Muir Wood National Monument: Named after John Muir, Muir Woods is a little slice of Heaven, only minutes from San Francisco. The main pathway through the park weaves back and forth across a small creek, shaded by giant Redwood trees. It's a great place to escape a hot summer day. It is wheelchair accessible and has all of the amenities you'd expect from a National Monument.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I've been there, but of course I am a huge fan of John Muir so it would figure that this would be a stopover for me. :) Loved the pictures; thanks for the memories.

    • Availiasvision profile image
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      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      It really is a magical spot. I'd like to do more Hubs on John Muir and his influence on the Bay Area. I live walking distance to his house, so I've got tons of resources. Thanks for being my trusty first reader.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 3 years ago from North Texas

      Beautiful pictures and very informative article. Great for helping people who are starting to plan their summer vacations. Voted up and useful!

    • Availiasvision profile image
      Author

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      Thank you Au fait. I get a lot of joy from seeing others plan their own adventures.

    • Edward J. Palumbo profile image

      Ed Palumbo 3 years ago from Tualatin, OR

      Great job, and very well photo supported! I have never visited this beach, but it deserves more attention. Enjoyed this Hub!

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