“While the views from this loop can be stunning, heading into the fog is just as enjoyable.”
— Phil DiGirolamo
Views · Wildflowers
Like most of the Marin Headlands, the Tennessee Valley is widely visitied by families because there is plenty to see and much to explore. Keep an eye on the kids if you do add the beach out and back.
Leaving the bay area and heading into the Tennessee Valley will put you in wide open coastal country. You'll be traversing this area first at ocean level before climbing on to a beautiful coastal ridge for magnificent views all around. Smell the sagebrush and ocean air. Breathe deeply and feel free.
Need to Know
You are exposed to all the elements here. Bring layers and potentially poles.
This route is a 4.1 mile journey that visitors can stretch out over the course of a hour, or for a whole afternoon depending on the pace. From the well marked Tennessee Valley Trail
, the trip starts out flat.
As you head down the valley the hills on both sides of you may be shrouded in fog so you might not know they are there. Continue past the Haypress Camp Trail
and on your right, you'll come up on the Fox Trail
. Take this trail, and get ready for a nice long climb. There are a couple of steep sections where you'll want to catch your breath and take in the view. Be sure to look all around as you ascend.
Once to the top of the Fox Trail
, you'll take a left turn on to the Coastal Trail
. At this point, the ocean views will begin to unfold. On a clear day you'll be able to see out to the Farallon Islands. On the way down when you're working your way down the Coastal Trail: Muir Beach - Tennessee Valley
, look back toward the ocean and the lagoon and beach will be visible. Once you reach an intersection with the Tennessee Valley Trail
, you can go right to head to the beach, or you can go left to return to your car. If you decide to head to the beach you'll add another mile to your total distance.
The return trip on the Tennessee Valley Trail
will be a gentle incline, which is relaxing in comparison with the steep climb and descent of the Coastal Trail: Muir Beach - Tennessee Valley