This walk leads you from San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge into sea-side Sausalito, through the Marin Headlands, and to quaint Muir Beach. From there, walk along a picturesque ridge revealing ocean views, then down through a bird sanctuary, and into Stinson Beach.
Traverse the mountains again, up a famous trail and a lush trail to Muir Woods. End your walk at a peacefull Inn perched atop the mountain with views of coastal mountains, ocean and San Francisco bay.
- Features Bay to Mountain ridge and Mountain to beach trekking routes and vistas.
- Walk through the Redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument.
- Route: SF- Sausalito-Muir Beach-Stinson Beach-Muir Woods.
- 6 days/5 nights.
Daily Walking Distances
Arrive in San Francisco
Suggested Day Hikes (optional)
Sausalito to Muir Beach
7-14 miles (11-22km)
Muir Beach to Stinson Beach
8 Miles (13km)
Stinson Beach to Muir Woods
9 miles (15 km)
Muir Woods to San Francisco
Suggested Day Hikes in Muir Woods National Monument (optional)
*Variable distance trail options are provided in your Trip Guide
Walking Itinerary Descriptions
San Francisco – Day 1
Arrive in San Francisco and enjoy this friendly, eclectic city. Each neighborhood offers something very different for every visitor. Ride the trolley cars, visit pier 39 and fisherman’s wharf, have Dim Sum in Chinatown, a taco in the Mission, and experience the city like a local. Short city walks and mini excursions will are suggested in your Trip Guide.
San Francisco to Sausalito – Day 2
Choose to take a longer walking tour though Golden Gate Park and along the rugged Western Pacific coast, or to take a shorter walk along the Marina District. Depending on your choice today, you will pass by the De Young Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Botanical gardens, and the Japanese Tea Gardens.
You will lunch with views of the bay and ocean, and then meander through the lavish Sea Cliff neighborhood via the Lands-end Trail carved from the steppes above the Pacific Ocean. Marvel at the historic Presidio, see old military batteries and walk across the Golden Gate Bridge with breathtaking views of Alcatraz, Angel Island and Point Bonita Lighthouse.
Alternately, you can choose to walk along the Marina’s historic Crissy field, bordering a former military base Fort Mason and Fort Point (now preserved for visitors). With the Golden Gate Bridge always in view, stroll along the Golden Gate Promenade Beach, where kite and wind surfers put on a show. Visit Fort Point and the Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center before you walk across the Golden Gate bridge.
Wind through Fort Baker, and descend into the boutique sailing town of Sausalito. Enjoy an afternoon of wine and cheese at your inn, nestled in a quiet hillside setting – a short hike to the heart of downtown and the waterfront.
Sausalito to Muir Beach – Day 3
Leave your cozy inn after a delicious well-appointed breakfast, walk through town to choose your trail lunch from a destination gourmet deli. Put it in your daypack and continue up hill through picturesque hills, by some spectacular homes inhabited by the rich and famous. You will come to the top of a hill, look back on the San Francisco bay, the wharf, Sausalito, Tiburon and Angel and Alcatraz Islands. The trails become more remote as you enter the bay area’s treasure: Golden Gate National Recreation Area: protected lands of Marin county. These lands have a rich history and a high biodiversity.
Along the trail today and tomorrow you will encounter native to California plants and animals. If you choose the longer route, you will visit historic Fort Cronkite buildings and batteries in the Marin Headlands. You can pop in at the Headlands Center For The Arts, the Marin Headlands visitor center, or visit enormous gun housings scattered on the hillside. Head to the beach, where magnificent waves crash on rock outcroppings, and where marine life can be seen up close. At the Marine Mammal Center you can see and learn about otters, harbor seals, sea lions and elephant seal pups that have been rescued from danger and are being rehabilitated for release. These centers are all free of charge. You will hook up with the original route via the Tennessee Valley trail which boasts magnificent coastal views the entire way. Winding your way through wilderness to the pristine waters of Muir Beach, you may see Deer, Elk, Coyote, Red Tailed Hawks, Egrets, and Herons. You will experience gorgeous vistas of these coastal mountains, seeing the city, bridge and bay from rare angles.
Arrive in Muir Beach ready to relax and watch a spectacular sunset – pint of beer, or glass of wine in hand.
*Option for a guided section of this trail – two hours hiking with an experienced naturalist can help you identify the plants, birds and other wildlife you encounter, and relay natural history of the area.
Muir Beach to Stinson Beach – Day 4
Leave your charming Inn, full of energy from your traditional English style breakfast, heading up hill along the Coast View Trail. Leave all roads behind as you traverse the mountain range, with spectacular ocean views. Hook up with a local historical trail, and descend again towards the beach. Keep an eye out for migrating whales, hunting hawks and other air and sea life. This is a peaceful walk where fewer people go due to it’s inaccessibly to roads. You will not see these views from a car!
Stinson Beach to Muir Woods – Day 5
Head back towards the woods and civilization, as you ascend new trails that are a part of the historic west Marin trails. Enter Muir Woods, and marvel at the world’s largest tree- the Giant Sequoia or Redwood. Feel the stoic strength among the giants and imagine that which that led early activists to work for the preservation of these majestic forests.
Muir Woods to Your Destination – Day 6
Today is the perfect day to experience Muir Woods National Monument at your own leisure. Just a short hike from your mountain top Inn, the very popular destination entrance to see the world’s largest tree species. The visitor center provides great tours and education about the unique giant trees that inhabit the area.
Choose from stagecoach, taxi, bus and/or ferry to get back to San Francisco, or continue your travels in Marin. Detailed transit options will be provided to you in your Custom Trip Guide.