This quiet cove, beach, and lagoon tucked into the coastline three miles west of Muir Woods—is a favorite spot among locals. You can go up to the newly completed, multi-use Dias Ridge trail—a segment of the Bay Ridge Trail—on a ridgeline above Muir Beach. This new trail offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and Marin coastline.
Or go east along the trail (uphill) to scenic Coyote Ridge or south along the breathtaking Coastal Trail to Tennessee Cove. Look for a small signpost north of Muir Beach along Highway 1 that points the way to Muir Beach Overlook.
Redwood Creek at Muir Beach is home to numerous shorebirds, amphibians, salmon and trout, and marshy, water-loving plants called rushes (Juncus). This expansive network of wetlands, lagoon, and dunes is being restored by increasing the capacity of the creek, removing sediment from the creek bed, and improving fish habitat in the tidal lagoon.
This restoration project—a partnership between the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy—will restore the natural function of the creek, wetlands, and intermittent tidal lagoon.
Plan Your Visit
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- There are no lifeguards at Muir Beach. The northernmost end of the beach is popular with clothing-optional sunbathers
- The Muir Beach parking lot is current being reconfigured and new bathrooms and visitor amenities are being installed near the lot.
- A 235-foot long pedestrian bridge—the Pacific Way Bridge—connects visitors from the Muir Beach parking lot to the beach and Coastal Trail, which is multi-use and accessible.
- The overlook picnic site is scenic but windy, so remember to carry layers and hold on to your paper plates!
- Milk goats, collect eggs, help bees make honey, and teach little ones about how food is grown at Slide Ranch located between Muir and Stinson beaches. Reservations required.
- Avoid the Muir Beach Overlook Trail if you’re scared of heights.
- Cliffs along the Rocky Point coast are isolated and very dangerous. Use caution when hiking; rescue crews are far away.
- Muir Beach, Muir Beach Overlook, and Stinson Beach close one hour after sunset.
Muir Beach Overlook is one of the many spots along the parks’ coast for whale lovers to catch a glimpse of these giant marine mammals as they swim by during their winter migrations.
Every autumn thousands of monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) embark on a once-in-a-lifetime migration to the California coast. Wintering monarchs can sometimes be found decorating Monterey pines in the small grove at Muir Beach; look for their distinctive orange and black wings.
Not long ago, the mouth of Redwood Creek where it meets the ocean at Muir Beach was the most damaged part of the Redwood Creek Watershed. More than a century of changes to the landscape for agriculture, recreation, and construction had filled the creek bed with sediment and disconnected it from its floodplain, dramatically affecting the whole tidal lagoon system.
In 2009, the Parks Conservancy and National Park Service launched a large, multi-year project to return the creek’s natural function, flow, floodplain, freshwater wetlands, intermittent tidal lagoon, and dunes. This project has improved habitat for endangered coho salmon and threatened steelhead trout, established successful breeding areas for threatened California red-legged frogs, decreased flooding on nearby roads, improved visitor access and amenities, and created a self-sustaining ecosystem that will require minimal future intervention.
Learn more about this incredible restoration effort here.