Planning to visit Muir Woods but feel confused about the parking system? Your visit to the redwoods will be smooth if you follow this simple guide to Muir Woods parking!
A trip to Muir Woods National Monument is at the top of the list of things to do for many visitors to the Bay Area. A few miles north of San Francisco, it’s an easy day trip or afternoon excursion. And, the beautiful natural landscape offers a peaceful break from the bustle of the city!
Visiting Muir Woods is so popular year-round that the National Park Service is now enforcing a parking reservation system as well as operating shuttles to the park from nearby locations.
But, don’t let this discourage you from planning a visit! We’ve gathered all of the information you need to master the Muir Woods parking system and still have a great time exploring the redwoods.
Things to Know Before Your Muir Woods Day Trip
This may seem obvious, but in order to visit Muir Woods you MUST have a parking OR shuttle reservation. You cannot just drive to the site, expect to find and place to park and walk around the area.
If you are already thinking that parking at Muir Woods sounds like too much of a hassle, we strongly recommend booking our Dylan’s Famous Tour.
This tour rolls the best of SF, Sausalito, and Muir Woods all into one day, and we guarantee it will be a good time! The best part? We’ll have taken care of your Muir Woods reservations ahead of time. So, you can just sit back, relax, and enjoy the magnificent park!
If you’d rather not deal with the complicated new parking system, try our direct shuttle from San Francisco to Muir Woods!
How to Get to Muir Woods on Your Own
Both parking and shuttle reservations are available 90 days in advance. Note that the parking fees are in addition to the $15 Muir Woods entrance fee. Visit the official park website for more information about fees and passes.
The actual Muir Woods tickets to enter the park are easy to get and available onsite. You have the option of buying them in advance, but it’s not required.
Booking a Muir Woods Parking Reservation
Parking reservations are not sold onsite. So, you will have to do some advanced planning.
The Muir Woods parking fee for privately owned vehicles is $8. You will reserve a 30 minute arrival window and, once parked, you may visit the park for as long as you want until closing.
For more information and to book your parking reservation visit the Muir Woods official site.
Booking a Muir Woods Shuttle Reservation
When no parking reservations are available, you don’t have your own car, or you don’t want to navigate the Muir Woods parking lot, you can reserve a seat on one of the Muir Woods shuttles.
Shuttle tickets are $3 per adult round trip, and you must also reserve a free seat for children under 16 years old. View the shuttle stops below and choose the one that works best for your trip.
Pohono Park & Ride (100 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley)
Best for those who have a car, but can’t get an onsite parking reservation. There is a free Muir Woods shuttle parking at this stop, as well as connections to Marin Transit. This shuttle will get you to Muir Woods in 15-20 minutes.
Sausalito (Bay & Bridgeway)
This shuttle stop is best for visitors taking the ferry from San Francisco (Pier 41) to Sausalito. There is no parking available at this shuttle stop but you will be greeted with great views of the city.
Marin City Hub (Donahue & Terners, Sausalito)
Best for travelers comfortable with figuring out public transportation or those on a budget, this shuttle stop is accessible by Marin Transit as well as Golden Gate Transit busses which travel to and from San Francisco. There is no free parking available at this stop.
Shuttles run about every 10 minutes on weekends and holidays, as well as weekdays during the peak summer season. Keep in mind, the last shuttles of the day fill up, so plan to reserve your seat ahead of time!
PLEASE NOTE: You do not need to make both a parking reservation and a shuttle reservation. Pick one or the other depending on you needs. When calculating the total Muir Woods cost for your day trip make sure to include the cost of your entrance tickets in addition to your parking or shuttle reservation.
Planning a Last Minute Trip to Muir Woods
If you are planning a last-minute trip to Muir Woods, there are a few more things you should know.
There isn’t any wifi or cell phone reception at Muir Woods. This allows you to disconnect and enjoy the natural beauty of the park, which is great! But, it also means you must make your reservation and download (or print out) your parking or shuttle tickets in advance.
If you are planning last minute and parking or shuttle reservations are sold out, or it just seems like too much of a hassle to make your own Muir Woods reservations, we suggest you book a Muir Woods tour with a company.
Our Golden Gate Bridge bike tour and visit to Muir Woods is a great option if you’re looking for a bit of adventure!
This tour starts off with a self-guided ride across the Golden Gate Bridge on one of our standard 7-speed or electric bicycles. You’ll drop off your bike in Sausalito, where our private Muir Woods shuttle will pick you up and take you directly into the park.
This minibus and bicycle combo tour is the only one of it’s kind in the Bay Area. Its a great way to explore the most stunning sights and landscapes in the area, without the headache of figuring out transportation!
Parking Reservations Means More Space for Everyone!
While it may seem like this new Muir Woods parking system is annoying and unnecessary, it is a helpful way for the park to control the number of visitors each day. So, in the end, it really allows for visitors to the park to enjoy a less crowded and more pleasant experience!