Take this short and scenic hike to the beautiful, small beach at Pirate’s Cove. The cove is a secluded spot without many visitors and therefore a perfect spot for a picnic.
Leave your car at the Muir Beach parking lot and walk along the designated path toward the beach. Take a left after the bridge and follow the fire road to the Coastal Trail. A long, gradual climb up the gravel trail wraps around the mountain with beautiful views of Muir Beach below and Mount Tamalpais in the distance. Continue your ascent to the highest point of the hike where the trail splits. Go right at the fork (follow signs to Pirate's Cove) and pass through an old fence as the trail narrows and begins to descend. Mountain lupine and wild sweet pea flowers dot the hillside with vibrant pinks and purples. Watch your footing along the downhill series of switchbacks as the path gets rockier. The next portion of the trail has a few ups and downs, but remains relatively level with stunning open ocean views until the fairly steep descent before the turnoff to Pirate’s Cove. When you reach the stairs and signpost, turn right to go down to the beach. It’s a tricky and steep descent due to the washed out path. Take your time and use your hands to help guide you down the rocky, uneven sections. Be careful when navigating through the loose boulders just before reaching the beach, as they are unbalanced and prone to shift around.
Once you reach the beach, there is plenty of exploring to do. Starfish, sea anemones, and barnacles line the rocks along the water. Sit down and enjoy the refreshing ocean breeze and beautiful scenery. And don’t forget to bring lots of water for the tiring uphill climb back to your car!