Muir Woods Hike the Redwood Forest Marin County California Coast

There aren’t many places that you can experience the sublime beauty of old growth redwood trees. I highly recommend a visit to Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County California. Only 12 miles (19 km) from San Francisco you could experience pure bliss while hiking among the coastal redwoods.

Taking a Muir Woods hike is something you should put on your bucket list. If you visit San Francisco be sure to visit Muir Woods and walk the trails.

 

Muir Woods hike in the California redwood forest

 

Walking through the giant redwoods at Muir Woods is enchanting. You may find all your worries drop away and momentarily disappear. Nature is a wonderful elixir.

Before you know it, you will gaze up at the wondrous redwoods and feel the power of the outdoors to calm and relax your mind.

I am in love with hiking and taking nature walks. Every day I try to get out and experience nature, observing and embracing each moment.

The park is named after conservationist John Muir, who was instrumental in getting President Theodore Roosevelt on board with preserving natural habitats in the United States. Muir is considered the Father of our National Parks in the United States.

Related: Point Reyes Day Trip from San Francisco

 

Muir Woods hiking trail through the coast redwood forest

Muir Woods hiking trail through the coast redwood forest

 

Old Growth California Redwoods

Most of the redwoods at Muir Woods are between 500 and 800 years old, with the oldest at least 1,200 years old. The coast redwoods can live up to 1,800 years or more.

The coast redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) trees of Muir Woods are related to the giant sequoia of the Sierra Nevada. You’ll notice their great height. Coastal redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, reaching heights over 350 ft (107 m) – amazing!

 

Enormous lice of redwood tree from 1930 Muir Woods

Enormous lice of redwood tree from 1930 Muir Woods

 

Measuring the age of a tree

Information on measuring the age of a tree – what the rings tell us

 

Sequoia sempervirens is the remaining living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae.

You may notice there aren’t many birds at Muir Woods. This is because of the lack of insects. The tannin in the redwood trees repel insects. Tannin is also present in the cones of the redwoods.

Coast Redwoods start out life from a tiny seedling. The redwoods get much of their water from the fog in the bay area. Even when there is drought in California the fog still forms, providing much needed hydration to the forest.

 

Tiny redwood seedling Muir Woods California

Tiny redwood seedling Muir Woods California

 

Take note there is NO Cell phone service at Muir Woods or around Muir Woods. Heavenly :)

Just remember to print your parking reservation or take a screen shot before you get to Muir Woods.

 

Muir Woods California Redwood Trees

 

Where is Muir Woods?

Muir Woods is in Marin County, 12 miles (19 km) north of San Francisco. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and is managed by the US National Park Service. Muir Woods was declared a National Monument in 1908.

 

Big Redwood Trees Muir Woods California

 

Getting to Muir Woods

IMPORTANT: If you are driving to Muir Woods you must obtain a reservation for parking at Muir Woods

Parking Reservation or Shuttle Reservation

Parking reservations are required in advance of your visit to Muir Woods. Or you can take the shuttle bus to Muir Woods – this also requires a reservation in advance of your visit. Visitors arriving on foot, bicycle, or tour bus are not required to make a reservation.

Visit GoMuirWoods.com to book your parking reservation at Muir Woods or call 1-800-410-2419.

  • Parking costs $8 and the shuttle bus costs $3 per person aged 16 and older. As of November 15, 2019 the rates will increase to $8.50 for parking and $3.25 for shuttle bus
  • Book you parking or shuttle up to 90 days in advance
  • If you cancel your reservation more than 72 hours in advance you will receive a full refund
  • There are approximately 232 parking spaces at Muir Woods. You won’t get a specific spot but a parking attendant will guide you to an available spot
  • The shuttle bus is ADA accessible
  • The shuttle does not run every day

Check the schedule online, during most of the year the shuttle runs on weekends and holidays only. From early June to early August the shuttle also operates on weekdays.

Shuttle bus pickup locations

  • Pohono Street Park & Ride Lot
  • Sausalito Ferry Terminal
  • Marin City Hub

 

Muir Woods hiking trails map

Muir Woods hiking trails map

 

Muir Woods Hike

There are several trails to choose from at Muir Woods. All are wonderful!

  • Bohemian Grove Trail is a nice short 2 miles that follows a stream that is lined with redwoods.
  • Canopy View Trail connects with Lost Trail and Fern Creek to form a 3.4 mile (5.5 km) loop trail.
  • Sun Trail is a scenic loop of 4.7 miles (7.5 km) and joins up with the Bohemian Grove Trail.
  • Ben Johnson Trail is another loop trail at 5.2 miles (8.3 km) This hike starts with a long uphill section to a grassy ridge, then descends through old growth redwoods forest to the Bohemian Grove Trail.

Get a map of Muir Woods hiking trails here.

 

Muir Woods Lost Trail sign

Muir Woods hiking trails are well marked – even the Lost Trail

 

Accessibility at Muir Woods

Have a look at the hiking trails map for Muir Woods (also available: Braille Trail Map) and you will notice there is a boardwalk on the Muir Woods Main Loop Trail. This accessible boardwalk continues a few hundred feet to the Pinchot Tree Area.

Muir Woods also provides accessible parking stalls, accessible restrooms, and several accessible benches in the entry plaza.

 

 

Visiting Muir Woods California redwoods

Visiting Muir Woods California redwoods and walking the boardwalk trail

 

Visitor Info Muir Woods

  • Address: 1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley CA
  • Phone: 415-561-2850

Can I camp at Muir Woods?

Sorry, no camping allowed at Muir Woods, but the closest campgrounds are also in the Golden Gate National Recreation area.

 

Muir Woods redwoods talk

Check the schedule and attend one of the informative talks at Muir Woods

 

Campgrounds near Muir Woods

  • Bicentennial Campground $20 fee tent camping only
  • Hawk Campground – FREE tent camping only
  • Haypress Campground – FREE tent camping only
  • Kirby Cove Campground $30 fee tent camping only

Important info

  • Leave no Trace – There are no trash or recycling bins at Muir Woods parking – you must pack out everything that you pack into the park
  • REMEMBER: NO Cell phone service at Muir Woods or around Muir Woods
  • Open 365 days a year
  • $15 per person aged 16 and older
  • No dogs allowed other than service animals
  • Visitor Center closes 30 minutes before Muir Woods is closed. The Muir Woods gift shop and café close 1 hour before Muir woods is closed
  • Muir Beach, the Muir Beach Overlook, and Stinson Beach all close 1 hour after sunset
  • Muir Woods operating hours change with the seasons

2019 Muir Woods Hours

  • May 19, 2019 – September 7, 2019 from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm
  • September 8, 2019 – October 5, 2019 from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
  • October 6, 2019 – November 2, 20198:00 am to 6:00 pm
  • November 3, 2019 – December 31, 2019 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

 

More info to Plan your Trip to California

Point Reyes – Perfect Day Trip from San Francisco
Ladybug Hike at Redwood Regional Park in Oakland California
Carpinteria California Beaches 7 Fabulous Spots for a Beach Day
Palm Springs Travel Guide (2019 Edition)
Mount San Jacinto Park – Desert to Mountain Palm Springs Day Trip

 

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Muir Woods California hiking the redwood forest

Giant Redwood Trees Muir Woods California

 

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 4 of living a nomadic life, roadtripping around the USA and Canada and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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