Muir Beach is named after John Muir, a giant in the American environmental movement that began in the nineteenth century in California. Muir was born in Scotland in 1838. He arrived in San Francisco in 1868 at the age of thirty and immediately set out on a walk that was take the rest of his life and was to see him explore most of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nearby Muir Woods were also named in his memory and preserve some of the largest redwood trees in the San Francisco area.
South of Muir Beach a system of hiking trails follows along the coast line all the way to Point Bonita and the Marin Headlands that over look the Golden Gate and the entrance to San Francisco Bay.