Tennessee Valley Golden Gate Loop Trail

MODERATE 156 reviews

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

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.

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
1 month 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

hiking
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

Fantastic hike with plenty of breathtaking views

hiking
no shade
2 months ago

hiking
no shade
2 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
3 months ago

hiking
no shade
3 months ago

hiking
no shade
4 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
5 months ago

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
8 months ago

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
10 months ago

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.

Thursday, August 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
Sunday, July 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.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Beautiful hike! Sweeping views of Muir and Tennessee beach and the coastline in between. Pretty challenging - most of it spent climbing steep hills.

Friday, July 06, 2018

Loved this hike. Beautiful views, lovely sunsets. Foot traffic only in the beginning. A lot of people don't do the entire loop.

hiking
Thursday, July 05, 2018

Wonderful views all around! get everything from rolling hills to the ocean. you can even get a glimpse of twin peaks and downtown SF. I would recommend going counter clock wise otherwise you end up with a bunch of steep downhill at the very end of your hike

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Stunning, constant views, mostly of the coast. May not really be a moderate for most, more of a moderate-hard.

hiking
Friday, March 16, 2018

Gorgeous trail, Tennessee Beach is a must-see along the way. Nothing beats the view from the coast or the sound of the waves crashing against the rocks. This trail can be a thigh-burner in some areas where the elevation varies, but nothing too bad if you’re moderately in shape.

hiking
Thursday, February 15, 2018

Busy on the trail, especially the out and back to the beach.

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Beautiful views!

hiking
Thursday, February 08, 2018

Beautiful coastal views. Enough up and down to/from the ridge to make it feel like a “workout”.

hiking
Friday, January 19, 2018

Easy to get to. Free parking. Get there early (before 8am) parking can get crowded after 8:30 / 9. Popular among runners. great views overall.

Load More

Featured Trails