Tennessee Valley Golden Gate Loop Trail

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Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Tennessee Valley Golden Gate Loop Trail is a 5.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 5.5 miles Elevation Gain: 1,292 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

beach

views

no dogs

NOTE: It has been reported that the road to the trailhead is currently closed due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. Take the Tennessee Valley trail all the way to Muir Beach. After a stroll through the headland valleys, nothing is better than dipping your toes into the cool Pacific.

9 days ago

Absolutely loved this hike. There is a part where you hike down to a beach and tons of just amazing views all around. Moderate hiking ability.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

Maintained trail, good views of the ocean and surrounding hills. Not the most difficult, but a good casual hike. Recommend you start from Fox Trail so you get the steep grade out of the way first and have a more scenic view on your way back.

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
muddy
rocky
4 months ago

Beautiful views of the coastline! It was pretty heavily trafficked on a nice Saturday aftetnoon.

hiking
no shade
rocky
6 months ago

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

I agree with going counterclockwise and hitting the Fox trail first. Handle the big elevation climb and then enjoy the coastal views for much longer on the loop. The trail was well trodden and marked. Also, not a lot of shade. I was lucky and easily found parking at the trailhead, and the bathroom was good.

Great hike for a foggy day because there's no shade. Highly recommend taking the Pirates Cove off shoot down to the beach, it's steep but worth it.

hiking
no shade
8 months ago

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

hiking
no shade
9 months ago

My group arrived at the Tennessee Valley Trailhead around 1:15pm on a Saturday and managed to sneak into a recently vacated parking spot in the crowded lot. There are bathrooms at the trailhead, which was great. The beginning of the trail is pretty busy, but the traffic thins out eventually. It was intensely foggy the whole way, so not many views. However, it definitely kept us cool and kept the sun off our backs. We opted to start with the Fox Trail, going counterclockwise. I can’t emphasize enough how this trail is made up of inclines. The whole trail felt like 60% uphill (pretty strenuous and steep for the most part), 20% downhill (also can get steep), and 20% flat or gentle incline. It was a w o r k o u t . Thankfully the trail is wide and the footing is generally solid. Wear good shoes with a lot of support. It’s lined with poison oak, but not too much of it encroaches onto the trail. We got to see two foxes (ironically not on the Fox Trail portion) up in the hills! Most of the trail takes place up and down the headlands with no shade. Coastal views were almost nonexistent with the fog, but the flowers are beautiful (especially in the valley portion) and it wasn’t too crowded, and again, the fog keeps you cool while the hills make you sweat. There’s a portion with a long set of stairs near Pirate’s Cove. Here the footing gets precarious and steep. We saw a few dogs but no horses - just evidence of horses, so watch where you step! There were also some aggressive bees around towards the end of the Coastal Trail as we came to the end of the loop. Last note: If you’re coming from the Peninsula like us, get here earlier! Traffic suuuucked.

Awesome hike! Follow as someone said counterclockwise so Fox trail to Coastal trail. Good incline on first section and beautiful coastal lines after for reward

Great views but foggy when we went

Somewhat strenuous, but the views make up for it. Trail is in very good condition.

hiking
10 months ago

Fantastic hike with plenty of breathtaking views

hiking
no shade
10 months ago

hiking
no shade
10 months ago

Recommend hiking counter clockwise so you get the big hill over with and then get the reward of walking closer to the coast.

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

hiking
no shade
11 months ago

hiking
no shade
Thu May 09 2019

Definitely one of my best hikes so far. Amazing views for most of the path. Has a really good mix of inclines and decents. We saw so many pretty flowers along the way as well.

Heavily trafficked with two good uphill climbs. Beautiful views and the flowers were out.

I did the loop counterclockwise. The first mile was steep but the reward was amazing. The views are incredible and the trail is very well marked and wasn’t too crowded even on a weekend. Definitely will do again.

hiking
Sun Apr 21 2019

A lot of uphill and elevation changes. The uphill part at the end isn’t particularly scenic so not the most enjoyable but the rest is great!

hiking
Sun Apr 21 2019

Gorgeous views of the beach with a cute little cove. I would come back here with a picnic blanket, some wine and some cheese!!!

running
Tue Jan 08 2019

2.5 stars; the portion along the ocean was a nice scenic trail. In general lots of elevation change, some w stairs, other parts slippery and muddy. The first and last miles are pretty much steep fire roads that aren’t terribly scenic or enjoyable. Would do as a close trail run but not particularly worth hiking (at least from that direction, maybe start near the water and stay on actual trails?)

hiking
Sat Nov 10 2018

Added Loop 7.1 Miles - Arrived at the trail head at 6:45am Saturday morning. 34 degrees out. First mile was cold but once we started climbing it was fine. Look at my photos, super smoky from the fires up north. Only passed a few people today. Probably the cold weather and the smoke, not quite sure but had the place to ourselves. Look at my track we added a bit at the end. My Fitbit says 8.5 miles, Alltrails app says 7.1. Anyway great 3 hour workout, hike. Great when you can beat the crowds. Love this hike.

Thu Aug 09 2018

I went last month and it was my longest hike to date. It was a good workout going up and resting at Muir Beach but the trek back...9 miles out and back...thank God for my beautiful pics!

hiking
Sun Jul 08 2018

some of the best ocean views in the area. we did this on 7/7 so very warm day but the breeze from the ocean kept it very comfortable, even in the sun. no shade on this hike so sunscreen and hat a must! actually hiked down to Muir beach to check it out and there are much nicer restrooms there than at the start of the Tennessee Valley Trail head. if you have time check out pirate‘s Cove for a quick little closer view of the ocean. be sure once you hit Tennessee Valley beach to go up to the Overlook for sweeping vistas. be warned if you don’t like heights you may not like the Overlook as much. taking the Fox Trail is quite the workout so is the hike back from Muir beach, another hill and the last hill after Pirates Cove is another bun buster. you’ll get a great work out with amazing views so much better than a gym! The parking lot at Tennessee Valley Trail head fills up quickly on weekends so recommendation is to get there no later than 8:30, this will also help you avoid the crowds of people just going to the beach.

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