The Very Worst Ways of Getting to Muir Woods

Posted on March 28, 2018 |

There’s no shortage on ways of getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco. You can catch a scenic ferry ride to meet the Muir Woods Shuttle in Sausalito. Or can grab a San Francisco bike rental to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge before catching our private Muir Woods Shuttle and being dropped back off in San Francisco. We think the easiest way to Muir Woods will always be with a San Francisco Muir Woods Tour. That way you don’t have to worry about all the new parking changes at Muir Woods!

But, what if you just want to explore the redwoods of Muir Woods on your own? Well, there are good ways of getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco. And then there are disastrous ways of getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco.

Rideshare to Muir Woods

Ordering a car from you prefered rideshare company might seem like a good idea while you’re in San Francisco. But once your driver begins climbing the windy mountain road that leads to Muir Woods — they will lose all cell reception. And you will too.

If you’re lucky enough to have a driver who knows they way to Muir Woods without a GPS, you’re still going to have trouble finding a way out of Muir Woods and back to San Francisco. No cell reception means no way to open an app to order a ride.

You aren’t totally stuck at Muir Woods. You’ll find some eager taxi cab drivers willing to take you to the Golden Gate Bridge for about $75. Nearly a hundred dollars to not even get back to your hotel! A San Francisco Muir Woods Tour isn’t sounding like such a bad idea now.

There is a public Muir Woods Shuttle — but since January 2018 tickets need to be reserved in advance. Which is a little hard to do when you need to purchase them online and there is no cell phone service.

Drive to Muir Woods on your own

If you have a rental car, or know a local with a car, you might consider just driving up Mount Tamalpais yourself. Parking has always been extremely limited at Muir Woods. But beginning in January 2018 Muir Woods rolled out a new advanced reservation system for parking. So this means to two things to anyone trying to drive to Muir Woods from San Francisco:

  1. If you roll up to Muir Woods without a parking reservation you’re going to drive right back down the mountain. Since parking reservations are not sold on site and there is no cell phone service to buy a spot on your phone — you will need to drive down the Mt. Tamalpais until you find some cell service.
  2. Parking reservations sell out. And fast! Planning a spontaneous day-of trip to Muir Woods will be tricky during the busy summer months.

Biking to Muir Woods

Sure, it’s *technically* possible to ride a bike to Muir Woods. But you’d be riding up a mountain. That has hair pin turns winding along the mountain road. A road that is shared with 25ft (that’s nearly 8 meters) tour buses. Oh, and did we mention there is no bike lane?

It’s a dangerous road to bike — even for spandex wearing locals who ride this route regularly

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. We can’t, in good conscious, suggest biking all the way to Muir Woods.

We are so adamant about this, that we launched the only combination bike rental and Muir Woods shuttle tour in San Francisco. This way you still get the best of both worlds — biking the Golden Gate Bridge and leaving your bike rental in Sausalito before jumping on a safe, comfortable ride to Muir Woods that will bring you back to San Francisco


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