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Recent changes to the Muir Woods reservations system have been it challenging to visit the park. Most notably, you must make reservations before visiting the park.

Getting to one of the most popular National Monuments in America — Muir Woods, home to an ancient grove of San Francisco redwood trees — is no longer as easy as it once was.

Typically, the most challenging part of visiting Muir Woods National Monument is finding somewhere to park. However, since 2018, you need to book advanced Muir Woods reservations for parking as well!

We’re here to help you plan your Muir Woods reservation to see the towering redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument!

Here are some things that you need to know about the Muir Woods reservation system and what this means for the average Muir Woods reservation cost.

Book the easiest way to get to Muir Woods here

You Have To Make Your Muir Woods Reservations Ahead Of Time

One of the stipulations of the new Muir Woods Reservations is choosing a time of arrival.

One of the stipulations of the new Muir Woods Reservations is choosing a time of arrival.

Since 1908 you could visit Muir Woods National Monument by merely showing up. But 110 years later that is all changing.

Since January 1st, 2018, the new Muir Woods parking reservation system was implemented to the public. Reservations for the $10 Muir Woods entrance fee will also be required starting on January 16th.

With this new system, you will be able to reserve a time and day up to 90 days in advance. You will have a 30-minute window to make your entry time.

This has made visiting Muir Woods a lot like getting an Alcatraz ticket — difficult.

Be prepared for these Muir Woods tickets to be sold out, much like Alcatraz, during the busy summer months. Luckily, you can always check out our ultimate A Day in the Bay Tour to secure tickets to both Alcatraz and Muir Woods for your trip to San Francisco!

Learn More About our Muir Woods & Alcatraz Tour

While parking has always been a pain at Muir Woods, you won’t get very far if you haven’t reserved a Muir Woods parking pass first.

The Muir Woods parking lot is limited, and since January 16th, 2018, you will need to make an $8 reservation to secure a parking pass for one of the whopping 232 parking spaces.

Muir Woods sees thousands of visitors every day, and the national park is anticipating parking reservations for Muir Woods to be in high demand for the limited spots. So, guests are encouraged to reserve as far in advance as possible.

There is also no WIFI or cell phone reception at Muir Woods — so this means you must download your parking pass in advance.

The good news is that you have options! If you don’t want to deal with parking, you can always hop on our Famous Tour. We’ll reserve the tickets to Muir Woods for you, show off the iconic sites of San Francisco, enjoy lunch along the Sausalito waterfront, and provide Muir Woods transportation!

muir woods guide

Last-Minute Cancellations On Muir Woods Reservations Could Mean You’re Outta Luck

Visiting Muir Woods just got a bit more complicated, but luckily there are still plenty of ways to get around this new Muir Woods cost, including going on a tour.

Visiting Muir Woods is complicated, but luckily there are still plenty of ways to get around this new Muir Woods cost, including going with a tour company. // Photo by faxpilot via Flickr

Unless you can give Muir Woods National Monument 72 hours notice of cancellation, you won’t be getting a refund on your Muir Woods fee. So, if your flight into San Francisco is delayed and you miss your reservation, you’ll miss out on the John Muir redwoods.

You can still stay as long as you want

Driving to Muir Woods is a great option for getting to the San Francisco redwoods, just make sure you have a Muir Woods parking reservation.

Driving to Muir Woods is a great option if you have made reservations. // Photo by Jason Toff via Flickr

We’re glad that some things aren’t changing. Luckily, Muir Woods will not limit the amount of time you have to enjoy the redwoods.

Your entrance tickets for Muir Woods will be timed, but not your stay. For planning purposes, most visitors find a little more than an hour is the perfect amount of time for exploring and going on one or two short Muir Woods hikes.

Still Infrequent Shuttle Service

A Muir Woods parking pass is now required. The shuttle is a viable alternative, but also fills up fast.

A Muir Woods parking pass is now required. The shuttle is a viable alternative but also fills up fast.

Currently, shuttle service to Muir Woods is only available during the busy summer months. And even then, it can be impossible to get a seat due to massive crowds.

Since January 2018, you’re able to fight the crowds onto the shuttle every weekend — if you have a reservation. Much like the parking reservations, Muir Woods shuttle reservations are anticipated to sell out well in advance due to their high demand.

And if you’re thinking to bike the Golden Gate Bridge and tossing your bike onto the shuttle? That’s not going to fly, as they have a strict no-bike policy on their shuttle buses.

Lucky for you, we have the perfect combination tour that allows you to do just that! We allow you to drop off your bike rental in Sausalito before hopping onto our minibus shuttle that brings you to Muir Woods and back into San Francisco. We even will take care of your Muir Woods reservation!.

Learn More About our Muir Woods Biking Tour Here


Any way you slice it, the new Muir Woods reservations system has made it harder for people to people visit this iconic grove of redwoods. Since the change, most days Muir Woods is sold out, especially in the busy summer months.

If you’d instead go with a bus tour of San Francisco and Muir Woods (and let us handle the reservations), use the discount code “CHOOSEYOURTRAIL” for 10% off our Famous Tour to Muir Woods or our Bike the Bridge & Muir Woods Shuttle! Our check out our San Francisco private tours which allow you to customize your Bay Area experience.

muir woods guide


Ready to plan your trip? Check out the #1 Muir Woods tour in San Francisco for the easiest way to visit the redwoods!

Learn More About the #1 Muir Woods Tour

Alternatively, if you’re just looking for an easy way to get to Muir Woods without a tour, our direct shuttle from San Francisco is also a great option!


Need more Muir Woods Inspiration? Read our related posts below!

Muir Woods FAQ

Best Muir Woods Tours

What to Do if the Muir Woods Shuttle is Full 

3 Best Muir Woods Hikes

10 Ways to Get from San Francisco to Muir Woods