The Most Popular Muir Woods Trails You Should Hike
Hike the most popular Muir Woods trails on your next trip to this enchanting redwood forest
About 30 minutes north of San Francisco, lives some of the oldest and tallest trees in the world. These nearly two-thousand-year-old coastal redwoods make up the forest at Muir Woods National Monument. We believe that everyone who visits the Bay Area has to hike at least one Muir Woods trail.
Exploring this famous American National Monument is one of the highlights of our Bike the Bridge & Shuttle to Muir Woods Tour.
For over a decade Dylan’s has been leading small group tours to Muir Woods. From bringing thousands of visitors to the park, we’ve noticed that our guests tend to love one of the Muir Woods hiking trails more than the others.
No matter if you’re getting to Muir Woods via our Muir Woods tours, taking the public Muir Woods Shuttle, or going on your own Muir Woods self-guided tour, we are here to help you enjoy the trails of Muir Woods.
If you’re just getting starting planning your trip to Muir Woods, be sure to read up on everything you need to know before visiting Muir Woods — from getting to Muir Woods to parking to what to bring for your trail adventures.
Grab your Muir Woods trail map and hiking boots and use this blog as a reference when you are creating your own Muir Woods trails list.
The Most Popular Muir Woods Hiking Trails
First things first, you will need to buy Muir Woods tickets at the entrance. The price of Muir Woods tickets depends on age, if you’re 16 or older, it will cost you $15, and if you are 15 and under you can get into the park for free.
From there, stop at one of the most popular Muir Woods attractions, and take a photo beneath the Muir Woods National Monument sign. If there are too many people around to grab a good picture, try again on your way out.
Then head onto the wooden boardwalk. The Muir Woods boardwalk is especially nice for anyone exploring with a stroller, wheelchair or walker.
A few minutes from the start of your Muir Woods walking tour, you’ll notice Bridge 1. This is the bridge you’ll be crossing at the end of the trails, so take a mental note. Right around Bridge 1, you’ll also find the Muir Woods cafe, gift shop, a small set of restrooms, benches, and picnic tables.
Bridge Loop 2
The following trails are al main trails, this means you won’t be hiking outside of the main area of you follow these trails. Bridge Loop 2 is about 0.5 hours, every main trail starts at the National Parks visitor center so this is your starting point.
This trail follows the Redwood Creek on both sides of the stream. You just follow the main trail until you reach bridge 2, cross the bridge and turn left. Follow the path until you reach bridge 1 again, this is the end of this trail.
The whole trail is about 0.5 mile and during the hike, you will enjoy views of old-growth redwood forest while you walk on a boardwalk. This trail is wheelchair accessible and perfect if you can only walk short distances but still want to enjoy the beautiful forest!
Bridge Loop 3
To find our favorite trail, keep walking past Bridge 1 and the Muir Woods amenities. After walking about 10 minutes down the main trail, you’ll see the wooden boardwalk disappear into a dirt path. Soon after that, you’ll see Bridge 2.
Continue down the same main trail for another 10 minutes, and you’ll find Bridge 3. This is the bridge you want to cross. Bridge 3 will take you across the creek where Coho Salmon migrate, and onto a dirt trail parallel to the main trail.
Once you’ve crossed the bridge, the crowds tend to thin out, and you’ll have more freedom to explore the redwoods, which is why this is one of the best Muir Woods hikes.
Once you’ve crossed Bridge 3 turn to the left, all you need to do is continue down the dirt trail eventually crossing over Bridge 1, taking you back to the entrance. This Muir Woods trail takes about 1 hour.
Bridge Loop 4
This trail, compared to the other trails costs a bit more time. If you want to complete the total trail you will need about 2 hours. The beginning of this trail is the same as the other two. You just need to keep walking until you see the sign of bridge 4 and then you have to cross the bridge and walk uphill. Turn left, you are now walking on The Hillside Trail. Just follow this path for an amazing hike.
This trail gives you the opportunity to explore a different view of the forest. To get back to the entrance you just follow the dirt path on the hillside trail until you reach bridge 1 again, but this time on the other side of the Redwood Creek. The total trail is 2 miles.
NOTE: The amount of time you spend on a trail depends on how fast you walk and how often you stop for photos. Most tours stop at Muir Woods for a little over an hour, giving you enough time to hike this trail.
Trails Outside of the Main Area to Hike
Muir Woods is pretty big and offers a lot more amazing hikes outside of the main area. These hikes differences between the 2 to 7 hours. So if you are planning on hiking outside the main area make sure to plan enough time.
We wrote a blog about hikes in San Francisco, which includes the trails outside of the main area of Muir Woods. Take a look at our blog “A Guide to Hiking in San Francisco” if you are planning on hiking one of those trails!
If you are looking for hike trails more outside of the main area of Muir Woods you can check out our blog about A Guide to Hiking in San Francisco!
Taking time to explore the trails of Muir Woods is a must when you are visiting the Bay Area. Let Dylan’s show you the best of the city on the Famous San Francisco Tour and Muir Woods Visit.
Alternatively, if you’re just looking for quick transport up to Muir Woods, Bike the Golden Gate Bridge and then take the Dylan’s shuttle to Muir Woods for over an hour of hiking on your own!