This post explains how to make a parking reservation at Muir Woods National Monument, including, how much it costs, helpful tips, and alternative ways to get here.
Let's get started!
There are approximately 232 parking spaces at Muir Woods. But due to the park's popularity, spaces fill up quickly.
It is ESSENTIAL to reserve your parking in advance or you will likely not get a spot.
Note that the Muir Woods shuttle does not travel between the onsite parking lot and the entrance to the park, so if you are parking do not reserve a shuttle ticket.
Some visitors have reported finding roadside parking, but as there are no sidewalks or shoulders to walk along, this is not recommended.
How do I reserve a Muir Woods parking space?
Go to the Muir Woods website or call 1-800-410-2419 to reserve your parking space for $8.
Spaces are made available to reserve up to 90 days in advance on a rolling basis.
The website is updated every day at 12:01 am and spaces sell out quickly - so try to get a reservation as close to 90 days out as possible.
Reservations are made for specific, 30-minute arrival times between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm.
You must arrive during your scheduled reservation window. but you can stay until the park closes at sunset.
NOTE: All tickets are electronic and sent by email. Since Muir Woods has no cell service or wifi be sure to download your reservation tickets before you arrive.
Can I Cancel or Change My Reservation?
You must cancel your reservation at least 72 hours or more or you won’t get your parking fee back.
If you want to change to a different date, Muir Woods will not transfer your reservation to a different day.
You must cancel your current reservation and make a new reservation before that final 72-hour window.
If it’s the busy season, your only last-minute option may be a sightseeing tour that includes the park. You can find out more about tours here.
Muir Woods is a 16-mile drive from San Francisco. Its address is 1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Depending on traffic, the route could take 30 minutes or over an hour.
OTHER WAYS TO GET TO MUIR WOODS?
If you don’t have access to a car or can’t get a parking reservation for your chosen day, there are still plenty of ways to get yourself to Muir Woods.
By Tour Bus
If you can’t get a parking reservation (they do sell out quickly!) or don’t want to deal with reservation times, booking a tour can save you the headache of working out your own logistics.
Muir Woods guarantees spots to tour companies, so there will always be space for you to enjoy the great redwoods.
The tours usually have strict schedules to keep, however, so remember that this option will limit your time to explore the trails.
Here are a few of the best tours and day trips to Muir Woods from San Francisco. Prices range from $75-$85 on average.
- Gray Line Muir Woods Day Trip
- City Sightseeing Muir Woods & Sausalito Trip
- Big Bus Muir Woods Guided Tour
- Tower Tours Muir Woods Trip
For additional details, please view our in-depth comparison of the guided tour options.
The Muir Woods Shuttle
We have a post dedicated to taking the shuttle. Below is a summary of the important information.
Pay just $3 round trip for adults aged 16 and up (15 and younger ride free) to use the official Muir Woods shuttle.
The shuttle requires reservations that are available up to 90 days in advance and sell out quickly.
Note that although children under 16 ride for free, you must still make a reservation for them.
- Sausalito Ferry Terminal - Bay & Bridgeway, Sausalito
- Pohono Park & Ride - 100 Shoreline Hwy, Sausalito
- Marin City Hub - Donahue & Terners, Sausalito
Go to the Muir Woods website or call 1-800-410-2419 to make your shuttle reservations.
Read our post all about the Muir Woods shuttle here.
Reaching Muir Woods, a jewel among California's national parks, via San Francisco's public bus can take 2.5 to 3 hours.
Managed by the National Park Service, it's an entrance to the redwood forest, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Though public transit covers Muir Woods road, considering Uber, a taxi, or a woods tour may be efficient.
With park entrance fees and a bustling parking reservation system, especially in June, it's essential to plan.
Nearby attractions include Mount Tamalpais State Park, Muir Beach, and Muir Wood Hiking Trails.
If you want to brave it, here’s a link to get your travel routes.
Muir Woods National Monument is open 365 days a year from 8:00 a.m. to sunset.
Depending on the time of year, sunset is between 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Overall, you should budget at least half a day for your Muir Woods excursion if you drive yourself there.
Depending on how long you spend in the forest, you could spend 2.5 - 5 hours from start to finish, including travel time from San Francisco.
If you are using a wheelchair or other mobility aid, you might want to give yourself extra time to navigate the small hills.
While Muir Woods is mostly accessible with a flat, wooden boardwalk that starts at the trailhead.
Farther down the trail, however, there is pavement that is cracked and uneven in places.
TIP: If you get hungry there is Muir Woods Trading Company, a cafe and gift shop that opens at 9:00 am and closes one (1) hour before the park does. Food is not allowed on the trails.
Is it better to visit Muir Woods in the morning or afternoon?
Visiting in the morning is often favored.
The morning light shining through the redwood trees offers a serene atmosphere before the park gets busier in the afternoon.
Can you drive through Muir Woods without a reservation?
Yes, one can drive on the road leading to Muir Woods, but parking reservations are typically required to park and explore, especially during busy times.
Do Muir Woods parking reservations sell out?
Indeed, they often do, especially on weekends and holidays.
It's a popular attraction in the Bay Area, so booking ahead is wise.
How difficult is the drive to Muir Woods?
The journey, while picturesque with glimpses of the Pacific Ocean, involves some winding sections of the highway.
It's scenic but demands attentive driving.
What is the best time of year to visit Muir Woods?
Spring and fall stand out.
The weather is pleasant, making it great for a hike, and you can enjoy the park's attractions, like the main trail and visitor center, without the rush.