Muir Woods FAQ

Posted on February 9, 2018 |

Being TripAdvisor’s #1 Outdoor Activity in San Francisco means we know all about one of the best outdoor attractions in the San Francisco Bay Area — Muir Woods National Monument. North of the Golden Gate Bridge is home to some of the oldest living things in the world, the redwoods of Muir Woods. We’ve made a reputation for ourselves over the past decade as one the best ways to see San Francisco and Muir Woods in a day (we don’t call our Muir Woods tour The Famous Tour for nothing!).

Even if you’re not hopping on one of our minibus Muir Woods tours, we want to make sure you have all the info you need before you plan your very own Muir Woods adventure. So, we’ve rounded up our most asked questions to help!

Photo by m01229 via Flickr

 

What days are Muir Woods closed?

Muir Woods is open 365 days a year! There are no holidays that Muir Woods closes for.

 

What time does Muir Woods open?

Muir Woods opens at 8am, every day of the year.

 

What time does Muir Woods close?

Muir Woods closes around sunset, which ranges 5pm – 8pm depending on the season.

 

November 5, 2017 – January 27, 2018

Muir Woods is open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

January 28, 2018 – March 10, 2018

Muir Woods is open 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

March 11, 2018 – September 15, 2018

Muir Woods is open 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

 

September 16, 2018 – October 13, 2018

Muir Woods is open 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

 

October 14, 2018 – November 3, 2018

Muir Woods is open 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

November 4, 2018 – January 26, 2019

Muir Woods is open 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

 

What is the entrance fee to Muir Woods?

Kids under 16 are free.

Anyone 16 and older is $10.

 

When is Muir Woods free?

In 2018, there are four days the park will be free to everyone:

Martin Luther King Junior’s birthday on  January 15th.

The first day of National Park Week on April 21st.

National Public Lands Day on September 22nd

Veteran’s Day on November 11th.

 

Are there food and drinks at Muir Woods?

Yup. Muir Woods Cafe just might have the very best our two favorite dishes at the Muir Woods cafe out of all National Parks. Bold claim, we know. Just about everything at the cafe is sourced from local farms and bakeries — be sure to check out! If your Muir Woods tour gets here early in the morning you’ll have coffee, tea and some amazing pastries from a local bakery (think cornbread, berry scones and even gluten free pastry options). Full lunch menu begins at 11am.  Heads up: National Parks don’t offer plastic straws or lids because of the impact it has on the park.

 

Is there a gift shop at Muir Woods?

Yes — and there are so many products made from redwood that make for the perfect souvenir! Since there are regulation on logging these 2,000 year old redwood trees, that makes these won’t be cheap souvenirs. But it’s definitely worth a walk around the Muir Woods gift shop! Pro tip: the best souvenirs on a budgets are pencils and postcards 😉

 

Where are the bathrooms at Muir Woods?

There are two. The largest set of restrooms are in the parking lot. But if there is a line or they are closed for cleaning (it takes 20-30 minutes for maintenance staff to clean all the stalls, so wait at your own risk), you’ll want to head into the park for the other restrooms. About five minutes into Muir Woods, just off the main wooden boardwalk, you’ll find the cafe, gift shop and additional restrooms.

Can I bring my dog to Muir Woods?

Only service animals are permitted inside of National Parks. Pets and emotional support animal are not allowed inside of Muir Woods.

Is there a redwood you can drive through in Muir Woods?

This one surprises a lot of travelers — but, no. The closest drive-thru redwood is a four hour drive from Muir Woods!

How do you get to Muir Woods from San Francisco?

The redwoods of Muir Woods are just north of San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway. There are few different ways of getting to Muir Woods — here the 10 Best (and Worst) Ways of Getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco. We always suggest hopping on a Muir Woods tour or a Muir Woods shuttle either the public shuttle to Muir Woods or a private Muir Woods shuttle for the most stress free experience. 

 

How do you get to Muir Woods from Sausalito?

Sausalito sits in the shadow of Mount Tamalapais, where you’ll find Muir Woods nestled into the valley of the mountain. Since the redwood forest is (depending on traffic) about 30 minutes away, lunch in Sausalito (and dessert in Sausalito) is the perfect companion to a Muir Woods adventure — which is why so many San Francisco Muir Woods tours love to stop here for a lunch break. Since parking at Muir Woods is limited and requires advanced reservations, you’ll want to consider making reservations for the public Muir Woods shuttle. Or hop on one of our rental bikes to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and then catch out private shuttle to Muir Woods on our newest combination bike and minibus San Francisco Muir Woods tour.

 

Can you bike to Muir Woods?

Technically… yes. But it really isn’t suggested. The Mount Tamalapais peak is over 2,500 feet (that’s over 780 meters)! In California, cyclists can legally share any road a car can drive on — vehicles even need to give bicyclists a few feet when passing. But here’s the catch. The road down to Muir Woods is nothing but hairpin turns, with no bike lane and A LOT of tour buses, shuttles buses and out-of-town drivers lost with no cell reception. We can’t, in good conscious, recommend biking up to Muir Woods.

 

Can you ride share to Muir Woods?

Technically… yes. But this is only a slightly better way than bicycling to Muir Woods. Your driver will lose reception once they begin driving up the mountain. And, if they aren’t familiar with the mountain roads, can be a very confusing drive. Also, there is no cell phone reception at Muir Woods to order a ride share back to San Francisco. Which means you’ll have to shell out about $75 dollars just to get to the Golden Gate Bridge — which makes taking a Muir Woods tour a whole lot cheaper! We can’t, in good conscious, recommend taking a ride share to Muir Woods.

 

Is there parking at Muir Woods?

Yes. But parking is extremely limited and requires an $8 parking reservation made online. There will be no parking permits sold onsite. Since there is no cell phone service at Muir Woods this means you can’t just make a reservation on your phone once you get there. We think this is one of the biggest reasons to choose a Muir Woods tour, that way you don’t have to worry about driving the windy roads or fretting about parking. You can make parking reservations at gomuirwoods.com.

 

Is there cell phone service at Muir Woods?

Nope. But there is a payphone!

 

Is there wifi at Muir Woods?

Nope. No cell phone service and no wifi — we call that a digital detox.

 

Is there a Muir Woods shuttle?

Yes. There is a public shuttle to Muir Woods that runs every weekend year around. The Muir Wods Shuttle only runs of weekdays on certain holidays and on a seasonal basis during the summer. You will need to buy your tickets in advance at gomuirwoods.com. The reservation system was rolled out in January 2018 and making reservations as far in advance as possible is strongly suggested. Here’s what to do if the Muir Woods shuttle is sold out.

 

How much is the Muir Woods shuttle?

Kids under 16 are free to ride the shuttle round trip. Anyone older than 16 will need to reserve $3 round trip tickets at gomuirwoods.com.

 

How do you take the Muir Woods shuttle?

Reservations are made for individual stops. The most popular stop is at the Sausalito Ferry — which means this is the most crowded stop! Beat the crowds by reserving your tickets at the Pohono Ride and Share — the cab or ride share to there will be worth it. And if you find tickets are all sold out, be sure to check out  What to do if the Muir Woods Shuttle is Full.

 

Are there private Muir Woods shuttles?

There sure are — and we run one of them! One of our newest tours includes a bike rental to cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge to meet our private minibus Muir Woods Shuttle. There’s another company that uses unmarked black buses for their Muir Woods shuttle, so they can be easy to miss!

 

Are there San Francisco Muir Woods Tours?

Yup — and we have three of the best ones!

 

Our most popular is a six hour minibus tour through San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods. It’s called the Famous Tour and stops for lunch in Sausalito for nearly an hour and stops at Muir Woods for over an hour!

 

For the more adventurous, we also have a combination bike and minibus tour. On our Bike the Bridge & Shuttle to Muir Woods Tour you enjoy a solo ride along San Francisco’s waterfront and across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito where you meet our private Muir Woods shuttle to spend over an hour exploring the redwoods before returning by bus to San Francisco.

 

And for anyone looking to see the most in one day, there’s our A Day in the Bay Tour. This is the ultimate one day excursion that stops at the Golden Gate Bridge before spending over an hour discovering the redwoods of Muir Woods and enjoying over an hour for lunch in Sausalito before being dropped off to catch a ferry to Alcatraz Island!

 

How long does it take to hike Muir Woods?

The Most Popular Trail for a Muir Woods Hike takes about an hour to complete. But if you check out The Three Best Trails for Anyone on a Muir Woods Tour, there are a couple of other options depends on if you’d like a longer for shorter Muir Woods hike.

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