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Best Trails in Marin Headlands State Park

120 reviews

#6 of 490 State Parks in California

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on Rodeo Beach Coastal Trail...
23 days ago

trail running

We did this trail for the first time when we did the Golden Gate Trail Run! Super challenging and beautiful! Looking forward to getting back there for a nice hike!

on Tennessee Valley Golden G...
29 days ago

Grab a partner in crime and conquer the entire loop with the greatest scenery. Good workout. Great views. We hiked it on a Sunday afternoon, so it wasn't too busy. 'Twas perfect

on Tennessee Valley Trail
1 month ago

Trailhead to Muir Beach via Fox (steep) to Coyote to Green Gulch ( beautiful and high, the path winds down to Zen garden (part of Marin Organic) and on to Muir. Coastal Trail back (10mi)

on Tennessee Valley Trail
1 month ago

hiking

A little uneventful

on Tennessee Valley Trail
1 month ago

walking

Get there early for parking. Nice beginner hike while offers other options for climbing.

on Rodeo Beach Coastal Trail...
1 month ago

hiking

Really nice for a shorter hike. I did this on a Saturday, so instead of just launching directly into the hike, I stopped by the Nike missile base (SF88) at 11:30 to do the guided tour first. Definitely recommend it. You do really need to be there at 11:30 though -- self-guided tours aren't permitted.

I did the hike clockwise, which has you starting at the Rodeo Beach parking lot at the end of Mitchell avenue, then heading northbound up the coastal trail. It's steep-ish towards the top, with some stairs, but the first part is mild switchbacks that take you by Battery Townsley for a nice ocean view. Near the top expect some decent wind and fog if it's that kind of day. My knees don't like steep downhill pounding, so I prefer doing the steep gradients uphill. If you'd like a more gentle climb and a gravity-assisted descent, definitely do this hike in the opposite direction.

From there, you continue on the coastal trail as it turns east toward hill 88 (the control site for the aforementioned Nike base). It's worth a quick side-trip to the site to have a look around. As is standard military nomenclature, "hill 88" refers to the height, in this case 880 feet -- the top of your climb on this route. If you do the hike clockwise, you'll hit 880' in a little over 1.5 miles.

After returning to the coastal trail from the Nike control site, you again head east until it turns into the wolf ridge trail (also called coyote ridge on some maps). At this intersection the coastal trail almost double-backs on itself, heading northwest down towards the Tennessee Valley. Keep heading east on the wolf ridge trail.

You'll intersect the Miwok trail and turn southbound. From this point on you'll be on the leeward side of hill 88, so the wind dies down and the temps creep up. It's a gentle, meandering up-and-down all the way back down to the Miwok trailhead and a short walk along Mitchell road westbound back to your starting point at the Rodeo Beach parking lot.

Lots of flora and fauna to ogle. Tons of wildflowers in bloom when I did this in early July. Also saw: bobcat, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk, a mule deer and tons of western fence lizards.

Very lightly traveled for a trail in the Bay Area on a Saturday. Only saw 3 others on the trail. A free trail map is available at the visitor's center on Bunker Road, along with some interpretive exhibits. Just follow the signs on your way in.

on Tennessee Loop
1 month ago

Great hike.

on Marin Headlands Trail
1 month ago

hiking

I started from the Coastal Trail, then the Bobcat Trail, and continued to the Rodeo Valley Trail for a total of 7.8 miles. While I was hiking fog was rolling in so it blocked the Sun and keep me cool all the way. It was a great afternoon hike.

on Gerbode Valley Loop
1 month ago

Just ran this loop today in about an hour. whoever suggested going counter-clockwise was correct - going clockwise will provide quite the leg burner as it is very steep. Great views, especially near the top looking north into the Marin waterfront.

on Rodeo Beach Coastal Trail...
1 month ago

amazing views, we went off trail and climbed in old bunkers. what an amazing piece of history!

on Tennessee Valley Golden G...
1 month ago

hiking

This is a great hike. However, I would give it a rating that is more than a moderate. There are several very steep and long hills that are a challenge even if you are in fantastic shape. The climb out of Pirate's Cove is a killer as is the initial climb at the beginning of the hike up the Fox trail. Worth the effort!

on Tennessee Valley Trail
1 month ago

Perfect with kids. Paved most of the way.

on Wolf Ridge Trail
1 month ago

hiking

Hiked the wolf ridge loop with my dog starting by Miwok. Beautiful views in the first half of the hike and treacherous downhills the second half. Overall it was a beautiful hike and I'd definitely do it again.

on Tennessee Valley Trail
2 months ago

nature trips

If you stay on the easy path, it's not much of a hike (which is totally ok!) but more of a nice, scenic stroll. The scenery is actually quite beautiful, and I went with a friend when it was a little foggy out. The huge rocks and cliffs were amazing to look at. Spills out right to the beach, then you just go back onto the trail.

on Tennessee Valley Golden G...
2 months ago

hiking

Good hike. You get really high up in elevation with some very nice views. The trail shown does not take you down to the beach which I highly recommend. It's a bit tricky to get down to it but it's worth it. I took a dip in the cold water.

on Gerbode Valley Loop
2 months ago

hiking

Go counter-clockwise to avoid starting on a killer uphill grade. Great views on top and very close to the GG bridge