Dog Friendly Muir Beach: Hiking to Muir Beach Lookout with Dogs in Marin County

Home » Dog Friendly Muir Beach: Hiking to Muir Beach Lookout with Dogs in Marin County

Last Updated on June 16, 2022 by Paroma

Are you looking for a fantastic dog friendly hiking spot in Marin County? Then you’ve come to the right place, where I am about to spill the beans on Muir Beach overlook which is a dog friendly part of the coast that offers gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean and a coastal trail to walk your dogs. Keep on reading to find out everything you need to know to spend a fun with your dogs at Muir Beach lookout point in this dog friendly Muir Beach Overlook guide.

dog friendly Muir beach, hiking with dogs in Marin county





Muir Beach overlook is a dog friendly vantage point, right off Highway 1 in West Marin, north of Golden Gate Bridge and is about 16 miles north of San Francisco. The overlook point is literally 0.5 miles away from Muir Beach which is also dog friendly. Muir beach overlook has a dog friendly coastal hiking trail as well that leads all the way up to Slide Ranch but dogs are not allowed there.


Muir Beach overlook is one of the most beautiful stops on Highway 1 on a San Francisco to Mendocino road trip and should definitely be on your list of stops during this drive. This is one of the best sights for whale watching in California, especially in winter when gray whales migrate south to Baja.


Other dog friendly California beaches such as Stinson Beach and Bolinas Beach are within a short driving distance from Muir Beach Overlook. If you drive further north, you will head into the Point Reyes Peninsula, which is one of the most beautiful parts of Northern California and has a few dog friendly beaches as well.


Marin county has no dearth of dog friendly hiking trails. For those interested in more dog friendly hiking trails in the Bay Area, do check out these Marin county hiking posts:

Muir beach lookout, dog friendly hikes in Marin
Muir beach overlook
hiking with dogs in Muir beach overlook




Muir beach is a mere 0.5 miles south-east of Muir Beach Overlook and is dog friendly. Dogs must be on leash or under voice control. Dogs on Kaashi Way and Coastal Trail must be on-leash at all times since deer are sometimes spotted here.



The world famous Muir woods, aka a grove of old growth Coastal Redwoods named after the famous environmentalist John Muir, does not allow dogs. However, Muir Beach and Muir Beach overlook are dog friendly so you can definitely spend some time soaking in the beauty of Marin county in these two spots. 

dog friendly Marin county hikes at Muir Beach overlook





Muir beach is the lesser known sandy stretch in West Marin and has a beautiful overlooking point which reveals a breathtaking scenery of the jagged California coastline and crashing waves. Here are some tips on how to make the most of your Muir Beach overlook visit for dog friendly hiking:


a) Muir beach is a beautiful cove in Marin county  and the overlook is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. There is a small parking lot at the entryway to the overlook with steps leading up to dog friendly Muir beach overlook. Please watch out for posted signs and do not cross fences since there may be wildlife and nesting birds. Come early since the parking lot fills up quickly.


b) There is a long, winding dog friendly coastal trail that takes off from the very right of the landing (parking area) and runs all the way up to Slide ranch, an educational farm which conducts summer camps and family programs to connect children and adults to sustainable farming and agricultural practices to foster greater awareness for food. Visiting is by appointment only but dogs are not allowed.


c) It can get really windy on the coast, even on a warm, hot, sunny day. So please dress in layers.


coastal trail at Muir Beach




day trip to Muir Beach Overlook, hiking with dogs
dog friendly muir beach overlook
Marin county, Muir Beach
dog friendly coastal Trail, Muir Beach
Bay Area hiking with dogs
dog friendly Muir Beach overlook




A) Dogs should be on leash on all roads for traffic but they are OK off-leash and on voice command (if they have good recall) on trails which are secluded. We spotted deer crossing the trail and although Babu barked at them (Tucker is the epitome of peace and quiet), we held on to him so that he wouldn’t chase the deer away, who anyway ran as fast as possible hearing him bark. So it is better to leash them anticipating such circumstances.


B) Please pick up after your dog, because that is the most responsible thing to do.


C) The overlook is fenced on all sides, but small dogs (20 lbs or less) can easily wiggle below the fence and might fall of the cliffs. If your dog does not have good recall manners, please do not take him/her off the leash.


D) Please obey all posted signs and stay on the trails!


We had a great time hiking with dogs at Muir beach overlook and I highly recommend it to all bay area dog lovers as well as nature lovers and hikers. The hike, though tedious, is of moderate energy and the winding trail does not have much of an elevation. The outlook boasts of beautiful sunsets and the landing area is the perfect spot for a picnic. For more information and rules, visit the website here.







Post hiking, you can reward yourself with some great pizza at Tony Tutto in Ross, which serves pizza so good that you will end up licking your fingers. They have tons of vegan and vegetarian options and so are universally lovable! They also have an outdoor seating area and their own tiny parking spot. 






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Dogs hiking Muir beach lookout Bay area GGNRA California Marin



19 thoughts on “Dog Friendly Muir Beach: Hiking to Muir Beach Lookout with Dogs in Marin County”

  1. That’s a pretty cool lookout! I love the winding dirt trail along the cliffs. That’s something you just can’t get in the Southeast.

  2. What a beautiful place and gorgeous photos! It looks like your dogs really enjoyed their hike. Slide Ranch sounds like a place my family would really enjoy.

  3. Those are some stunning views! I have been researching good hiking spots to take Penny once the weather cools off a bit. I can’t wait to get out and hike this fall!

  4. Well, 2016 might have started badly, but it ended worse…. 2017 is just plain scary. But this looks like a good retreat. As someone who writes a dog travel blog, I’m always jealous how dog friendly California is.

  5. My kind of trail!! Gorgeous and what a vista! I’d leash the wee one near cliffs since he’d fit under that railing NO problem at 8″ in height. 🙂

  6. Beautiful place. Our girls always love(d) high places to gaze across the land. Make sense if you consider that normally they can’t even see over taller grass 🙂

  7. What a beautiful trail and lookout. I would love to live near the ocean because I find it so calming and relaxing. Your photos are beautiful.

  8. What beautiful views! It’s a shame that California has such beautiful scenery but such extreme weather. It took me a minute to realize that this post is from last year because I know how bad the weather is there recently. I also noticed a dog that wasn’t in your recent post so I think it’s no longer with you, which is so sad, the picture of you looking at the view with your arm around him is just beautiful.

    • Actually this place is north of Golden gate bridge where the weather is pretty nice throughout the year. The other dog is our neighbor’s baby whom we look after often:-) Thank you for stopping by!

  9. What a gorgeous sweeping view. Mr. N is pretty good off-leash but that’s quite the fall and he is pretty good at wriggling thorough holes… I’d have to think about it. Lovely place to hike though.

  10. Oh, such a beautiful place! You truly do have a beautiful coast! I think I’d a permanent fixture there!

  11. This is a beautiful location! I’m not sure I could walk the trails with my torn meniscus now, but I wish I could. I really like your recommendations about using a leash for dogs, even though the trail is a leash-free zone.

  12. What great timing – we have a friend who is moving out to this area in a week! She’ll be so delighted to learn of this hike – her pups will be even more excited. Thanks for sharing!


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