Mt. Tam's Coast View Trail, 8.5 miles, 1,800 feet (moderate)

Head off for the DipSea and Coast View Trails in Mt. Tam State Park. Wander through the upper reaches of redwoods in Muir Woods. Take multiple bridges across Redwood Creek. Enjoy open vistas on a stretch of trail between Stinson Beach and Muir Beach at 1,000+ feet above the Pacific Coast. This trail has a bit of everything in only a handful of miles.

Our trail starts out at 450 ft elevation on Highway 1 just north of Muir Beach. We head up a little spur from the highway to the junction of the Coastal View trail and the Heather Cut-off, where we take the Heather Cut-Off trail - a short trail covering about only 0.3 miles as the crow flies with 1.2 miles of switchbacked trail - with 24 Switchbacks and a couple S-turns, bringing us nearly down to sea-level.

This will take us to the Redwood Creek Trail (a portion of which we take on the Dias Ridge hike), heading approx 1.5 miles up Redwood Creek (north east) nearly to the entrance to Muir Woods. The trail ends at the 'start' of Deer Park Fire Road. Deer Park Fire Road brings us to the DipSea Trail, where together they make up part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail system. Over a stretch, this trail provides a steady, 2 mile, 1,100 foot ascent along the south-west border of Muir Woods.

Nearly at the crest of the DipSea trail, we branch right as we first drop 120 feet in to the back reaches of Muir Woods along the Ben Johnson trail, then left for a 550 foot climb up the Stapleveldt trail bringing us up to the Pantoll Ranger Station and Campground (1,499 foot elevation) where we will break for lunch.

After lunch, leaving Pantoll Station, we initially head south along the Old Mine Trail. A short half mile will take us to the Coast View trail where we will wander along some 1,200 feet above the Pacific Coast for a few miles, with the Pacific Coast Highway far below. If the weather is storm free, winter usually provides clear fog-free days, so be prepared for spectacular coastal views. The trail slowly drops down over the course of about 2.5 miles, slowly approaching the coast and our starting point at highway 1.

- - - - - - - -

After the hike, you might consider dropping in at the Pelican Inn for a glass of wine or a draught of cold beer – though parking may be very very tight for the lot of us. If things are dry, we will be able to sit on their lawn, where we will be able to pass around any post hike snacks while we enjoy our libations. One may need to park at the Muir Beach parking lot and stroll the quarter mile back to the Pelican.

 

Directions to the Pantoll Ranger Station:

From Hwy 101 take the Mill Valley/Stinson Beach/Hwy 1 exit and continue straight for one mile to a stoplight at Shoreline Hwy (Hwy 1). Turn left on Shoreline and head to Muir Beach - but do not stop at Muir Beach. About 1/4 mile up from Muir Beach and the Pelican Inn, you will see Muir Woods Road. Set your odometer here, and drive 1.5 miles further up Highway 1. On this, you will drive up a steep grade, and should notice Muir Beach Overlook (bathrooms here, but this IS NOT the trailhead). Still on Highway 1, at the 1.5 mile mark from Muir Woods Road, you will see a large dirt pull-out on the left side of the road (there is an emergency call box there). This is parking for our trailhead.

PLEASE CARPOOL. Be prepared to drive, though we hope to squeeze into as few cars as possible.  If you are lucky enough to be a rider, make sure you have a least $5-$8 for your driver depending on number of carpoolers in your car and how far you've come.

As always:

We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time.   A steady pace and we just keep going!  Please note that if you are a fast hiker you may end up waiting a bit depending on the mix of the crowd.  If you are slow you will find that as soon as you are in close visual sight we continue on.  This is how we respect everyone's time.  Also we do ask that if you are having a hard time keeping up with the group that you focus your efforts on keeping pace and doing the best you can do.

Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time.  That is the time we head out on the trail.  It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival.

Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.

Duration: 4+ hours

Facilities: at Pantoll Ranger Station about 2/3 of the way along the hike

Bring plenty of water.  More than one bottle is usually a good idea

Bring trail snacks and a sack lunch

No dogs allowed

Dress in layers. It can be Warm!! It can be Foggy, Windy and Cold!!

Bring your smile and great attitude!

See you on the trail!

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  • Mary A.

    Wowie! Another great day with super people! Many thanx to Richard & Lorra!

    February 18, 2013

  • Margaret

    Wonderful day1 Thanks Richard and Lorra !! Can't think of anything that hasn't already been said....

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Gret trail, day, company!

    February 17, 2013

  • Gerald S.

    A beautiful circuitous hike along the flanks of Mt. Tam. Perfect weather, many teaser sightings of "Spring" wildflowers, and a really fun gathering of Wanderers! Plus, what a great picnic spot to refuel ourselves while enjoying views of the Pacific, the City skyline, and the bay! Thanks, Richard and Lorra, for leading a wonderful Saturday hike!

    February 17, 2013

  • susette

    Such a beautiful Spring day before Spring has officially arrived!! Eating while resting on the ridge with no wind and a panoramic view. . . Ahhhhhh, life is good! : )

    February 17, 2013

  • Elaine d.

    I am sincerely and overwhelmingly pooped! So glad we were able to re-hydrate after the hike at the Pelican Inn.

    February 16, 2013

    • Elaine d.

      Forgot to mention brownies and blondies.....yum!

      February 17, 2013

  • Carol H.

    Thank you, Richard, for organizing and leading today's beautiful hike. Newcomers to the group Carol and Bob were truly impressed with the hike and the people. Looking forward to more.

    February 16, 2013

  • Nancy

    Another beautiful day and a fun hike with you all. Thank you Richard for leading this. It was nice to see so many wildflowers in bloom.

    February 16, 2013

  • Margaret

    We seem to be posting in different locations, so will use this comment section as well--Windsor carpool...meet at Andy Evans house, 7:57:16am????

    February 15, 2013

    • Ken

      Town Green at 7:55 is good for me.

      February 15, 2013

    • Gerald S.

      See you in the morning at the Windsor Town Green

      February 15, 2013

  • Marinoly R.

    We will be at Coddingtown.

    February 15, 2013

  • Nancy

    I'll be at the Windsor Town Green at 7:55.

    February 15, 2013

  • Margaret

    Windsor Town Green spot is ok with me...7:55? 8?

    February 15, 2013

  • Elaine d.

    I'll be at Petaluma ready to leave at 8:30....Can take another 4 with me....

    February 15, 2013

  • Margaret

    Windsor carpool--per the engineer's discussion...I assume the time is 7:57? Where shall we meet?

    February 15, 2013

  • Nancy

    gonna ride my bike instead. Have fun!

    February 15, 2013

  • Ken

    Richard, When would be the suggested carpool departure times from Windsor, SR, Petaluma?

    February 14, 2013

    • susette

      Leave it to the Cool Guy to cause trouble!!! : )

      February 14, 2013

    • Ken

      That would be me...

      February 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm going to go on a different Wanderers hike so I can make it to the Naked Wine event as well

    February 14, 2013

  • Nancy

    I'd like to join the Windsor carpool. Are we meeting by the old Denny's?

    February 13, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, unable to go. Hopefully we can make it on the next trip, we were really looking forward to it :(

    February 13, 2013

  • Richard M

    Hi All – I see we have many new members coming out on this hike, and I would like to try to get CARPOOLS to coalesce. As such, I suggest a Santa Rosa carpool, in front of CoddingTown library, departing at 8:00am. Please comment in the RSVP section if you will be there. (No worries, you can click the rsvp button and add your intent w/out losing your spot). Understand that depending on who shows up and how cars fill up, you may need to drive. I would like a Petaluma Wanderer to suggest a specific time/place for a carpool there to get that going as well. Windsor: if you are doing a carpool from there, please post this, otherwise, please come on down to Coddingtown. Thanks. We should have great coastal weather, looking forward to seeing you all there!

    February 12, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Ill be at the Coddingtown Library at 8 am ready to car pool

      February 12, 2013

    • Elaine d.

      Are there any others out there coming from the east who might be getting on to 101 well south of Petaluma and might like to join up at the 121/116 Park & Ride?

      February 13, 2013

  • Marie-Noelle

    Petaluma carpool leaving at 8:30 am. Hikers from neibhoring locations (Sonoma, Cotati...) also invited if you need a carpool. Meet in Lucky parking lot, corner of Payran & Caufield, on the Payran St. side.

    February 13, 2013

  • Michelle K.

    I am bowing out of this one to go to Latin Jazz and Music Festival at Flamingo Hotel. Please find us there after the hike but don't forget to change yer shoes first! See you Sunday...
    santarosasalsa.com

    February 13, 2013

  • Marie-Noelle

    Petaluma Carpool

    February 7, 2013

    • susette

      Yes! Leave at 8:30 from the Lucky.

      February 13, 2013

  • Julie

    Coddingtown carpool

    February 13, 2013

  • Andy E.

    Windsor carpool

    February 13, 2013

  • Ken

    Windsor carpool?

    February 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a conflict with another hike the same morning. I hope someone else will be able to go!!

    February 11, 2013

  • Stephanie

    Yes! Shaila, I sent you an email.

    February 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone want to carpool from Napa?

    February 10, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This sounds like a great hike. Are there carpools from SR?

    February 7, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      I'd like to car pool too. I'm in Sebastopol

      February 10, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Me, too, Sebastopol, that is. I will drive or ride.

      February 10, 2013

  • Nancy

    Sounds great.

    February 7, 2013

  • Nancy

    Windsor or SR carpool.

    February 7, 2013

  • Stephanie

    I would like to carpool... I can meet you someplace if you prefer to do that. Please let me know if anyone is interested.

    February 7, 2013

  • Lance

    Coddingtown carpool?

    February 7, 2013

  • Michelle K.

    Cotati carpool if anyone will be there!

    February 7, 2013

24 went

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