Muir Beach has to be one of my all time favorite Bay Area beach day / hiking areas. When you just don’t feel like driving all the way to Stinson Beach, Muir Beach is great place to stop at instead. Families come to Muir Beach all the time to picnic, swim, have bonfires, and hike around the surrounding trails. And if you worry about parking availability, Marin has a shuttle that takes visitors from Sir Frances Drake Blvd. to the Muir beach and park areas. Awesome!
The hike is great for those who enjoy 1) amazing views of California’s coast, and 2) a fairly decent (not too easy, not strenuous at all) hike. You can do a short loop or a much longer hike (you can even go backpacking and camp at one of the designated sites along the way). After the initial ascent up the mountain, it’s nothing but rolling hills along the coast, up and down all the way.
Make sure to bring long sleeves though. There’s always poison oak lining the trails. It’s not too bad, but it’s always nice to have a bit of a barrier. I HATE POISON OAK. My aunt got it once from her dog after she let her dog go off leash in a park. Her poison oak was so bad, it turned her skin black! Lesson learned: be careful about letting your dog roam off-leash; AND – if you’re a hiker, don’t pet the dogs, they carry all sorts of bush-nastiness.
About a mile from the top of the trailhead, hikers can descend to a small beach for a quick picnic. It’s dope, I highly recommend it!