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Muir Woods National Monument

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The Muir Woods have been a private donation to the U.S. federal government and were designated as a national park by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. This recreation area, not far from San Francisco, has ever since attracted its visitors with the gigantic coastal redwood trees, also known as Redwood. The massive trees are today up to 1200 years old and over 99ft (30m) tall. A network of hiking trails along the Redwood Creek leads to the Cathedral Grove, where the largest and oldest trees of the Muir Woods can be found. Book your ticket in advance and reserve your parking spot online to secure your entry!
Miriam DewamBy Miriam Dewam
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Guided Tours

Let yourself be enchanted by the ancient and gigantic red wood trees on a guided tour and learn even more about these special trees.
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From San Francisco: Muir Woods National Monument Guided Tour
4.5starstarstarstarstar half(834)
 
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From San Francisco: Muir Woods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip
4.6starstarstarstarstar half(883)
 
getyourguide.com
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San Francisco: City and Muir Woods w/ Optional Alcatraz Tour
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San Francisco: Muir Woods & Sausalito Tour w/Alcatraz Option
4.9starstarstarstarstar(789)
 
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Specials

Combine your trip to Muir Woods with some of our extras such as the boat trip along the coast of San Francisco.
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San Francisco: Muir Woods, Sausalito and SF Bay Cruise
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getyourguide.com
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San Francisco city tour and Muir Woods combo
 
musement.com
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Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour Plus Bay Cruise
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viator.com
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Custom Muir Woods and Napa Wine Tour From San Francisco
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viator.com
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9 tips for visiting the Muir Woods National Monument

The National Park also offers wheelchair-friendly hiking trails | Photo: Unsplash, Parsa Mahmoudi - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Mandatory parking reservation for vehiclesAnyone arriving by their own vehicle must present a parking reservation, which must be booked online in advance (https://gomuirwoods.com/). If you are arriving on foot, by bicycle, or on a tour bus, a reservation is not necessary. All reservations are released up to 90 days in advance and come with a 30-minute arrival time window.
Hike through Muir Woods Park | Photo: Unsplash, Kody Goodson - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Choose an early arrivalThe redwood forests are well-visited throughout the year, but especially in summer when the shade-providing forest is a few degrees cooler. Therefore, you should opt for an early arrival as well as an appropriate parking reservation slot to have the national park to yourself.
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Use the shuttleWith the Muir Woods Shuttle, you can reach the park from outside for a small additional fee (children under 15 even ride for free!) and also get back again. This saves you the parking reservation, but you still have to book the shuttle in advance. The shuttle bus generally only runs from the end of March to the end of October, on weekends and public holidays to Larkspur Landing; on selected weekdays in summer (mid-July to mid-August) to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal. When you leave the park, just to be safe, take a bus before the last possible departure time to avoid being left behind! You can find more information about the shuttle service here.
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Get informed at the Visitor CenterBefore you start your hike, you should visit the Visitor Center, which is located at the beginning of the National Park. Here you will find an informative exhibition about the history, flora, and fauna of the Muir Woods National Monument. It is also a good starting point to plan your route.
Muir Beach | Photo: Flickr, knorby - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Become a Junior RangerAt the Visitor Center, children have the opportunity to participate in the Junior Ranger Program. There they learn important things about the National Park and receive a Junior Ranger book and pen. During the hike, the pages of the book need to be filled out and then presented again at the Visitor Center after the visit. After taking the Junior Ranger Pledge, they even receive a badge.
Redwood Creek | Photo: Flickr, Kate Elizabeth - CC-BY-SA 2.0
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Wear appropriate clothingThe terrain of Muir Woods is extensive and can be uneven in places, making it potentially slippery. It is therefore advisable to wear outdoor-appropriate shoes and weather-appropriate clothing in case it rains. Also, you should have enough food and drinking water with you, as there are no opportunities to purchase water along the hiking route. Please note that there is only a toilet at the entrance to Muir Woods, behind the cafe and the gift shop, and at the Fern Creek Trail crossing.
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Respect the rulesSince the Muir Woods is a national park, it is even more important to abide by essential conservation rules. This includes staying on marked trails, not picking plants, and not feeding animals. If you bring food and drinks with you, take your trash with you.
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Different hiking trails to suit all tastesThe national park entices with almost 6 miles (10km) of hiking trails that lead into the surrounding Mount Tamalpais State Park, to Muir Beach, or to Muir Beach Overlook. Most are designed as loops so visitors can choose half-hour, one-hour, or one-and-a-half-hour hiking routes based on their endurance. The most family-friendly path with a turnaround option is the one from Bohemian Grove Trails to Hillside Trail.
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Use the free appWith the free National Park Service (NPS) App, you can learn more about the park and also use the interactive map. Please note that there is no Wi-Fi on-site and only limited mobile signal, so it's advisable to download the app in advance for offline use here.
Hiking trails in the Muir Woods National Park | Photo: Unsplash, Caleb Jones - CC-BY-SA 2.0

A hike through the enchanting Redwood forests

The Muir Woods National Monument in California is a true treasure of nature, boasting the beauty of the Coastal Redwoods and the Redwood Creek. The impressive forests are not only a paradise for nature lovers, but also a place with a rich history and a fascinating environment.

A monument to conservation

The Muir Woods are named after the Scottish-American conservationist John Muir, whose work still influences the information and education efforts of all national parks in the USA today. As the 'Father of the American National Parks,' he played a crucial role in the conservation of California's Redwood forests so that they can continue to exist today and for future generations. Thus, the Muir Woods National Park is also a place that reminds us of the importance of protecting and preserving the environment.

Green Giants

The coastal redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument are on average up to 800 years old, making them some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. These imposing giants can grow over 260ft (79m) tall; they are known for their impressive size and overwhelming presence. It's hard to imagine how tiny one feels standing among these giants of nature. They also play an important role in the ecosystem, providing habitat and food for a rich diversity of species.
The Giants of the National Park | Photo: Unsplash, Rebecca Asryan - CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Enchanted Forest for Everyone

Among the trees, the creek Redwood Creek meanders, determining the course of the many hiking trails. They are connected by bridges that cross the creek and thus offer several turn-around possibilities. This makes visiting the national park possible for everyone, covering all levels of experience: From simple strolls along the Bohemian Grove Trail to challenging hikes like the Ben Johnson Trail.
Trails for every taste | Photo: Unsplash, Parsa Mahmoudi - CC-BY-SA 2.0

Founders Grove

From the visitor center, one can reach one of the bridges that connect the Redwood Creek Trail with the Bohemian Grove Trail. Along the Redwood Creek Trail is the Founders Grove, where one encounters the massive Pinchot Tree, named after the conservationist Gifford Pinchot, who advocated the sustainable use and conservation of such forests.

Cathedral Grove

Continuing down this path, one comes to the probably quietest spot on the hiking route, the Cathedral Grove, which should be entered silently in order to listen to the birds chirping. Here one finds the most astonishing coastal redwoods, which are also the largest and oldest (over 1100 years) in the national park.

Bohemian Grove

To reach the Bohemian Grove one has to cross the last bridge. The grove is situated on the Bohemian Grove Trail, which is named after the Bohemian Club. The club's symbol is an owl, represented here by a 15-meter-high statue. The club's annual members' meetings still take place in the Bohemian Grove to this day.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Muir Woods accessible for people with disabilities?

The trails are mostly wheelchair accessible. Please note that it can sometimes also become slippery. Read more.

Is there parking available?

The national park has parking spaces which must be reserved online in advance. If you do not have a parking reservation, you are not allowed to enter with your vehicle. The reservation costs between $10 and $45, depending on the size of the vehicle (small under 17ft / 5.18m; medium up to 22ft / 6.70m and large up to 35ft / 10.66m). Only a 30-minute arrival window is provided, but no specific parking spot is assigned. Please note that medium to large vehicles must arrive and depart within a time slot of 1 hour and 45 minutes, all other visitors can stay until the closure of the national park. Read more.

Is it allowed to bring food into the Muir Woods National Monument?

It is allowed to take food into the national park. Please make sure to take all waste with you and dispose of it properly. Under no circumstances should animals be fed with leftovers or similar. Read more.

Are there any food facilities in the national park?

There is a café near the visitor center. The café offers hot and cold drinks as well as sandwiches, salads, and soups. Read more.

Is there a souvenir shop?

A giftstore is located near the entrance. Read more.

Are dogs allowed in Muir Woods?

No animals are allowed in the park; an exception is only made for certified assistance dogs. In nearby areas, such as the Coastal Trail at Muir Beach, dogs are allowed but must be kept on leash. Read more.

Is it allowed to take photos and videos in the national park?

Videos and photos for personal purposes are allowed during the visit. Read more.

General information

opening hours

The Muir Woods National Monument is open year-round from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The visitor center also opens at 8:00 am but closes at 5:30 pm.

address

1 Muir Woods Rd
Mill Valley
CA 94941

tickets

Entrance to Muir Woods costs $15 per person and can be purchased on site or online along with the parking reservation. Children under 16, veterans, and Gold Star families can visit the national park for free. On January 16th, April 22nd, August 4th, September 23rd, and November 11th, admission is free. Please note that the entrance fee is charged regardless of the parking or shuttle reservation.

how to get there

The Muir Woods National Monument is most easily accessible by car, please note that a mandatory parking reservation is required, which must be booked online in advance. Furthermore, the Muir Woods Shuttle operates from the end of March until the end of October, on weekends and public holidays to Larkspur Landing; on selected weekdays during summer (mid-July to mid-August) to the Sausalito Ferry Terminal for a small additional fee.
Miriam Dewam
Written byMiriam DewamMiriam is keen on traveling and has a passion for photography, which she can enhance through her cross-media studies. She uses her knowledge as well as first hand experience from diverse travels to help other travellers as a content creator at TicketLens.
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