Saturday, August 4, 2012

Muir Beach

View Muir Beach - August 2012 in a larger map

  • Muir Beach
  • Hiking Trails
  • Pirates Cove
  • Dolphins, Sea Otters, Steelhead Trout, Seals
  • Birds

More Info
  • Free parking
  • Free admission
  • Mobile restrooms at the parking lot
  • BBQ Pits near the beach

Coastal Trail - Coastal Fire Road - Coastal Trail

Length: ~4.5 miles; Elevation: ~150 feet; Time: 3 hours; Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous

Although I like to say that the Muir Beach is located within an hour and a half drive from San Jose, with the heavy traffic and the circuitous roads, it took us two hours to get here on a weekend. We parked the car in the lot and walked for a bit when the path split into two; one leads you to the Coastal Trail and the other leads you to the Muir Beach. We turned left to take the Coastal Trail, which started ascending immediately and took us to the top of the rugged coastal bluff. Once you reach the top of the cliff, look behind to see the beautiful Muir Beach and the Redwood Creek forming a lagoon and connecting the beach.

View of Muir Beach and Redwood Creek from the top of the cliff

We continued on the Coastal Trail for a little over a mile and saw the Pirates Cove to the right. Take a keen look at the rocks in the Pirates Cove; you might find a few seals basking on the rocks. The alternate ascends and descends of the trail kept us huffing and puffing through the hike. At one point of time, the trail is on a ~150 feet cliff and another point of time, the trail runs very close to the ocean.

View from Coastal Trail

A small detour in the trail that takes you closer to the waters in Pirates Cove and when we were walking down the trail, I thought I saw a tail fin just off the shore. With a closer look we noticed three dolphins swimming very close to the shore.
Pirates Cove

We then reached a point in the trail, where it split into Coastal Fire Road and Tennessee Trail. The Tennessee trail takes you further away from Muir Beach all the way till Tennessee Cove and Tennessee Beach. As the day was very foggy, we decided to return to the Muir Beach and take the trail to the Tennessee Cove on a different day. The Coastal Fire Road trail running parallel to the Coastal Trail is paved on the mountains offering very limited view of the ocean. The gradually descending trail took us back to the Muir Beach without too much of heaving.

Trail on the mountains

We spent some time in the Muir Beach and noticed steelhead trout and a sea otter in the Redwood Creek that forms a lagoon next to the beach. The rocks in the Muir Beach offer a vivid look that photographers love and we returned home after watching the sunset.

Sunset from Muir Beach

If you are somewhere near Muir Beach, I highly recommend going to the Muir Beach Lookout, which is a few miles away from the Muir Beach. We did not get a chance to visit it on the day we went to the Muir Beach but we certainly plan to go there sometime.

  • Wear covered clothing because certain parts of the trail are narrow and there were bushes on either sides of the trail; we had to clear the bushes to make our way

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