Dias Ridge Trail to Muir Beach, Mt Tamalpais State Park - Dias Ridge Trailhead, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California
Dias Ridge Trail to Muir Beach - 6.9 miles
Mt Tamalpais State Park - Dias Ridge Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||6.9 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||650' - 0' (808' max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||-650' net elevation loss (+1,225' total roundtrip elevation gain)|
The Dias Ridge Trail runs down the coastal slopes of Mt Tamalpais State Park to Muir Beach in Marin County. The trail is named after Silvio Dias, who operated the Golden Gate Dairy in the early 1900s.
This short, multi-use trail is part of the greater Bay Area Ridge Trail system, a 310+ mile route that runs through all nine counties of the San Francisco Bay Area:
The Dias Ridge Trail heads southwest on a high ridge with commanding views over rolling coastal hills and deep valleys below. Clearings in the chaparral are filled with wildflowers from March to June.
Look for iris, poppy, lupine, monkey flower, shooting star, buttercup, ithuriel's spear, footsteps of spring, cobweb thistle, and hollyhock.
The trail undulates with little net gain to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area Boundary (1.45 miles : 773'), where it crests (808') and bends west with views over Muir Beach.
Here it tilts downhill on a moderately steep, winding descent to the coast. Note outcrops of greenstone basalt and greywacke, which erode more slowly than surrounding rock beds.
The Dias Ridge Trail ends at a working ranch along Highway 1, just across from the Pelican Inn (3.0 miles : 9'). Cross Highway 1 and follow the paved road (Pacific Way) over Redwood Creek to Muir Beach (3.45 miles : 0'). Muir Beach is a crescent, with little development on its south end.
Explore tide pools at low tide, or climb a short distance on the Coastal Trail to good vantages from the bluffs.
The Redwood Creek drainage stretches from Muir Woods to the ocean, providing critical habitat and passage for spawning coho salmon and steelhead trout.
Redwood Creek slows down before spilling into the ocean, forming a lagoon and natural nursery for young salmon. The endangered California red legged frog and scores of birds rely on these wetlands for food and shelter. Dunes at Muir Beach begin just above the high tide line, held together by intricate root systems of increasingly rare pants.
Respect this natural habitat and ongoing work of the Redwood Creek Restoration Project by enjoying the lagoon, dunes, and stream banks from a distance.
About Muir Beach
The Miwoks were the first known habitants of the Frank Valley and Muir Beach area. In the 1830s when California was a Mexican Territory, Muir Beach was incorporated into a nearby ranch called Rancho Sausalito.
20 years later, the owner sold the ranch to the Tamalpais Water Company, who later sold it to Portuguese businessman Antonio Bello, who named it after himself. The beach was renamed Muir Beach in 1940, which became incorporated into the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in 1978.
Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84View Interactive Google Map
- N37 53.096 W122 33.296 — Dias Ridge Trailhead on Panoramic Highway
- N37 52.939 W122 33.391 — .23 miles : Miwok Trail connection #1
- N37 52.868 W122 33.464 — .34 miles : Miwok Trail connection #2
- N37 52.650 W122 33.866 — 1.0 miles : Rolling trek on high coastal ridgeline
- N37 52.397 W122 34.045 — 1.45 miles : Golden Gate NRA boundary
- N37 52.057 W122 34.141 — 2.05 miles : Steep descent with views of Muir Beach
- N37 51.885 W122 34.459 — 3.0 miles : Dias Ridge Trailhead on Highway 1
- The Dias Ridge Trail officially becomes the Ranch M Trail past the Golden Gate NRA Boundary (1.45 miles). The Dias Ridge Trail, which breaks due west from this point, is closed for restoration and is no longer marked.
- The Dias Ridge Trail sees heavy traffic, especially on weekends. Arrive early to secure a parking space and avoid heavy bike traffic that builds throughout the day.
- Quail, coyote, rabbit, snake, deer, bobcat, and mountain lion inhabit this area, while falcon, kestrel, golden eagle, turkey vulture, and a variety of hawks are frequently seen hovering above.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- Pantoll Campground
- The Pantoll Campground is located on Panoramic Highway adjacent to the Pantoll Ranger Station. It has 16 campsites, each with a table, rock barbecue, food locker and space for a tent. Phones, faucets, firewood and flush toilets are nearby. There are no showers. Sites are first-come, first-served.
- The Steep Ravine Environmental Campground is located on a coastal terrace off Highway 1, one mile south of Stinson Beach. It has nine rustic cabins and seven primitive campsites. Each cabin has a wood stove, picnic table, benches, sleeping platforms and outdoor bbq. The cabins do not have running water or electricity. Primitive toilets, faucets, and firewood are nearby. Primitive campsites are located a few hundred yards from the parking area. Each site has a table, fire pit, food locker and space for a tent. Primitive toilets and water faucets are nearby. There are no showers at Steep Ravine Campground.
- Alice Eastwood Group Camp is located off Panoramic Highway on Alice Eastwood Road. It has two campsites. Site A holds up to 50 people; Site B holds up to 25 people. Both sites have tables, flush toilets, water faucets with sinks, bbq grills and a large area for tents.
- Frank Valley Group Horse Camp is located 1.5 miles West of Muir Woods National Monument on Muir Woods Road. It has 12 pipe corrals, water faucets, watering troughs, picnic tables, fire rings and a pit toilet. The minimum group size is 2 horses; the maximum size is 12 horses.
- To reserve a campground visit www.reserveamerica.com or call 800.444.7275. For specific camping and campground questions, call Pantoll Ranger Station at 415.388.2070.
- Backcountry camping is not permitted within Mt Tamalpais State Park.
Steep Ravine Environmental Campground
Alice Eastwood Group Camp
Frank Valley Group Horse Camp
- Fishing is strictly prohibited in Redwood Creek, the lagoon, and its tidewaters.
Rules and Regulations
- Dogs are not permitted on the Dias Ridge Trail.
- Horses and Bikes are permitted on the Dias Ridge Trail.
- Dogs are permitted on Muir Beach, but must be under strict voice control at all times to protect the wetlands, dune ecosystem, and local wildlife.
- Muir Beach is a Day Use Area Only, open from 9 am until one hour after sunset.
- Fires are permitted in the Muir Beach facility area in designated fire rings. Glass containers are prohibited on Muir Beach.
Directions to Trailhead
Mt Tamalpais State Park is located north of San Francisco in Marin County. The Dias Ridge Trailhead is located on Panoramic Highway, 150 yards north of the Highway 1 - Panoramic Highway split.
From Highway 101, exit Stinson Beach - Highway 1 and follow the exit ramp west .6 miles to the Highway 1 - Almonte Blvd intersection. Turn left on Highway 1 toward Stinson Beach. The road winds up the mountain to the Panoramic Highway split (3.2 miles) - veer right on Panoramic Highway (anticipate this quick turnoff).
The Dias Ridge Trailhead is not well marked, but a wide shoulder tips its location. Park in designated spaces only. This is a popular trailhead that fills quickly, especially on weekends. Arrive early to secure a space. If none are available, continue up Panoramic Highway to additional parking options along the road.
Mt Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941