These are the changes coming to Muir Woods that you need to know about, most notably, the fact that Muir Woods Reservations are now required with a visit to the park.
Big changes are under way for one of the most popular National Monuments in America — Muir Woods, home to an ancient grove of San Francisco coastal redwood trees.
Typically, the most difficult part of visiting Muir Woods National Monument, is finding somewhere to park, but starting in January 2018, you’ll need advanced Muir Woods reservations for parking as well!
If you’ve been wondering if you need a reservation for Muir Woods – after this year it’s a resounding yes.
We’re here to help you plan your trip to see the towering redwoods of Muir Woods National Monument — here are some things that you need to know about the new reservation system at Muir Woods beginning in 2018 and what this means for the average Muir Woods cost.
You’ll Need to Reserve an Arrival Time to Park
Since 1908 you could visit Muir Woods National Monument simply by showing up. But 110 years later that is all changing.
Starting January 1st, 2018, the new Muir Woods parking reservation system will be open 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 makes visiting Muir Woods a lot like visiting Alcatraz — 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!
Parking has always been a pain at Muir Woods, but if you’re planning on driving to Muir Woods for a Muir Woods day trip, 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 they are anticipating parking reservations for Muir Woods to be in high demand for the couple hundred parking passes that will be available daily. 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.
Or, if you don’t want to deal with that, 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!
Last Minute Cancellations Mean You’re Outta Luck
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
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
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 of biking across the bridge and tossing your bike onto the shuttle? That’s not going to fly, they have a strict no-bike policy on their shuttle buses.
Lucky for you though, we have the perfect combination tour that allows you to drop off your bike rental in Sausalito before hopping onto our private minibus shuttle that brings you to Muir Woods and back into San Francisco (with guaranteed Muir Woods admission).
Any way you slice it, the new Muir Woods reservation system is fundamentally changing how people visit this iconic grove of redwoods. It won’t be as easy getting to Muir Woods, and it’s more likely that you’ll find Muir Woods sold out, especially in the busy summer months.
If you’d rather go with a tour to Muir Woods to avoid all the hidden costs, use the discount code “CHOOSEYOURTRAIL” for 10% off our Famous Tour to Muir Woods or our Bike the Bridge & Muir Woods Shuttle!
Ready to plan your trip? Check out the #1 Muir Woods tour in San Francisco for the easiest way to visit the redwoods!
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!