Marin is home to some breathtaking hiking trails, unique wildlife and views of the ocean that stretch for miles. If you have never been to the area, it is just a short drive across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco. You can’t find yourself on a bad hike here, but some have much better views than others. Sometimes I find myself wanting to go on a quick hike just to get outside and other times I will commit to a good half day excursion. These are a few of my favorites.
Marin Headlands: Perched in the hills overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge are the Marin Headlands. With sweeping views of the bridge, the city and the Pacific Ocean this is one of my favorite hikes. There are a lot of different trails throughout the Headlands ranging from very easy to relatively hard. Make sure you bring a camera because on a clear day there are countless photo opportunities.
Mt. Tamalpais: This is my favorite hike in the Fall through Spring. During the summer the hills look dry and dead, but in the cooler months it is a sea of lush green. You can drive up to the top of Mt. Tam through Mill Valley and park at whicher trail head sounds best. Sometimes I will just drive up the mountain to picnic or go on a short walk. It is so quiet and peaceful, especially when the fog rolls in.
Muir Woods/Muir Beach: Muir Woods is famous for a reason! The magnitude and history of this redwood grove will blow you away. Going to Muir Woods can be an all day event and it is crucial to get there early in the morning to find a parking spot. I also love Muir Beach and the Muir Beach Overlook for dramatic views of the coastline.
West Marin: Inverness and Point Reyes are filled with incredible trails with lush scenery. The Estero Trail in Inverness is one of my favorites. I would check the weather before heading out as it can often be socked in fog. However this doesn’t bother me and can also make the hike even better.
Arch Rock: Also located in Pt. Reyes, this 8 mile roundtrip hike is definitely a trek. You go through redwood trees, step on logs over water and eventually end up at the ocean. This is a pretty flat hike, but it is long. I recommend bringing extra water and snacks. I’ve even brought a small picnic in a backpack to take a lenghty break before heading back.