Learn everything you need to know about Muir Woods. How much is Muir Woods Parking? Can you bring food into Muir Woods? We answer all of your questions, in this Muir Woods FAQ.
Being rated the best Outdoor Activity in San Francisco on TripAdvisor means we at Dylan’s Tours know all about the outdoor attractions San Francisco Bay Area has to offer.
Muir Woods National Monument is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the area, and one that we love to take travelers to. Our Famous Tour is one of the best ways to see San Francisco and Muir Woods in one day.
North of the Golden Gate Bridge is Muir Woods National Monument. This enchanting forest is home to California’s famous beautiful, tall coastal redwoods. Visiting Muir Woods is a must-see for anyone who is looking to reconnect with nature as they explore the Bay Area.
Even if you do not come on one of our Muir Woods tours, we want to make sure you have all the information you need to enjoy your Muir Woods day trip.
In this blog, we answer the most asked FAQ’s about Muir Woods, like how much is Muir Woods parking, and what are Muir Woods hours, so that you can have the best time exploring the forest.
Is there parking at Muir Woods?
Yes, there is parking at Muir Woods. However, the Muir Woods parking lot is not that big, and parking is minimal.
To park you need a Muir Woods parking reservation, which you are required to make online before you get to the monument. There are no parking permits sold onsite, and there is no cell reception or WiFi, which will stop you from making a last minute reservation on your phone. Muir Woods parking will cost you $8 per vehicle.
One other thing that is important to know about the Muir Woods parking reservation is that having an online parking reservation doesn’t mean there will be a spot waiting for you once you get to the Muir Woods parking lot. It means that you are allowed to park, once a parking space becomes available. There is a good chance that you will have to drive around the parking lot for a while.
Muir Woods parking isn’t the easiest, which is one of the biggest reasons why we created so many tours that visit Muir Woods, like our Bike the Bridge & Shuttle to Muir Woods.
Instead of you worrying about driving the winding road up the mountain or having to deal with booking and finding parking, you can enjoy a stress-free tour. You will bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and then hop on our private shuttle and let us take you up the mountain to Muir Woods.
What days are Muir Woods closed?
Muir Woods is open 365 days a year. It is open for every holiday, and weekend, so you can explore the forest whenever you decided to visit San Francisco and the Bay Area.
What are Muir Woods hours of operation?
Muir woods opens at 8 am every day of the year, and it closes around sunset. Depending on the season, closing time is between 5 pm – 8 pm. Below is a guide to closing times, click here for exact dates.
November – January
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
January – March
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
March – September
8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
September – October
8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
What is the Muir Woods entrance fee?
Muir Woods admission varies in price for different ages. Kids who are 15 and under are free, and the Muir Woods cost for anyone 16 and older is $10.
Don’t let grabbing your Muir Woods tickets be another thing you have to worry about. If you book one of Dylan’s Muir Woods tours, the Muir Woods fee is included in the price.
When is Muir Woods free?
Guess what? There are five days in 2019 when Muir Woods tickets are free! The monument will probably be busy on these days, but if you are in the Bay Area on any of the below dates, why not explore the beautiful forest for free.
2019 Free Days:
- Monday, January 21 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Saturday, April 20 – First Day of National Park Week/National Junior Ranger Day
- Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
- Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
- Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day
Is there food and drinks at Muir Woods?
Yes, you can grab a bite to eat at the Muir Woods Cafe. The Muir Woods Cafe might have the very best food out of all the National Parks.
Almost everything at the cafe is sourced from local farms and bakeries. If your Muir Woods tour gets here early in the morning, you can enjoy coffee, tea, and some fantastic pastries. Their full lunch menu begins at 11 am, and you can enjoy park favorites like their Marin Melt.
Please note that 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?
One of the only materialistic Muir Woods attractions is its famous gift shop. You can find many products made from redwoods that make perfect souvenirs. It’s worth taking a walk around the Muir Woods gift shop before you leave the area.
Pro tip: the best budget souvenirs are pencils and postcards.
Where are the restrooms at Muir Woods?
There are two sets restrooms at Muir Woods. The largest set of restrooms are in the parking lot.
If there is a line or they are closed for cleaning, you’ll want to head into the park for the other Muir Woods restrooms. About five minutes into Muir Woods, just off the main wooden boardwalk, you’ll find the cafe, gift shop, and additional restrooms.
Can you bring dogs to Muir Woods?
No, you cannot bring dogs to Muir Woods.
Muir Woods has strict policies when it comes to pets being brought into the park. Only service animals are permitted inside any National Park. 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 there is not a redwood that you can drive through at Muir Woods. The closest drive-thru redwood is a four-hour drive from Muir Woods.
However, we guarantee you will still have a fantastic experience admiring the redwoods at Muir Woods.
How do you get to Muir Woods from San Francisco?
Muir Woods is just north of San Francisco on the Pacific Coast Highway. There are few different ways of getting to Muir Woods from SF. Check out this blog post for the Best (and Worst) Ways of Getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco.
The best and easiest way is to hop on a Muir Woods tour. You can also take a shuttle to Muir Woods, try 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 Tamalpais, where you’ll find Muir Woods nestled into the valley of the mountain. Since the redwood forest is about 30 minutes away, lunch in Sausalito and dessert in Sausalito is our perfect way to end a Muir Woods adventure.
To get to Muir Woods from Sausalito, you can take the Muir Woods public shuttle. Since parking at Muir Woods is limited and requires advanced reservations, you’ll want to consider making reservations for the public Muir Woods shuttle, to be sure you get a ticket.
You can always hop on one of our rental bikes to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and then catch our 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, you can bike to Muir Woods, but it isn’t suggested.
The Mount Tamalpais peak is over 2,500 feet. In California, cyclists can legally share any road that a car can drive on, but the road to Muir Woods is winding and has no bike lane. If that wasn’t bad enough, it is filled with A LOT of tour buses, shuttles buses, and out-of-town drivers.
While you can bike all the way to Muir Woods, we can’t in good conscience recommend it.
Can you rideshare to Muir Woods?
Again, technically yes you can, but this is only a slightly better way to get to Muir Woods than biking there. Your driver will lose reception once they begin driving up the mountain, and if they aren’t familiar with the mountain roads, they could easily get confused.
Also, without cell reception at Muir Woods, you wouldn’t be able to order a rideshare back to San Francisco.
This is another reason why we always suggest taking a Muir Woods tour. On a tour you can sit back an enjoy your Muir Woods drive.
Is there cell phone service at Muir Woods?
No, there is no cell service at Muir Woods. If you have a few quarters, you can step back in time and use their payphone.
Is there WiFi at Muir Woods?
No, there is no cell service or WiFi at Muir Woods. You can enjoy a refreshing digital detox.
Is there a Muir Woods shuttle?
Yes, there is a public shuttle to Muir Woods that runs every weekend of the year. 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 pay $3.
How do you take the Muir Woods shuttle?
Taking the Muir Woods Shuttle is relatively easy. You have to go online and make your reservation for which stop, and time you want to get picked up at. Then you show up to that stop before your selected time.
The most popular stop to get to Muir Woods is the Sausalito Ferry, which means this is the most crowded stop. Beat the crowds by reserving your tickets at the Pohono. A cab or rideshare to there will be worth it.
If you find tickets are all sold out, be sure to check out our blog What to do if the Muir Woods Shuttle is Full.
Are there private Muir Woods shuttles?
Yes, there are private Muir Woods shuttles, and we run one of them. One of our newest tours includes a bike rental to cruise across the Golden Gate Bridge where you will meet our private Muir Woods Shuttle.
There’s another company that uses unmarked black buses for their Muir Woods shuttle.
Are there San Francisco Muir Woods Tours?
Yes, 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, 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’ll meet our private Muir Woods shuttle and spend over an hour exploring the redwoods before returning by bus to San Francisco.
Anyone looking to see the most in two days can check out our Alcatraz & Famous tour. This is the ultimate two-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 visit Muir Woods?
We get a lot of people asking “how long does it take to see Muir Woods,” or “how much time to spend at Muir Woods?”
How long to spend in Muir Woods, really depends on how long you want to be there. Muir Woods is a lot smaller then people realize, and the most popular hiking trail in Muir Woods takes about an hour to complete.
On all of our tours, we spend a little over an hour exploring Muir Woods, as we feel this is enough time for tourist to experience the wonder of the park.
How long does it take to walk through Muir Woods?
You can hike through Muir Woods in about an hour. Check out our blog post The Three Best Trails for Anyone on a Muir Woods Tour, for a few trail options for your trip to Muir Woods.
Is there lodging near Muir Woods?
While there are no official “Muir Woods hotels,” you can find some nice hotels close by, in Sausalito and San Francisco.
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