Muir Woods National Monument

Muir Woods National Monument

Quick Facts

Muir Woods National Monument

California

(415) 388-2595

Map Directions

Things To Do

     

Overview

"This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world," declared conservationist John Muir when describing the majestic coast redwoods of Muir Woods. Until the 1800's, many northern California coastal valleys were covered with coast redwood trees similar to those now found in Muir Woods National Monument. The forest along Redwood Creek in today's Muir Woods was spared from logging because it was hard to get to. Noting that Redwood Creek contained one of the San Francisco Bay Area's last uncut stands of old-growth redwood, Congressman William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, bought 295 acres here for $45,000 in 1905. To protect the redwoods the Kents donated the land to the United States Federal Government and, in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument. Roosevelt suggested naming the area after Kent, but Kent wanted it named for conservationist John Muir.

Hiking in the park is encouraged. There are multiple trails that explore some of the tallest trees in the world. Pets, bicycles, smoking, horseback riding and camping are not permitted within the park. Food is not permitted except in the plaza and cafe deck.

Map of Muir Woods

Latitude, Longitude: 37.895493, -122.581628

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Activities

  • Hiking

    Muir Woods contains six miles of trails. There is a 1/2 hour loop, a 1 hour loop, and a 1 1/2 hour loop as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding parks. All of these walks afford views of thousands of old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest living things in the world.

  • Historic Sites

    Muir Woods has a rich and varied history, from its use by the Coast Miwok people, to its early days of tourism and the Mount Tamalpais Mill Valley Scenic Railway, to an era of conservation, to modern preservation. In each era, the forest has been affected by the actions of humans, for better or for worse.

    The Muir Woods Visitor Center has information about the park including brochures, maps of the area, current weather and trail conditions, as well as dioramas and seasonal displays. In addition the Visitor Center sells books and other items specially chosen to increase your understanding of Muir Woods National Monument and its role in today's environment. The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, the non-profit partner of the park, operates the Visitor Center.

  • Wildlife Watching

    The incredible diversity of flora and fauna at Muir Woods can be daunting some times, elusive at other times. The redwoods themselves dominate the scene, but the Steller's jay often steals the show. Ladybugs clustering by the thousands on ancient horsetail ferns boggle the imagination, while the slimy banana slug is able to disgust and fascinate all at once. Plants adapt to low light levels on the forest floor, while whole plant and animal communities bustle in the canopy above our heads.

Seasonality/Weather

The park is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to sunset, including all of the holidays. Beginning on November 7, the park will close at 5 p.m. The visitor center will close at 4:30 p.m. The Muir Woods Trading Company gift shop and cafe will close at 4:30 p.m. Muir Beach, Muir Beach Overlook and Stinson Beach will close at 6 p.m. The park is cool, shaded and moist year round. Daytime temperatures at Muir Woods average between 40 F and 70 F. Be prepared for rain if visiting the park between October through May.

Park Partners

Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

The Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy is a nonprofit membership organization created to preserve the Golden Gate National Parks, enhance the experiences of park visitors and build a community dedicated to conserving the parks for the future.

The Conservancy's work is undertaken with generous contributions from individual, corporate and foundation donors, as well as income earned from operating park bookstores, merchandise and retail, publishing educational materials and providing interpretive tours. To help, you can become a member of the Parks Conservancy, purchase books from the Conservancy or become a Golden Gate Keeper through the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

(415) 561-3000

Muir Woods Trading Company

Muir Woods Trading Company operates the gift and crafts shop and the café, which are located inside the park entrance at the first and second rights up the main trail. These feature local organic foods, redwood housewares, sustainable clothing, Native American and local crafts.

(415) 388-7059

Directions

Driving

Muir Woods is located 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take Highway 101 to the Highway 1/ Muir Woods Exit. Follow the signs to Muir Woods. Roads to the park are steep and winding. Vehicles over 35' long are prohibited. Parking space is very limited and fills quickly on most days. There are no RV parking facilities.

Vehicles longer than 35 feet are not permitted on the Muir Woods Road and some portions of Highway 1 in southern Marin County.

Flying

Commercial airlines serve San Francisco and Oakland International airports, both about an hour's drive from the monument.

Public Transportation

No public transportation directly serves the park. Golden Gate Transit (415-923-2000) bus #63 runs on weekends and holidays in the spring, summer, and fall, and makes stops at the Mountain Home Inn, Pantoll, and Bootjack on Panoramic Highway. From any of these stops it is a 1 to 1.8 mile hike down to Muir Woods. On weekdays, the Marin Stagecoach brings visitors.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(415) 388-2595

Links