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Muir Woods National Monument Visitor's Guide

Updated: June 23, 2023

This post provides details about some of the best things to see and do in Muir Woods, including details about hiking trails, camping, and other activities.

It includes directions on how to get there and information about various different forms of transportation you might want to consider.

Muir Woods Visitor Center

Most people coming to Muir Woods National Park from San Francisco will be stopping at the visitor center at some point.

For many visitors, this is where their journey into the park will begin, and there are several great hiking trails branching off from this location that will lead you to various beautiful landmarks.

The Muir Woods Visitor Center is located at the entrance to the park, and it includes maps of the area, brochures for tours and other activities, weather information, trail conditions, and more.

Before you discredit the idea of grabbing a map, keep in mind that there is no cell service in Muir Woods, so it might actually be a good idea to get one!

There's a cafe and gift shop nearby, allowing you to grab something to eat before entering the park.

The Muir Woods Visitor Center is open from 8 am - 5:30 pm each day, which are essentially the hours of the park as well.

For more details about driving directions and other methods of transportation, check our section on how to get to Muir Woods from San Francisco.

Muir Woods Hiking Trails

There are dozens of trails throughout Muir Woods National Park, and while all of them are great, some are better and more noteworthy than others.

A map of Muir Woods. Image source:

Depending on which trail you choose, you can expect to see sites such as Cathedral Grove, Bohemian Grove, Muir Beach Overlook, and more.

If you're trying to figure out which path to take once you get to the park, make sure to read our full post covering the 8 Best Muir Woods Hiking Trails.

Where to Camp in Muir Woods

Moss growing on the stump of a Redwood tree in Muir Woods. Image source: Pixabay user L.A. Dano.
Moss growing on the stump of a Redwood tree in Muir Woods. Image source: Pixabay user L.A. Dano.

If you want to experience the flora and fauna of Muir Woods, camping is one of the best ways to do it.

While there aren't campgrounds located directly within the park, there are two locations nearby that you might want to consider: Bootjack Campground and Steep Ravine Campground.

Each camping location is near a hiking trail that can take you to Muir Woods, so you won't be missing out!

Prices for campsites range from $25-$100, and you can learn more about each campground on our post explaining how to go camping near Muir Woods.

Guided Tours of Muir Woods

Multiple reputable companies offer tours and/or day trips to Muir Woods from San Francisco and the Bay Area. 

Although this can be a bit more costly than just taking the shuttle, there are a few good reasons to consider this option.

How to Get to Muir Woods

There are a few convenient ways to get here, including shuttle buses, public transportation, and of course just driving your car to the national park. 

This section covers the best options, prices, and of course directions to Muir Woods.

Via Muir Woods Shuttle

This is the most common way people get to Muir Woods without a car (outside of taking a guided tour from San Francisco).

This is a seasonal shuttle that services Muir Woods National Monument. 

The round-trip fare for adults is just $7 and free for guests aged 15 and under. (Be sure to make reservations).

Muir Woods Shuttle

There are 3 different shuttle stop locations from which visitors can take the shuttle, none of which are in San Francisco proper.  

Most visitors to San Francisco will take the ferry to Sausalito, which costs $13 each way for passengers aged 5 to 64 (free otherwise). 

Read our post on how to take the Muir Woods shuttle.

Via Public Transportation (without Muir Woods Shuttle)

As the Muir Woods Shuttle only operates seasonally, guests who hope to visit the forest via public transportation might find the trip to be rather long and confusing during the winter months.

The trip takes roughly 2 hours on public transportation from downtown San Francisco to Muir Woods National Monument. 

Click here to see precise routes and timetables.

Driving and Parking

Visitors can also opt to drive to Muir Woods National Monument. 

It is only about a 40-minute drive, however, can take much longer if traveling during heavy traffic. 

You must make a reservation for parking.

Prices range from $9 - $12 for parking, so even if you want to drive there, it’s important to note that you will have to pay for this service. 

Muir Woods Tours

At least these parking prices are better than almost any you’ll find in downtown San Francisco!

If all spots are reserved for your chosen date, you may want to look into taking the Muir Woods Shuttle or even a guided tour with one of the companies suggested below.

Via Guided Tour

Finally, guests can also visit the Muir Woods with a guided tour company that brings visitors directly into the heart of the park.

For more information about guided tours of the Muir Woods, please see the following section. 

Important: Pets, bicycles, smoking, horseback riding, and camping are not permitted within the park. Food is not permitted in the forest.


While the shuttle is only available during certain times of the year, you can usually expect almost daily availability for day trips and tours of Muir Woods. 

No matter when you want to visit, chances are there will be at least one tour company offering this kind of service.

Transportation/Admission Included

Not only do most guided tours and day trips to Muir Woods include the cost of admission to the national park, some of them also offer pickup service from local hotels in San Francisco.

And they all cover transportation to and from the woods.

Learn About Muir Woods

Since you’re taking a tour of Muir Woods, you can expect to learn a lot about the history of this area and its wonderful natural beauty. 

Your guide will likely know some of the best spots to visit and great locations for photo opportunities.

The only major downsides to this option are the prices ($75 and up) and the limited amount of time you will have to spend at Muir Woods. 

That said, considering these tours often include hotel pick-up and drop-off, free admission to the park, transportation and more, the prices for these outings are actually quite reasonable.

Better yet, many guided tours to Muir Woods include stops in Sausalito, Napa, Sonoma, Alcatraz, and other notable locations near the Bay Area. 

If you’re also interested in visiting these sites, this could be a good way to do it all in one day trip!

For more details about this option, check our post covering the best day trips and tours of Muir Woods.

About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: June 23rd, 2023
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