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What to do if the Muir Woods shuttle is full. Here are 7 ways to enjoy a day trip to Muir Woods without taking the shuttle.

The Muir Woods Shuttle is a great transportation option for anyone who is wanting to explore Muir Woods National Monument. The Sausalito shuttle to Muir Woods takes you all the way up the mountain to the entrance of the park. 

The only problem that can occur when taking the Sausalito to Muir Woods shuttle is it could be full or not operating on the day you decide to go. 

Whether the Muir Woods Shuttle is full or if the Muir Woods Shuttle isn’t running – here are a few other options for Muir Woods transportation.


How far is Muir Woods from San Francisco?

The distance from San Francisco to Muir Woods is only about 16 miles. However, depending on the method of transportation you choose and the traffic, it could take over an hour to get there.


OPTION 1: Hop on a San Francisco bus tour that visits Muir Woods

Battle of the Buses

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Posted by Dylan's Tours on Friday, March 31, 2017

When you can’t take the Muir Woods shuttle from Sausalito, why not take a tour from San Francisco? 

There’s no shortage of tours traveling by bus to Muir Woods from San Francisco. Some of the best Bay Area tours stop at Muir Woods, but our personal favorite San Francisco and Muir Woods tour is Dylan’s Famous Tour.

Book the #1 San Francisco Muir Woods tour here

Our most popular San Francisco to Muir Woods bus tour, cruises through the city exploring iconic San Francisco neighborhoods, stopping for lunch in Sausalito and stopping, of course, in Muir Woods.

Our Muir Woods tour is “famous” because you get to discover all of San Francisco’s most popular spots, many neighborhoods that big buses aren’t allowed in, as well as stopping for over an hour to explore the redwoods of Muir Woods.

Why is this one of the best ways to get to and from Muir Woods? Not only do you get picked up and dropped off in San Francisco, but you don’t have to worry about making reservations for the Sausalito Muir Woods shuttle or parking reservations at Muir Woods.

OPTION 2: Rideshare to Muir Woods, cab to Sausalito then rideshare to San Francisco

Tourist using a San Francisco ride share to get to Muir Woods, when Muir Woods Shuttle full

Rideshare is an option when trying to travel to Muir Woods if the Muir Woods Shuttle is full. However, it can be expensive, and hard due to a lack of cell reception.

Technically, you can ride share up to Muir Woods, except you won’t have any cell phone reception to order your ride share back to San Francisco. Which makes ride sharing to Muir Woods one of the worst ways of getting to Muir Woods.

Even though this iconic redwood forest is just north of San Francisco, this National Park is notorious for its poor reception. Meaning, you’ll need to hail an old fashioned cab to get back to anywhere with cell phone reception.

Cabbies will be happy to bring you back to San Francisco from Muir Woods, for a hefty price. We’re talking $70 to get to the Golden Gate Bridge. Your next best bet would be to take a cab down the mountain to the waterfront town of Sausalito.

There you’ll have enough reception to order a rideshare back into the city. We realize this requires a lot of run around, which is why we can’t in good faith suggest ride sharing to Muir Woods.


OPTION 3: Rideshare to Muir Woods, cab to Sausalito and ferry to San Francisco

Take a taxi to Sausalito from the Muir Wood forest.

Taxis can be found at Muir Woods to take you back to the city, but they can be expensive.

As we mentioned above, the lack of cell phone reception at Muir Woods will make it all but impossible to order one back into San Francisco. There’s usually a few cabs hanging around the Muir Woods parking lot and for $70 they’ll take you to the Golden Gate Bridge. Outrageous, we know.

It won’t be much cheaper, but you can take a cab down into Sausalito for lunch. Afterward, you can take the scenic route back to the city on a ferry. The Sausalito ferries will take you to either Pier 41, near Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39, or the Ferry Building at the end of Market Street.


OPTION 4: Enjoy a one day ‘A Day in the Bay Tour’

If you are going to San Francisco, be sure to book Alcatraz in advance!Explore Muir Woods & Alcatraz with TripAdvisor's #1 Outdoor Activity in San Francisco on our "Day in the Bay" tour:

Posted by Dylan's Tours on Thursday, August 31, 2017

For those looking to pack even more in two days you might want to consider our A Day in the Bay Tour aka our Alcatraz, city, and Muir Woods tour.

If you only have one day for a San Francisco sightseeing tour, this is the tour for you. Not only do you get to spend over an hour visiting Muir Woods and enjoy time in Sausalito, but you also get to explore Alcatraz for as long as you like.

Book your Alcatraz & Muir Woods Tour here

OPTION 5: Reserve parking in advance and drive up

no parking sign, parking at Muir Wood a hassle

When visiting Muir Woods, you can rent a car and enjoy the drive from San Francisco. Just be sure to reserve a parking spot in advance.

When you can’t take the shuttle to Muir Woods from Sausalito, you can drive yourself to Muir Woods. Although this option is easier said than done, you can rent a car and enjoy your own Muir Woods day trip. Muir Woods rolled out a new parking reservation system in 2018 and reservations are now $8.

Muir Woods parking is extremely limited and is expected to sell out during the busy summer months. So, you’ll need to reserve parking early – or just hop on one of our San Francisco tours to Muir Woods.


OPTION 6: Bike up the mountain

Bike to Muir Woods from San Francisco

How to get to Muir Woods without a car? Bike! Enjoy a Muir Woods day trip by mountain bike.

If the Muir Woods shuttle from San Francisco isn’t running or is full, why not bike there? Past the Golden Gate Bridge is Marin County. There sits Mt. Tamalpais, home to Muir Woods National Monument, and the birthplace of mountain bikes.

The predecessor to the modern mountain bike was used on Mt. Tamalpais. This early version of mountain bikes was just sturdy old Schwinn bike frames with fatter tires and better breaks.

Even though the road to Muir Woods is filled with hairpin turns, big sightseeing buses and NO BIKE LANE, you still see plenty of avid bicyclists daring to bike up and down the mountain.

We don’t suggest this route lightly. But it is, technically, a possibility, if your idea of a good time is dodging buses and vehicles on a winding mountain road with no guardrails and no bike lanes.


OPTION 7: Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and catch a private Muir Woods shuttle

Bike the Bridge & Shuttle to Muir Woods

Choose your own adventure with our newest tour! Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and down hill into the waterfront town of Sausalito, California for lunch before hopping on our minibus shuttle to explore Muir Woods National Monument for over an hour 🚲🌉🌲Don't forgot to snag 10% off with promo code "golocal"!

Posted by Dylan's Tours on Tuesday, May 16, 2017

If you bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, normally you have to bike right back across to San Francisco to return your bike. That is unless you book the only combination bicycle San Francisco tour and Muir Woods tour.

That’s right, you can get the best of both worlds on this Muir Woods day trip, with our bike the bridge and Muir Woods Shuttle tour.

Enjoy choosing your own adventure and don’t worry about biking the distance from San Francisco to Muir Woods. Start by picking up your bike rental from our shop in North Beach.

You’ll be able to bike across San Francisco’s waterfront and across the Golden Gate Bridge, where you’ll be able to drop off your bike rental in Sausalito and enjoy lunch with a stunning view of the San Francisco’s skyline — followed by visiting Muir Woods via our shuttle bus. 

Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge & visit Muir Woods here


A few things you need to know about the shuttle to Muir Woods

  • Tickets for the Muir Woods Sausalito shuttle are available at the Go Muir Woods website.
  • Tickets are $3  for anyone 16 or older and free for those 15 or younger
  • The Muir Woods Shuttle runs every weekend and on holidays
  • The most popular place to catch the Muir Woods Shuttle is from the Sausalito Ferry Terminal aka Route 66F. If you want a less busy option, skip the Sausalito Muir Woods shuttle stop and be picked up at the Pohono Street Park & Ride aka Route 66S. Reservations are made every 30 minutes at this stop and are usually less crowded than the stop for the shuttle from Sausalito to Muir Woods.
  • The shuttle will drop you off and pick you up at the Muir Woods Shuttle parking lot.


For more information on Muir Woods read our Muir Woods FAQ. Don’t forget to check out these related posts on Muir Woods for more inspiration!

10 Ways to Get from San Francisco to Muir Woods

How to Get to Muir Woods without a Car 

8 Things to Know Before Getting to Muir Woods