The route from Stinson Beach to Muir Beach takes place along the nicest part of the Pacific Coast Highway where the road is wide and well-paved, and the views are breathtaking. Long climbs followed by gorgeous downhills are the rule. Though the journey to Muir Beach has its share of climbing, it is also filled with picturesque views to distract. This return may not be as challenging as the ride back up Panoramic Highway, but it is definitely more rewarding. After grabbing lunch in Stinson Beach, gear up and enjoy the views of the Pacific Ocean while making your way to Muir Beach and the next stage of the return to Sausalito.
Difficulty: A Tough Initial Climb and Rolling Hills After
Climb: 712 feet of Elevation Gain
Download your route sheet here: Directions – Dog Days Are Over
Download your Ride to Stinson Beach and Return to Sausalito Route Sheet here: Directions – Bay to Beach to Ferry
When it’s time to leave Stinson Beach, you have a few options to consider. The first is to continue on to Fairfax-Bolinas Road to the north.
You can also return the way you came along Panoramic Highway.
Or you can follow the Pacific Ocean along the scenic Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) to Muir Beach. If you choose to follow the coast, you are in for a scenic ride.
The views of the cliffs, beach and ocean below make the climb much more tolerable.
But the views also tempt you to stop and take pictures frequently along the journey.
Don’t pause for too long, there’s still a lot of climbing to go.
Along the climb, there are many places to stop, take a break or take pictures. Part of biking in this area is enjoying the natural beauty of your surroundings. Make sure to not miss the incredible views along the ride.
At points along the ride you can see where the coastline juts out into the ocean near Pacifica, more than 15 miles away.
Other points along the journey have the views, but also have the fun of a spectacular downhill.
Though not as technical as the descent to Stinson Beach, these are still fast corners where you can get your tip on.
At the end of this downhill, you have one more climb and a last descent before you reach Muir Beach. The last climb has great views as well, but is a solid 6% grade the entire time with the most difficult section at the end.
On your way back down you will pass the Muir Beach Overlook.
Then it’s game on for the final descent to Muir Beach and more “wee fast fun” corners.
After a curve to the right over a small bridge CA-1 intersects Muir Woods Road. Follow CA-1 to the right towards San Francisco and to Muir Beach.
A quarter-mile or so down the road, you will arrive at the Pelican Inn. The entrance is before the sign, so look for the parking lot on your right. If you see the sign with the pelican…
You’ve just passed the entrance.
The Pelican Inn is owned by the same company as the Mountain Home Inn that was along Panoramic Highway on the climb to Mt. Tam. This is a great place to get some more food, use the facilities or just relax and take a breather before the next stage of your journey.
From the Pelican Inn you can follow CA-1 all the way back to Marin Crossroads and the Sausalito Ferry.
For now, check our video Three Amigos and enjoy the ride.