Explore the most popular horseback riding trails in Golden Gate National Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Sundays are quite busy, but Mondays this trail is nearly empty. There are a lot of wildflowers and it is currently early April. beautiful trail.

You’ll park in the neighborhood then walk up a long driveway to the trail. Starts off steep, ends steep on the way back. Moderate hike overall. The fog was rolling in and laying perfectly on the canyon and when we arrived to the beach it was perfectly sunny! gotta love Mt Tams micro climates :) beautiful day!

Easy walk along mostly paved trail with breathtaking scenery at every step and turn making the windy day a worthy one! Beautiful on a 60 degree day with lots of mist and wind. Saw a salamander walking along the path! Watch out for our little amphibian friends! “California orange belly newts!”

walking
1 month ago

The path is mostly paved so it’s more of a walk than a hike! But beautiful views and we went on a warm day so the beach was so comfortable

This was a good trail with a stroller. The kids (5 and 3 years old) had a lot of fun finding beautiful pebbles in a streamlet near the ocean. They are excited to go back!

hiking
2 months ago

Super easy. Good spot for picnic or big group of friends. Gorgeous little beach at the end. Parking is easy even on the weekend.

Fantastic trail with incredible views!

Always easy, fairly level. Kids can manage this - accessible w joggers. Lots of options once you are here - choose higher harder trails or stay the course

Great- good parking. Steep areas and great views. Saw a coyote. Met runners along the way and had a great workout.

trail running
3 months ago

Great family hike. Fun beach at the end for kids to splash in the puddles

The trailhead is on a very narrow street that looks like a driveway.

Hike begins with views of Tiburon, Sausalito, and parts of SF. Then turns to views of the ocean.

Lightly trafficked trail but does get busier as you get closer to Muir Beach.

Dog friendly.

Beautiful view!

Good out and back hike. Starting at Big Rock the trail is all uphill for 3.5 miles. The elevation change is moderate and provides a good workout but not a difficult one.. Beautiful vistas of Lucas Valley the entire way. Not much shade cover.

Amazing views!!! Definitely a great choice for a hike with some friends.

Make sure you go up to the lookout point at the end. It is worth it!

Good trail, a little confusing getting in as you walk through the zen center/farm but it's worth the view of the Ocean.

Busy during weekends but nice views.

this is the starter trail for anyone looking for a super easy hike to a small beach front.

This route starts at the TENNESSEE VALLEY TRAILHEAD. plenty of parking, bathrooms, trash and recycling bins available. It is HIGHLY recommended that you pack sunscreen, a pullover, or some other form of shelter/cover/protection, as there is virtually no shade on this route.
Things to consider:
WATER- there are no water sources anywhere on the trails once you leave the trail head. HEAT/SUNCAST- there is no shade. GRADE- there are sections of this trail with high %'s of grade. SCRAMBLING- the last section of this trail requires climbing on rocks to access the beach. TIDE- check tide schedules if the plan involves time on the actual beach in the cove. TRAIL TYPES- Tenn Val trail is paved and packed dirt. The ascent on Coastal is packdirt service road. Coastal, after the summit is narrow bridal trail. This continues to tighten up as you approach Pirate. Pirate is chute and rock type, with a few wood or stone stairs in some locations. Ending in beach head rock leading down to the beach 30 or so feet bellow. MENTAL- those with symptoms of Vertigo, have reported difficulties with the last decent to the Cove.

About half way down the Tenn Valley trail, you will take the COASTAL TRAIL off to the right. (This is your THIRD right, passing up both the Haypress Camp Trail and the Fox Trails.) once you begin to ascend Coastal Trail, this is where the grade gets steep. Fantastic cardio and the hard work is rewarded with commanding views of the HeadLands and Tennessee Beach.

Once you summit the headland, the trail comes to a four way intersection. Great views here of the coast, Downtown San Francisco, Bay Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean. In some very clear conditions, there is a view of Point Reyes Light House. Choose to go STRAIGHT AHEAD. ( Left returns to Tennessee Beach, Right continues off to connect with other trails to Muir Beach.) This also marks the first trail condition change.

Continuing on will start the reverse grade as you head down through a more narrow trail. Watch your feet from here on, there are a lot of rock obstacles to trip on. Continue on, until the final trail change. Head LEFT on PIRATE COVE TRAIL, marked only by a sign post, as the trail sign has been removed. This is the steepest section and requires carfully thought out steps. There will be a few wood, or stone steps available, but most parts of this section requires good balance. The last 30 feet of the trail before landing on beach, requires some Scrambling. Also keep in mind that you will have to ascend out of the cove if you choose to go down.

Overall, this is a strenuous hike that rewards with a very private beach, and wonderful views of the Bay.

hiking
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

The beach looks great, I'm definitely coming back in a sunny day to lie there for a while.

Awesome hike out to the beach. We were able to take an Uppababy Vista without any issue.

hiking
8 months ago

LOVED this hike! I did the straight forward hike, then went to the Beach overlook, then walked towards Pirates Cove. Really beautiful area and low-key with some inclines.

Nice walk that ends at Tennessee Beach. Pretty much perfect.

Really beautiful hike

Love, love, LOVE this trail. Such a great mini escape.

It was a beautiful view however no tree cover so there is constant sun exposure. Did the whole loop and I never saw a waterfall confused on that.

hiking
10 months ago

Marin county favorite. Very gentle stroll to a protected Cove and beach. Accessible and doable for all. Sometimes of the year the anchor of an old shipwreck can be seen. Hard to believe this is about 6 miles as the crow flies from San Francisco. wonderful get away.

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