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One of the best hikes I’ve done in Mt Tam. You will go though many different types of forest and nature. The lake is really beautiful about halfway through.

We took a couple of detours and made it closer to a 12 mike hike in about 4 hours.

Highly recommend.

Took about 3 hours. Beginning portion on Dipsea trail is all in the sun and uphill. Once Ben Johnson starts it’s all downhill and shade.

They are not kidding about this being a hard trail. I measured almost 9.5 miles. It took me a solid 3.5 hours with no breaks. I ran about a mile of it. Lots of steep stairs and inclines. Helen Markt Trail was a killer. I felt like it wasn’t going to end. This is definitely a tough one even for the seasoned hiker! Lots of beautiful scenery and wildlife: Bring lots of water and snacks.

One of my favorite hikes! Really nice views if you hit it on a non-foggy day, but the eucalyptus groves in thick fog are just as pretty. Challenging enough to feel like a workout but not too tough. Nice choice for dog walking too.

Honest review by a hiking newbie family of three, with the kid being a 7 yr old girl. We did the trail in reverse with the intention that we might attempt the Dipsea depending on how the kid was doing. Had a parking reservation at 8am and snagged a parking spot very close to the Dipsea trail marker. Trail was very doable for us, but quite warm (full sun on ridge -- end of June). Lots of solitude (maybe encountered 5 hikers), distant ocean views, meadow and forest trails, and tons of butterflies. Kid had heel complaint so we went Stapelveldt (steep desent switchbacks) to Ben Johnson (busy trail, terrain is filled with roots that trips up heavy tired feet, steep in parts, log crossings) to Hillside to Main Muir Woods trail which completes the loop. Before taking this on, we already bought the $1 trail map in Muir Woods.

Beautiful trail with lots of different kinds of terrain. Pretty lake area and views of mt tam. Didn’t see any other people on the trail.

Nice variety, lots of scenic vistas. There are lots of parking lots along the trail, so there are constantly a lot of people doing shorter hikes and carrying things to the beach. At times it was one step away from waiting in line to pass the steep parts. A lot of the hikers were unprepared for steep sandy slopes so dealing with people half-falling down the downhills was also a negative for me.

A little too steep for me sometimes but overall really beautiful hike with amazing views, sun & shade and little food/horse traffic during the week!

Wide trail; no part was too difficult. Saw a gopher snake. Good views, and lightly traveled.

Good trail. Soil and rocky. If you use poles the rocky parts are difficult to get a grip but it’s a good work out and is clearly marked. I’m more partial to narrow trails but you get good views of the San Pablo and Briones Reservoirs and the Bay.

Definitely a hike to go on if you want some sunshine, some shade, a nice trail with mild inclines and water (reservoir) to see along the way. Not sure why this was rated as “hard”. We’d give it a moderate. You can hike as far as you want, and then go back the same way, tailoring the hike to the length of time you desire. We didn’t do the full hike around the reservoir due to time constraints. Bring water and WATCH OUT for poison oak along the sides of trail.

Beautiful views and an easy loop with a couple side trails. Definitely moderate. Nice picnic table with a swirl of rocks to have a snack on, but it is windy and chilly in the morning, so bring a jacket!

The trail starts off with half a mile of the scenic redwoods. They are as beautiful and poised as they come. Soon after the scenic trail, going towards Ben Johnson, the trail becomes an elevated climb and is progressively becomes steeper until about a mile from summit where it is the steepest. but don't stop until you reach the summit since the view is awesome with lofty terrain around and a view of the bay if there's no fog. also you can top off your potable water at the summit. then turning back towards dip see trail is all downhill and equally enjoyable.

It’s a beautiful hike. Not too crowded. A little tougher than I expected. The sign says allow 3 hours but we did in just under 2 with lots of photo ops.

Wonderful trail with lots of shade. Went with my girlfriends and her 2 friends on a Sunday afternoon in mid-August. We hit the fog in the scenic spots, which was a slight shame. Fun hike nonetheless.

Great trail, we didn’t know what to expect. We actually started from Tennessee Trails, stopped by Pirates Cove, went to Muir Beach and then returned. That “small” hill going back was a beater for my boyfriend and I, but well worth it!

Did counterclockwise. Highlight is the alpine lake. Pristine and not even a single soul nearby as I hiked this in the evening. I had a constant fear of mountain lion as there is a sign which said "avoid hiking alone". Nevertheless, found lot of people near cataract falls. Moderate hike.

Great trail, long but not too hard for us, we went anti-clockwise.There is not too much water at the fall but the lake is nice to have a meal break. There are several restrooms at picnic area along on the trail. We started at 9 am and completed at 1:30 pm. Dog, Cat, Crocodile friendly, not so much bugs or mosquitoes. Go early and park your car under big tree. I am kidding about the crocodile anyway.

1 month ago

The path is wide and well signed. It starts with a gentle incline through mostly exposed ravine. This takes you over the hill and back towards the road. From the new trail head, you walk steadily uphill through partially shaded trees to the ridge line. Once at the top you are rewarded with views of East Bay hills and reservoirs on one side and Bridges and bayviews to the other side. There are some nice benches to sit and enjoy the vistas. Then, it is a shady decline through bay and eucalyptus trees. Some parts are a bit rocky and steep, but doable.

Hiked the loop today (7/29/18). Parking across the dam at the trailhead was limited. Started at 10:30 am. Went counter clockwise. Very steep up the creek to the falls. Eventually it leveled out to picnic area about 1.5 miles in. The trail around to the east was very nice and well maintained. Not a lot of views and the trail was in shade most of the way. From the where the trail went back down to the lake, the trail back to the original trail at the falls was long. Probably because it was hot and it seemed to keep going and going and going. Once at the turn off at the falls and back to parking, the rest of the hike was all down hill. The guide says it is 7+ miles but my iPhone activity said I went 9.3 miles. I do a lot of hiking and this distance seemed more accurate.

Cataract falls is an amazing trail. Lots of sights to see and the creek runs along the trail. There are signs all along the way with steps and rails to
Keep you sure footed. Be sure to arrive early because it will definitely get crowded after noon. Parking can be limited as well if you arrive late. All in all great trail and I definitely recommend it for the family hikers with kids. Enjoy!

Great views of the city and plenty of elevation change to raise the bpm.

Using this exact route we chose to go East first.

Starting at 9am on a Saturday, we saw only about 12 people in total until about the 6 mile mark.

The trail is beautiful but not in a scenic vista way. You will constantly have shade and a limited view of the path before and behind you as it is well grown bushes and trees as well as numerous turns.

We didn't see much wildlife but the manzanitas are amazing as well as the redwoods here and there.

The lake is a nice serene spot to have a small break. No bugs or mosquitoes.

The path is well marked but bring your map on the app as it did help. Also, it is well maintained but there is a lot of erosion which means you will need to concentrate on your steps for most of the entire hike...so a lot of engagement with the path.

If you do this exact hike, if you are just in average shape, it will be hard. If less than average shape, it will be strenuous. If in good shape it will be a good long exhausting hike.

I loved this hike!!! Definitely going to do this again but earlier in the morning (i would suggest to start at 9:00am). My boyfriend and I started at 12:00pm and ended around 3:00pm. Bring snacks to eat and lots of water. Hardest part was driving there and parking, but thats why i would suggest to get their early.

Need to know. No more free parking along the road. Reservations to park within the Muir Woods parking lot required. Cost $6.00. Reservations now required to enter the park. Bus reservations required as well. You can park your car at the Muir Beach public parking lot then walk back up the road to Muir Woods.
It’s a great trail offering redwoods and coastal marine views on the westerly Dipsea trail. Exit back to Muir Beach when you hit the coast road.

I will rated as easy with excellent views!

Easy parking at Inspiration Point, then can reach the trail from there. Wonderful views and breeze. Partially shaded, but had and sunscreen a good idea. Budget 2 hours to make the full loop. Semi rocky in parts, so close-toed shoes recommended. Great moderate hike!

Great hike done a long time ago. It was done in the spring and was very cool and windy. Awesome...

Strenuous but so incredibly satisfying. There are some whale bones at Tennessee Beach. Pretty cool!

This is a very well maintained trail that has amazing views of the ocean. Take the Pirates Cove Trail if you like seeing the ocean.

Windy, so bring a windbreaker.

2 months ago

Great trail, awesome views

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