Coastal Trail, Miwok Trail, and Bonita Lighthouse Loop

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Coastal Trail, Miwok Trail, and Bonita Lighthouse Loop is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sausalito, California that features a lake 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 but must be kept on leash.

Length8.5 miElevation gain1,430 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningBeachForestLakePartially pavedViewsWildflowersWildlifeHistoric site
Description
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No dogs are allowed on the Point Bonita Trail portion leading to the lighthouse. The Point Bonita Lighthouse is only open Sun-Mon 1230p-330p. This trail has gentle inclines and beautiful views of the ocean, San Francisco, and various batteries. The trail surface is nice underfoot and the trail is mostly wide allowing easy passing.

National Park Service guide to Marin Headlands http://www.nps.gov/goga/marin-headlands.htm NPS guide to Golden Gate National Recreation Area http://www.nps.gov/goga/index.htm Marin Headlands trail map (PDF download) http://home.nps.gov/applications/parks/goga/ppMaps/map-mahe.pdf Headlands Institute nature programs http://yni.org/hi/

Check the weather forecast before going; if the forecast calls for fog or rain, it might be best to wait another day (though early morning fog typically burns off on summer afternoons). Use extreme caution around high cliffs and shoreline; a fall from the heights is certainly fatal, and ocean rip tides often can be. Walk, drive and ride defensively -- roads can get crowded, especially on weekends. What to bring: Layers, especially a windbreaker Binoculars Camera Bay Area guidebook

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Reviews (407)
Photos (3,190)
Activities (377)
Completed (1,003)
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Dakota Parrott
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Hiking

Pretty cool hike with lots of different styles and views. Not too challenging but has some steep parts. Overall a good change of pace with ups and downs.

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David Nakayama
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Hiking

Milwok trail can be a tough trip up in the afternoon sun, so bring plenty of water. But it’s worth the climb when you reach the crest since you get a spectacular view of the ocean all the way down. Lighthouse is closed but you can make your own tour of the batteries dotting the cliffs.

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Jay Choi
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Hiking
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Mare Le
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HikingGreat!

Started @9am and parked at the Marin visitor center. Plenty of parking, restroom available. Trailhead was easy to find and loop was easy to follow. Download map ahead of time, no cell service out there. Gorgeous views, spacious trail that follows the vast ocean. Dogs allowed. Several trails to offshoot if you’re looking for a longer hike. Highly recommend trails out on this loop!

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Rebecca Linser
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Hiking

Great hill climbing!

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Valerie Valdez
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Hiking
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Stephanie Coleman
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Hiking

Great! Lighthouse was closed. Additional parking up at the hostel

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Heather Milligan
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HikingGreat!

I love the bay and this is one of the places I remember the most vividly. It’s beautiful and peaceful even amidst so many visitors. Ok, the parking is a little insane and totally worth it. I’d gone in April and there were so many flowers. Waking off the beating path provided ocean views from the cliffs where you stood. It would be obnoxious for me to share my entire recall of my day at Marin Headlands.

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Keren Guy
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HikingGreat!

Great trail, did it with a good friend and it was awesome!

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Erica Kelly
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Hiking

Really fun trail - can’t believe it took us so long to get out here. Ended up parking at the milwok trailhead since the other was full at 10am. Great variety. Going counter clockwise most of the climb in mile 2-4. Wonderful views. Fun old battery military installations to explore. Nice to have the offleash beach in the middle to let the dog run. We couldn’t get to the final battery because of dangerous cliff/trail and dogs aren’t allowed to the lighthouse. Final stretch is along the road so a little less fun - but with enough of shoulder to feel safe.

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Sean Waklee
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Hiking

Way to crowded

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Mike Peasley
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Hiking

Great scenic hike. Pretty crowded on a weekend so I recommend going mid week

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Lisa C
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Hiking

Great trail! Incredible views. Details below. Pros: -Coastal Trail has world-class views of the ocean, San Francisco, and the whole Marin Headlands area. -challenging (eventually) enough to be fun -populated enough to make solo hikers feel safe -Wolf Ridge Trail links the Coastal and Miwok trails. It has stunning views since it is literally on the ridge of the hills there. Con: -No shade, so bring a hat and/or sunblock -Miwok trail is pretty but not like the Coastal trail -Miwok Trail has a lot of mountain bikers. The trail is wide, so it didn’t bother me, but it might bother some people on foot. -if you start on the Coastal Trail going toward the ridge, right before you get to the ridge, there is one very steep, gravel part and it is not clear where the trail continues....I went the wrong way to a flatter area that i thought was the trail and got into a bunch of poison oak and had to back track to the steep area. If you have trouble climbing you may need hiking poles for that one part.

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Boris Pavlovic
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Hiking

Great!

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Carlie Burkhard
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Hiking

Great views

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Shantanu Talapatra
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Hiking
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Judy Benson
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HikingGreat!

Beautiful views of the ocean, San Francisco, and various batteries. Began at Rodeo Beach (though you can start in other places) and went counter-clockwise. Lot's of up, generally not steep but for a few short sections. Trail surface was nice underfoot and the trail was mostly wide allowing easy passing. Toilets available in several places along the way.

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Chloe Doberstein
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Hiking
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Sharad Yedalwar
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Hiking

Great trail

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MsAnh ..
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HikingGreat!

Nice trail but there were way too many people on a weekend. Some people didn’t even adhere to the mask rules. There were also a lot of bikers on the trail. Weather was nice and feels like Spring! Bring lots of water and sunblock as there is no shade.

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Lynn Bruno
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FishingGreat!

Amazing trail with outstanding views of the ocean, the coast, SF and beyond. Went on a clear day in January, early morning with the sun glittering on the water. You cross over Rodeo Lagoon and ascend to the ridge. The path is wide and popular with bikers--be super alert because they come whizzing down fast and there are some blind curves. When you get to the top of the ridge suddenly you can see the ocean and the bay and it's a spectacular moment. The view is even more commanding up on Hill 88, where there are ruins from the old embattlements. Graffiti artists have been up there and done some beautiful work. You have the ocean and the bay for company as you descend to Rodeo Beach. Then you climb up and over to Point Bonita. Poles recommended. Unfortunately the tunnel to the actual lighthouse was closed, but it's still very pretty spot, with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Narcissus were in full bloom and scenting the air. Took us three hours, 45 mins.

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Kelly F
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HikingGreat!
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Randy Gilbert
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Hiking

Beautiful scenery at the beach

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onyia pemberton
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Hiking
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Bilal Farooq
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HikingMuddy
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Tyler Chuck
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HikingGreat!

Great moderate length loop that’s great for stopping and sight seeing. Nice views of cliffs, waves, and battery monuments. Even if the lighthouse is closed, you can still head almost all the way there where the gate is. Highly recommend!

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Madhuri Rupaakula
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WalkingGreat!MuddyNo shadeRocky
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