Redwood Creek Trail, Mt Tamalpais State Park - Redwood Creek Trailhead, San Francisco: Marin Headlands - Mt Tamalpais - Point Reyes, California

Redwood Creek Trail - 4.2 miles

Mt Tamalpais State Park - Redwood Creek Trailhead

Redwood Creek, a critical passage for coho salmon and steelhead trout

Redwood Creek, a critical passage for coho salmon and steelhead trout

Round-Trip Length: 4.2 miles (add 1.7 miles roundtrip to reach Muir Beach)
Start-End Elevation: 95' - 17' (105' max elevation)
Elevation Change: -78' net elevation loss (+168' total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Easy
Dogs Allowed: No
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Redwood Creek Trail - 4.2 Miles Round-Trip

Redwood Creek runs down the high slopes of Mt Tamalpais State Park to the ocean, providing critical habitat for coho salmon and steelhead trout. Coho will begin and end their lives in Redwood Creek, while steelhead will venture out to sea and return each year to spawn.

Trail Map | Photo Gallery

Adult fish can be seen in the winter making their way up Redwood Creek - coho typically arrive December - January, and steelhead January - March. Redwood Creek slows down before spilling into the ocean at Muir Beach, forming a lagoon and protected nursery for young fish.

The Redwood Creek Trail follows a short section of the creek, beginning just south of Muir Woods National Monument and ending on Highway 1.

The trail features diverse ecology and an opportunity to see these fish complete their natural life cycle. Visitors will enjoy an array of wildflowers, berries and a good chance to see a variety of wildlife.

The trail begins on a level, narrow and oft overgrown path. Be mindful of poison oak, nettles and bramble thorns as you progress. The forest opens to a slender meadow just past the Miwok Trail split (.3 miles : 80'), then re-enters timber and crosses Redwood Creek again (.75 miles : 53'). Use these high platforms to look for fish and waterfowl in the stream bed.

The trail crosses Redwood Creek a third time (1.1 miles : 47') and rises to a sudden break in the forest (1.4 miles : 85'). Here Douglas fir and laurel give way to coastal chaparral, an ecosystem of diminutive shrubs with stiff limbs and long taproots.

Plants such as manzanita, coyote bush, blackberry, thimbleberry, sage, and lupine cover these sparsely treed hillsides. Chaparral plant communities are specially adapted to intemperate weather and higher saline concentrations in the air and soil.

The Redwood Creek Trail now rides high above Muir Woods Road and past the Heather Cutoff Trail (1.45 miles : 75') to its terminus at the junction of Highway 1 and Muir Woods Road (2.1 miles : 17'). You may continue .25 miles along Highway 1 to the Dias Ridge Trailhead, and another .45 miles from this point to Muir Beach (2.8 miles).

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N37 53.168 W122 34.099 — 0.0 miles : Redwood Creek Trailhead on Muir Woods Road
  • N37 53.013 W122 34.260 — .3 miles : Miwok Trail split
  • N37 52.678 W122 34.805 — 1.0 miles : Level travel on narrow singletrack
  • N37 52.425 W122 34.960 — 1.45 miles : Heather Cutoff Trail split
  • N37 52.033 W122 34.656 — 2.1 miles : Redwood Creek Trail - Highway 1 junction

Worth Noting

  • For an interesting 6.25 mile loop, follow the Redwood Creek Trail to its conclusion on Highway 1. Walk .25 miles east on Highway 1 to the Dias Ridge Trailhead. Head up the Dias Ridge Trail 1.9 miles to the Miwok Trail. Head west on the Miwok Trail for 1.7 miles back to its connection with the Redwood Creek Trail. Retrace your steps .3 miles back to the Redwood Creek Trailhead. This is an excellent trail run with varied terrain, flora, and ocean views along the Dias and Miwok trails.

  • Nettles and poison oak are ubiquitous on this trail. Long pants are recommended.

Camping and Backpacking Information

Backcountry camping is not permitted within Muir Woods National Monument or Mt Tamalpais State Park. There are several campgrounds in and around these parks:

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.

Steep Ravine Environmental Campground

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 or call 800.444.7275. For specific camping and campground questions, call Pantoll Ranger Station at 415.388.2070.

Fishing Information

  • Fishing is strictly prohibited in Redwood Creek, the lagoon at Muir Beach and its tidewaters.

Rules and Regulations

  • Dogs and Bikes are not permitted on the Redwood Creek Trail.

  • Horses are permitted on the Redwood Creek Trail.

Directions to Trailhead

The Redwood Creek Trailhead is located .4 miles south of the Muir Woods National Monument entrance station on Muir Woods Road.

Muir Woods is located 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take Highway 101 to the Highway 1/ Stinson Beach Exit. Follow signs to Muir Woods. Roads to the park are steep and winding; always be mindful of cyclists and oncoming traffic. Vehicles over 35' are prohibited.

The Redwood Creek Trailhead is located on the east side off Muir Woods Road, across the street from the Deer Park Fire Road. The sign is small and partially covered by brush. Park on the side of the road.

Contact Information

Mt Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Muir Woods National Monument
Visitor Information Recorded Message: 415.388.2595
Headquarters: 415.388.2596
Information For Hearing Impaired (TTY): 415.556.2766
By Fax: 415.389.6957

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Fort Mason, B201
San Francisco, CA 94123

Trip Reports

There are no trip reports on this trail.


"This trail is currently closed due to heavy winter rains! :("
RK  -  San Francisco  -  Date Posted: July 9, 2017
"Why is the Redwood Creek Trail Closed ? When will it reopen ?"
George Green  -  Mill Valley, Ca  -  Date Posted: June 13, 2017


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