Thursday, May 14, 2015

Marin Headlands Wildflowers Hike at Muir Beach

Hike: Coastal Trail/Green Gulch Trail Loop from Muir Beach
Hike Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous (lots of climbing)
Hike Distance: A little over 5 miles or almost 7 miles (this depends on whether you cut over on Coastal Fire Road or Tennessee Valley Trail)
(I recommend printing out the Marin Headlands Trail Map before you go on this hike because the map at the trailhead is only for a very small portion of the area. It does not cover this entire hike.)

We've hiked the shorter and longer loops and both are great. If you end up out here on a beautiful, clear day, I recommend taking the longer loop. On Sunday, it was pretty cold and windy, so we opted for the shorter hike. You still get your heart rate going good on the hills, great views and the unique experience of walking right through Green Gulch Farm. 

For the shorter loop, we started out on the Coastal Trail for 1.9 miles. As the name suggests, we were right along the coast. This trail has a lot of ups and downs, but you have views the entire time. It's pretty awesome. 

 View of Muir Beach from Coastal Trail

The Coastal Trail up ahead

We went left onto the Coastal Fire Road. At the Fox Trail, we turned left and then shortly after turned right on Coyote Ridge Trail. Then we took the second Green Gulch Trail (not Middle Green Gulch). When you get to the farm, it is tricky. We've done it a couple ways and we always feel lost. Don't worry about it. I get the impression that as long as you are quiet and respectful, it's fine to just keep walking until you meet back up with the trail on the west end of the property. While you are there, take your time admiring their beautiful gardens and greenhouses. 

We've hiked here multiple times at different times of year. I did not expect to see so many wildflowers on this May Day. I highly recommend going to check them out if you love wildflowers as much as I do! 

I love wildflowers and taking pictures of them, but I don't claim to be an expert. If you know what a flower is that I don't name, or you think I'm wrong with the name I provide, please feel free to comment! I'd love to learn more. 


 Lupine - definitely made me think of Milford Sound

 Indian Paintbrush - My absolute favorite

Sweet peas - definitely a reminder of our wedding day

More lupine? How incredible are the colors on this one? 

Before they become flowers

 Muir Beach from Green Gulch Trail

Douglas Iris

The rest of my pictures are from beautiful Green Gulch Farm. 

We didn't do it this time, but one of the coolest things about this hike is that the Pelican Inn is right at the end of the hike. You can get a drink there, sit out on their beautiful lawn, and relax a bit after your long hike.

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