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Coast View Trail Loop, Mt Tamalpais State Park

Perfect Mt. Tamalpais coastal scenery, Muir Wood redwoods and a chance to quench your thirst at an old British pub.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 8.5 miles
Duration: Full day

Overview :  Experience many of Mt. Tamalpais' best features on a single loop trail, from chaparral grasslands and dramatic Pacific Ocean views to ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Pan Toll Ranger Station

Begin at the highest point on the hike at Pan Toll Ranger Station (parking fee) and head off down the Coastal Fire Road and Old Mine Trail leading to Coast View Trail where you can share great Pacific Ocean views with occasional but courteous mountain bikers.

Here at Pan Toll you'll find friendly state park rangers ready to help, and also... More

2. [JCT] Coastal Fire Rd Junction

At this junction, continue down the hillside along the right-hand fork. You’ll be sharing this popular trail with not just hikers but also mountain bikers. Bikers up here are usually courteous, so return the favor and give them plenty of space as they pass by.

3. Enjoy the views!

On a clear day you'll get to see the Farallon Islands 26 miles out to sea as well as the San Francisco Peninsula coast, and looking the other way you'll have views of the Bay and landmarks as distant as Mt. Diablo.

4. [JCT] Heather Cutoff

Nearing the end of the Coast View Trail, take a left turn at this junction and leave the mountain bikers behind. Heather Cutoff Trail switchbacks its way down the hill towards Muir Woods Road.

5. Wayfinding to Muir Woods Rd

Depending on the available signage, the next short part of the trail might not be so clear. When you reach the bottom of the hill you’ll reach a field. Bear right and head in a South easterly direction towards a clump of trees and a few random buildings.

You’ll know you’re in the right place when you cross the bridge, hang a left and head up... More

6. [JCT] Redwood Creek/Heather Cutoff

[JCT] Redwood Creek/Heather Cutoff
This junction is located just up the embankment from where the trail meets the road.

If you’ve chosen the short version of the Coast View Trail loop hike, this is the point when you head North and East up the Redwood Creek trail to begin to close your loop. The good news for you is that you’re nearly half way ... More

7. [JCT] Redwood Creek/Muir Woods Rd.

Redwood Creek Trail ends at the side of Muir Woods Road. Continue walking down the road (facing oncoming traffic of course) until you reach the Pelican Inn on your right.

Enjoy a shepherd's pie by the fireplace or a pint of ale on the lawn of this faithfully recreated seventeenth century English country pub.

9. [JCT] Unmarked trailhead

Set out in a counter clockwise route from an unmarked trailhead across the road from the pub, and you'll soon be climbing up the chaparral covered Diaz Ridge. Seven hundred feet of elevation gain later and you'll be overlooking Muir beach to the west and admiring the Mt. Tamalpais State Park landscape to the north.

10. [JCT] Dias Ridge/Miwok Trail

After reaching the top of the hill the trail follows the ridgeline north-east for just under a mile until you hit the junction to the Miwok Trail, named for the folk who originally settled in the area as long as five thousand years ago.

11. [JCT] Miwok Trail /Redwood Creek Trail

The Miwok trail switchbacks down the hill and into the oak woodlands. If you're on the 5 mile Dias Ridge hike, take a left turn at the Redwood Creek Trail and head back towards your starting point.

If you're continuing to Pan Toll ranger station, take a right turn and head towards Deer Park trail.

12. [JCT] Deer Park

Heading across the road, pick up the Deer Park fire road and it's a slog back up the hillside in the direction of Pan Toll ranger station.

Thankfully much of this trail is under cover of trees, including Redwood trees, as you skirt the boundaries of Muir Woods National Monument.

The Deer Park fire road soon meets up with the Dipsea Trail - feel ... More

13. [JCT] Coastal Fire Road/Deer Park Junction

Almost finished. Assuming that you started the trail at Pan Toll ranger station, you'll recognize this junction from earlier in the day. Head back up the Coastal Fire Road back towards Pan Toll and the conclusion of a great day's hike.