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Don’t ruin a perfect day of exploring by choosing one of these options for getting to Muir Woods! Learn about the best and worst ways of visiting Muir Woods.

There’s no shortage for ways of visiting Muir Woods from San Francisco. You can catch a scenic ferry ride to meet the Muir Woods Shuttle in Sausalito, or you 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 Muir Woods tour bus, like our San Francisco Muir Woods Tours or our standalone shuttle from the city to the forest.

That way you don’t have to worry about the Muir Woods parking reservation or getting Muir Woods tickets on your own!

But, what if you want to go to the redwoods of Muir Woods on your own? Well, there are good ways of getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco, and there are not so great ways of getting to Muir Woods from San Francisco.

In this blog, we will talk about all the worst ways of visiting Muir Woods, so you can avoid them and choose better Muir Woods transportation to have the perfect Muir Woods day trip. 

Learn About the Easiest Way to Get to Muir Woods

Rideshare to Muir Woods

The worst ways of visiting Muir Woods

Taking an Uber to Muir Woods may seem like a good idea, but it has some serious flaws.

Ordering an Uber to Muir Woods or any car from your preferred rideshare company might seem like a good idea while you’re in San Francisco. But once you begin driving to Muir Woods from San Francisco and start climbing the winding mountain road that leads to Muir Woods, you will lose all cell reception.

If you’re lucky enough to have a driver who knows the Muir Woods drive 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 back to the city.

If you do take a rideshare service, you will not be stuck at Muir Woods. You’ll find some eager taxi cab drivers willing to take you to the Golden Gate Bridge for about $75. That’s nearly a hundred dollars for not even being dropped off at your hotel. Visiting Muir Woods on a San Francisco Muir Woods Tour isn’t sounding like such a bad idea now, right?

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.

muir woods guide

Drive to Muir Woods on your own

Drive to Muir Woods, avoid Muir woods parking without reservation

Driving to Muir Woods can be done, but it can be challenging to get a parking reservation.

If you have a rental car or know a local with a car, you might consider Googling, how to get to Muir Woods from San Francisco or getting to Muir Woods by car.

How far is Muir Woods from San Francisco? It is about 16 miles.

Parking has always been minimal at Muir Woods, but beginning in January 2018 Muir Woods rolled out a new advanced reservation system for parking. So this means two things for anyone trying to drive to Muir Woods from San Francisco:

  1. Muir Woods parking without reservation is not going to happen. If you roll up to Muir Woods without a parking reservation, you’re going to drive right back down the mountain. Since Muir Woods 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 trip to Muir Woods will be tricky, especially during the busy summer months.

Biking to Muir Woods

How to get to muir woods without a car, bike to muir woods

Biking to Muir Woods seems like an adventurous journey but it can be too much for some tourists to handle.

How to get to Muir Woods without a car? One option you should probably avoid is biking, unless you’re an experienced road cyclist who can tackle big hills and steep winding roads.

Sure, it’s technically possible to ride a bike the full distance from San Francisco to Muir Woods, but you’d be riding up a mountain that has hairpin turns, and is a road that is shared with 25 ft (that’s nearly 8 meters) tour buses. And there’s unfortunately no bike lane either.

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 suggest biking all the way to Muir Woods.

We are so adamant about this that we launched the only combination bike rental and San Francisco Muir Woods tour. 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 Muir Woods bus tour that will bring you back to San Francisco.

Bike the Golden Gate Bridge & Shuttle to Muir Woods

muir woods guide


Learn more about Muir Woods by reading our blog posts listed below. Don’t let transportation stop you from visiting Muir Woods, and exploring the beauty and wonder of the redwood forest.

Muir Woods FAQ

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