A great loop that includes several very scenic singletrack trails in the Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais. The four trails included are Miwok (both climbing and descending), a descent of Diaz Ridge
, a descent of Coastal View, and a climb of Middle Green Gulch
A highlight is the Coastal View trail, a 2.5 mile flowy singletrack with amazing ocean views.
is very steep, and some riders may need to walk portions of the trail, although the difficult sections are short.
Starting at the parking lot at Tennessee Valley, enter Miwok on the north end where the road meets the lot. The singletrack begins immediately. About 0.5 miles in, there are some steps and switchbacks to negotiate. After another quarter mile, there is a short but very steep section. At the 1 mile point, the trail drops down to an intersection.
Miwok continues as a fire road through the other trails. After a few hundred yards, take the sharp uphill left past the water tank. If you hit pavement, you missed the turn. The climb past the water tank is steep but short.
Continue along on Miwok, and you'll have views of Tam Valley to your right. At two miles, when the road splits, you should follow Miwok to the right. A hundred yards later, the climb ends, and you begin a 1.5 mile descent, which ends at Highway 1.
You'll pick up the singletrack to Diaz Ridge
about 50 yards to the left across Highway 1.
After a 0.25 mile climb, you'll continue on to the Diaz Ridge Trail
. The trail starts as a fast, flowy singletrack (with a small climb in the middle), but gets more technical and switchback loaded as you approach Muir Beach. To your right will be views of Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods. As you progress down the trail, you'll get views of the Pacific Ocean and Muir Beach. Off to your left is the Green Gulch Zen Center Farm, which you'll pass through on the return trip.
trail ends at Highway 1 and the Pelican Inn, which is a great place for brunch or a pint of Guinness. Take a right on Highway 1. After a quarter mile, continue on Muir Woods Road when Highway 1 turns off to the left. You'll be on the paved road for 2 miles before you take a left to climb up Deer Park Fire Road
. If you reach Muir Woods, you have missed the turn off.
Deer Park is a 2.5 mile, 1,200 foot steady climb. It weaves in and out of the famous Dipsea Trail, which is not open to bicycles. At the top of Deer Park, Coastal View Trail drops off to the left. Coastal View is a 2.5 mile singletrack descent. The views of the coastline are amazing, but this area is very windy and foggy if the weather isn't right, so clear days are best.
Follow the trail all the way to Highway 1. Here you'll go left, and after a short climb, drop down a super twisty and fast section of the road. This will put you back at the base of Diaz Ridge
at the Pelican Inn. Turn right at the Pelican Inn, heading towards Muir Beach, and after 100 feet take the fire road on your left.
This road leads you to the Green Gulch Zen Center.
Enter the gate and ride through the farms at the center. After a quarter mile, you'll take a right hand turn and exit the farm. There is a sign pointing towards Middle Green Gulch
trail. Once you exit the farm through the gate, the Middle Green Gulch
singletrack climb begins.
After a tough series of 7 switchbacks, the trail opens up to a winding, scenic climb. One mile in, there is a very steep section about 100 yards long before the climb settles back to a more gentile grade. At the top of the climb, you'll go left on Coyote Ridge Fire Road. If the weather is clear, you may be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco through the hills. You also get good views of Tennessee Valley and Richardson Bay. After a half mile, you reach a peak with 360 degree views of the whole area.
Shortly after you begin to descend, you'll join up with Miwok Fire Road which you climbed at the start. Retrace your path, following Miwok down past the water tank, then follow it right and climb to the top of the singletrack section of Miwok. After the fun descent of Miwok, you're done!
Tennessee Valley was named for a ship which wrecked off the beach.