Anyone living in Marin who has a hale and hearty visitor should put a hike to Kirby Cove at the top of their “what to do with visitors” list. This is one of my favorite hikes and destinations in Marin because the views all the way up and down are gorgeous, and even in high tourist season the number of people who actually hike down to the beach are few. Most stay at the top where the two parking pull-outs and look-outs near the road down are, which is fine, but you miss the glory of the walk, the meadow and the beach.
Kirby Cove also has a campground with four campsites with up to 10 people per site and can be reserved for overnight camping plus there is a day-use site. If you have a reservation, you get a parking pass and actually get to drive down the dirt road to the meadow campground by the beach. Otherwise, you walk down, which is easy. Coming back up is a bit strenuous, but not bad if you’re in decent shape.
Where: End of Kirby Cove Road, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin, CA (map)