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This colorful sunset photo is taken from secluded Muir Beach looking west. Muir Beach, and nearby Little Beach, are located at the base of the small town of Muir Beach, which is about 40 minutes north of San Francisco and 20 minutes southwest of Mill Valley, along scenic Highway 1. The beach and town lie within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and next to Muir Woods National Monument (both managed by the National Park Service). Also located nearby are Mount Tamalpais State Park (Mount Tam), Slide Ranch Beach, Pirates Cove Beach and the popular Stinson Beach area.

Muir Beach is about 1,000 feet wide and 200 feet deep and consists of course sand and many large boulders, some of which you can see in the photo above. The Redwood Creek flows down to the ocean here as well, but slows down near the beach forming a lagoon and ponds that are great for birding. There are also hiking trails that branch out in many directions for those that want to explore the surrounding headlands by foot.

After an active day of exploring, make sure to stop by the nearby British-themed Pelican Inn where you can enjoy a traditional English meal (lunch and dinner daily, breakfast weekends for the public and weekdays for overnight guests), or sit in the bar for pub grub and a 20oz Imperial Pint of Fuller’s London Pride Ale (many other beers on tap as well). Rooms are available for those that want to make this their base camp for a multi-day stay.

Note: The road leading to the parking lot (Pacific Way) was recently closed for repaving and was scheduled to open back up by October 21st or 22nd 2014.