Rodeo Beach Coastal Trail Loop is a 4.9 mile loop trail located near Sausalito, CA that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.
The coastal Trail follow the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Great views for sunsets, remember a camera for this picturesque hike. Take the Coastal trail to the Miwok trail for unbelievable views of the Pacific Ocean and Rodeo Beach. Although steep, this hike is worth the effort.
It was pretty, with great views on a clear day but most of the trail was dirt road or along a road and it was very exposed to the sun. We did it on an unusually hot non-windy day so that may be why we didn't love it. A lot of the trail also is littered with old bunkers if you are into that but it takes away from the nature a bit.
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!
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.
amazing views, we went off trail and climbed in old bunkers. what an amazing piece of history!
Recommend to park at the visitor's center and hike this counterclockwise up Miwok Trail to Wolf Ridge Trail then back down the Coastal Trail. Miwok trail is a good warm up, mostly all gradual uphill about 900feet, then the Wolf Ridge trail is narrower mixed with flat, downhill, and some steep uphill sections but wonderful views of the hills. At the end of the wolf ridge trail you're rewarded with beautiful coastal views and as you continue down the coastal trail come across various military bunkers, views of SF, and some glimpses of the Golden Gate Bridge until you're back at sea level on a small beach. As you walk back to the parking lot on the south side of the lagoon there's even some shaded areas of vegetation to mix things up. A good rewarding 5 mile loop that gets your blood pumping but it by no means very difficult for the average person.
I really enjoy this trail in the mornings with my dog. Dogs are allowed off leash (under voice control) along the whole length. I try to walk this loop at least once a week, and it is well-used by bikers, hikers, and trail-runners.
Personally, I prefer to park at the visitor center and walk the loop counterclockwise. That way your ascent is on a nice steady grade for the most part, and the descent has wonderful bridge and ocean views. Finish by walking along Rodeo Beach (your dog will love this!) then loop back to the visitor center along the coastal trail on the south side of the lagoon. But please be careful that your dog does not enter the lagoon boundary, as there are sensitive birds and amphibians there.
Tip: make a detour to the top of Hill 88 for vistas and some urban archaeology!
Challenging climb to the top offset by a great stroll a hundred feet up along a mile of the coast. Once you get inland it's kinda boring but the trail is well maintained.
Good trail with a little bit of climbing - there us an option to do this trail, upto a point, on the street, while not super smooth, not a bad road bike road either. This park has some good road cycling in addition to hiking.
Fun! Easy bring something warm as winds can really pick up
Great hiking trail. every where you look has some great views of the city and the GGB.