Visiting Muir Woods? Here’s everything you need to know about taking the Muir Woods Shuttle from San Francisco!
Muir Woods is one of the most iconic national park sites in the Bay Area. Home to some of the nation’s only remaining old-growth coastal redwoods, this park is a must-see for tourists and locals alike.
Wondering how far is Muir Woods from San Francisco?
The distance from San Francisco to Muir Woods is only about 17 miles. Since it’s so close to the city, you may be inclined to drive yourself to the park rather than take alternative transportation.
However, getting to Muir Woods can be a bit complicated, especially if you choose to drive yourself. First of all, the roads leading to the park are extremely difficult to navigate. Here you’ll find steep climbs, hairpin turns, and, of course, no service for cell phones or GPS systems if you do get lost.
Another downside of driving to Muir Woods is the parking system. Because of the limited space in Muir Woods, visitors are now required to purchase parking reservations in advance. But here’s the catch with this system: your reservation does not actually guarantee that you will have a spot waiting for you at your selected time. Having a Muir Woods parking reservation only means that when a spot opens up, you can park there.
Because of the various challenges of sorting out your own Muir Woods transportation, we always suggest hopping on either the direct shuttle from San Francisco to Muir Woods or one of the many San Francisco tours that stop at Muir Woods. (Our San Francisco Muir Woods Tour, Direct Bus Shuttle and our Alcatraz Muir Woods Tour are great options!)
But, if you’ve decided to take a shuttle to Muir Woods, here’s everything you need to know for your Muir Woods day trip!
How do you get to Muir Woods without a car?
Whatever you do, we’d caution against taking public transportation to get to the park. While there are lengthy local transport options for Muir Woods from San Francisco, it is definitely not the most efficient option. The short drive between the city and the forest can easily take over an hour on public transit!
So, if you’re just looking for a way to get directly to Muir Woods without any additional stops in between, a shuttle would be the best choice for you. There are two options available: the direct Muir Woods Shuttle from San Francisco and the Go Muir Woods shuttles from Marin, Sausalito, and Mill Valley.
If you’re in San Francisco for a short amount of time and would like to catch some of the city highlights as well as a visit to Muir Woods, we’d suggest booking a combination tour. A typical Muir Woods tour bus will take you through all of the city’s most iconic destinations and spend an ample amount of time in Muir Woods as well. (Our A Day in the Bay tour is notable, as we cover San Francisco, Muir Woods, and Alcatraz all in one day!)
In addition to taking the Muir Woods Shuttle or a tour, there are plenty of other ways to get to Muir Woods. You can check out the complete list of ways on getting to Muir Woods here.
Option 1 – Direct San Francisco to Muir Woods Shuttle
Looking for the most efficient form of transportation between San Francisco and Muir Woods? Our new round-trip shuttle from the city to the park is a great option!
Heading north to Muir Woods couldn’t be easier. You just have to do three things: hop on the bus, relax on the ride, and enjoy more than an hour on your own in the park.
We’ll take care of all of your park reservations and the transportation to and from the city. So, you won’t have to deal with the hassle of pre-purchasing a parking spot or shuttle ticket, renting a car, or finding transportation across the bay.
What makes this shuttle exceptional?
We are the only Muir Woods shuttle that includes transportation across the Golden Gate Bridge. If you are in San Francisco and you choose to take the Marin Transit Go Muir Woods shuttle, you’ll have to take a bus or taxi out of the city first.
When you book our shuttle from San Francisco, we’ll take care of everything from start to finish. You won’t have to make multiple reservations for public transit or wait around for a ride. Instead, you can just sit back and enjoy the trip!
Our shuttle also runs every day of the year. While the shuttles from Marin only operate on weekends and holidays, you can hop on our direct shuttle any day of the week, rain or shine.
Here’s How it Works
First, you’ll meet your shuttle driver outside of Dylan’s Tours bike shop at either 1 pm or 2 pm. After a brief roll call, you’ll board the shuttle to enjoy a guided ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and north to the park.
Upon arrival in Muir Woods National Monument, we’ll drop you off near the park entrance. We’ll have taken care of your entrance reservation ahead of time, so you’ll be guaranteed entry to the redwoods. However, please note that the actual Muir Woods entrance fee is not included in the tour price. So, be prepared to pay for admission.
Then, you’ll have over an hour in Muir Woods to explore the trails and extraordinary beauty of the coastal redwoods. After 75 minutes in the park, we’ll hop on the shuttle again for a relaxing ride back into San Francisco.
The tour bus will drop you off at the same location where you first boarded it, at our bike rental shop on Columbus Avenue in North Beach/Little Italy.
This private guided tour only costs $49 per person, plus the additional $15 Muir Woods entrance fee. So, it’s a high-value option that will save you time and make your visit to the redwoods fun and stress-free.
Wondering how to make reservations for the shuttle to Muir Woods? Just click here to book your direct ticket to the redwood forest!
Option 2 – Marin Transit Go Muir Woods Shuttle
If you’re already north of the Golden Gate Bridge, you may want to consider taking the Go Muir Woods Shuttle run by Marin Transit. These shuttles are a convenient and budget-friendly option for getting from Marin County to Muir Woods.
Here’s everything you need to know about taking the Go Muir Woods Shuttle!
When can you reserve Go Muir Woods Shuttle tickets?
During autumn, winter, and spring you can only make Muir Woods Shuttle reservations on weekends and holidays.
However, from late June through early August, shuttle tickets leaving from Sausalito or Marin City are also available on weekdays. Please keep in mind that the Mill Valley shuttle stop only operates on weekends, even over the summer.
How do you buy tickets for the Muir Woods Shuttle?
To manage the number of visitors in the park at any one time, visitors must pre-reserve tickets for the Go Muir Woods shuttles.
Shuttle tickets need to be purchased directly through the Go Muir Woods website, where you can also look at the Muir Woods shuttle schedule.
A round trip shuttle to Muir Woods is $3 for anyone 16 and older. While children under 16 can catch a free ride on the shuttle, a reservation for seating is still required for them.
Tickets for the shuttle are reserved for three pick-up locations. Depending on the location, reservations are either made for an exact departure time or thirty-minute intervals.
*Also, keep in mind that the cost for entering the national monument is an additional $15 per person for Muir Woods tickets. So, your total Muir Woods cost per person will be around $18.
Where do you meet the shuttle?
There are three shuttle pick-up locations in Marin County for the shuttles to Muir Woods.
Each stop for the shuttle has varying levels of parking available and different departure schedules. So, you’ll want to make your reservation based on the location of the stop, the parking situation, and the available shuttle time slots.
Sausalito Ferry Terminal
The most popular, and most crowded, pick-up location is the Sausalito shuttle to Muir Woods, located near the ferry pier.
There is some paid parking available at this stop. However, it’s important to keep in mind that parking in downtown Sausalito maxes out at 2-3 hours. So, you’ll want to make sure you’re back in time to move your car!
The Sausalito to Muir Woods Shuttle reservations for this stop are made for an exact departure time. We’d recommend getting there at least 15 minutes early to make sure you can find parking and catch the shuttle.
Pohono Park & Ride
The Pohono Park and Ride in Mill Valley is a great option. There is free Muir Woods Shuttle parking available at this pick-up spot, so you won’t even have to pay to leave your car!
Muir Woods Shuttle reservations are made for a 30-minute departure window for the Pohono St Park and Ride stop. It’s best to arrive at the stop at the beginning of the timeframe to make sure you don’t miss the shuttle.
Because of the availability of parking at this stop, we’d definitely recommend it for anyone who plans on driving themselves to Marin County.
Marin City Hub
Reservations at the Marin City Hub are made for an exact departure time. Be sure to get there at least 15 minutes before your scheduled ride for the shuttle to Muir Woods.
Please note that there is no parking available at this stop. So, this shuttle is ideal for anyone already planning on catching a ride share to the pick-up location.
Whichever shuttle you choose, it’s very important to remember to hold onto your tickets after boarding! Your tickets for the shuttle include round-trip transportation, but you will need to show your Muir Woods shuttle tickets again in order to board the shuttle for a ride out of the forest.
How do you leave Muir Woods on the Shuttle?
Even though your ride into Muir Woods is reserved for a specific departure time, your ride out of the forest is not. This is great, as it allows you to hike through the redwoods of Muir Woods at your own pace!
Seats on the shuttles leaving the forest are filled on a first-come-first-serve basis. Keep in mind that during peak hours, beginning around noon, long lines form for the shuttle. The lines for the Muir Woods Sausalito Shuttle are usually especially long!
Once the shuttle reaches capacity, the rest of the line will have to wait for the next shuttle back into Sausalito or Marin City.
As the last shuttles of the day do fill up quickly, we highly recommend planning your departure time accordingly and catching an earlier shuttle back. If you miss the last shuttle, you can always call a taxi from the payphone in the park. However, San Francisco cabs get expensive and your wallet definitely won’t thank you for choosing this option!