Fern Creek, Lost, and Ocean View Loop [CLOSED]

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Muir Woods National Monument

Fern Creek, Lost, and Ocean View Loop is a 5.0 kilometer heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features a waterfall and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.0 km Elevation Gain: 188 m Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

blowdown

muddy

closed

no dogs

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. Note: As of September 2019, some of the trails were closed due to restoration. Starting at the visitors center, take the boardwalk into Muir Woods to where the Fern Creek Trail splits off. Follow that until you get to the Lost Trail and take a right. When you intersect the Ocean View Trail take a right and it will take you right back to Muir Woods.

hiking
fee
muddy
3 months ago

Make sure to make a reservation! If you are driving to Muir Woods, you are required to have one in order to park. Spent a few hours at Muir Woods with a group of friends on my first trip to CA. The redwoods were absolutely stunning. This trail takes you uphill and past a few small waterfalls. Tons of great photo opportunities. Wear waterproof boots/shoes with good traction during the wet season, some parts were pretty muddy.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a good alternative if the Canopy trail is closed. Note that November to April is the wet season and trails will be muddy in some areas. Boots are recommended, or good traction.

A fun, beautiful hike with excellent vibes and big-ass trees. Make sure you make a reservation in advance for parking. Go early to avoid crowds and soak up your vibes in peace.

hiking
8 months ago

really happy to have taken the time to add this trail on to my trip to muir woods...this trail is an offshoot from the main boardwalk trail at the park. it was really peaceful to walk alongside the creek + escape the crowds. FYI the canopy trail component was closed which is how we tried to access this trail initially so this review is for the shorter loop you can begin to access later on (past cathedral grove)...it was gorgeous nonetheless and I'd love to come back and do this trail again in the fall or next spring.

hiking
closed
8 months ago

Canopy route was closed.

hiking
closed
8 months ago

Some of the trails were closed due to restoration. Beautiful hike with the family nonetheless.

hiking
10 months ago

too crowded but the trees are amazing and I love coming back here time and time again

hiking
muddy
10 months ago

Very easy hike with some stairs and a couple of bridges , you cross multiple creeks .

hiking
10 months ago

Completely shaded. A beautiful and easy trail if done ccw. Difficult to get a parking spot if not reserved from home.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked with the kids (4 and 6 yrs) and they survived lol. Was a good hike, water was dried up in some areas on this trail, no waterfall at all. Did the hike counter clockwise so when we got to the stairs part we were going downhill. But there was some stairs when we started. If the kids can manage, I feel it’s an easy hike. Bring insect repellent, the mosquitoes come around as soon as you stop to rest.

hiking
11 months ago

I highly recommend hiking CCW, having gone in both directions. It's a Moderate hike though, not an Easy one, given that foot placement had to be very intentional for at least one third of the hike. This time I carried a toddler in a rear pack. A few low trees were challenging to clear, with one limbo requiring that the pack come off totally. I'll bring walking sticks next time, if only for the downhill section.

hiking
Fri May 24 2019

Beautiful scenery. We did the trail backwards (accidentally started at what was technically the end) so it was a lot of uphill and added a bit of a challenge. Quiet and away from crowds which was awesome.

backpacking
Sat May 18 2019

hiking
Sat May 11 2019

I did a slight different walk to this, going up the Camp Eastwood trail and into Mt Tam State Forest before coming back on the Lost World Trail. Mt Tam forest was the highlight for me - the trail was empty, even on a sunny May Saturday. The trails were all really well maintained and were easy hiking overall. I did this with a sprained ankle (strapped) and it was ok.

Beautiful day. Great hike to see the growth of the old redwoods and new growth. Ferns were amazing to see and the change in elevation was not difficult. Bridges and waterfalls were all fantastic. Will be back again.

Sun Jan 06 2019

Good walk/hike. The big trees are all down on the boardwalk but it is much less crowded on this trail after leaving the boardwalk. We got an early parking reservation (9am) and glad we did. By the time we left it was crazy with cars circling the lot, looking for a spot.

hiking
Tue Jan 01 2019

It’s a beautiful hike, took someone with me that had some hip issues so we went nice and slow and she was able to enjoy the beautiful hike too. I do recommend going counter clockwise.

hiking
Sun Oct 14 2018

Had a great hike. The best park was getting away from the crowded areas and exploring the woods.

hiking
Sat Oct 06 2018

Beautiful! Amazing trees!! Great hiking trail and so close to SF that it gives you a great day hike worth the time. We’re visiting from Va. and had to visit this beautiful area.

hiking
Sat Sep 01 2018

Wonderful place to stop by when in S.F. With the trees so close together it feels as if there are layers and layers of privacy giving more private Hike!

hiking
Sun Aug 05 2018

Beautiful. Easy. Quiet. Away from the crowds.

hiking
Thu Aug 02 2018

I did this trail with my daughters (15, 9). It is beautiful and peaceful away from the crowds. With kids, I am glad we went CCW around the loop. It is a steep climb the other way, and other families we met at the top were exhausted. The CCW loop is a nice steady climb up. The higher elevations of this trail give nice views, and it was a beautiful hike. However, you don’t need to go all the way up if your main goal is to see the redwoods. I am going back with my other 2 daughters, and will do it a little differently. I will start the CCW loop, but only climb 10-15 minutes to get a view from above. I will then go back down, and walk the Redwood Creek Trail to bridge 4 and return on the hillside trail.

hiking
Sun May 27 2018

Great views, beautiful stream, and good distance. A few too many people though

Mon May 14 2018

Great quick easy walk for a Sunday afternoon. Would do again for sure.

hiking
Mon Apr 30 2018

Great hike down into Muir Woods National Monument, and then back up. Like others have said, you cannot see the ocean, but plenty of amazing redwoods.

hiking
Tue Jan 02 2018

Easy, quiet hike away from the crowds.

Thu Dec 28 2017

I only ran the final stretch near the Mount Tam summit, but I love it. It’s very steep but being able to always see your destination was helpful and motivating.

hiking
Tue Sep 19 2017

Fri Jul 21 2017

Easy, light walk.

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