Muir Woods National Monument, California (USA)

This was my 7th visit to San Francisco area and almost every time, I thought of visiting Muir Woods but couldn’t plan. Thanks Jacek, who planned weekend visit to Muir Woods along with a small hike to Mount Tamalpais. After beautiful drive around Mt Tamalpais and quick hike, we headed towards Muir Woods National Monument. This post shares about our experience, some extremely important tips and what do avoid if you want to make best of your visit.

This was my 7th visit to San Francisco area and almost every time, I thought of visiting Muir Woods but couldn’t plan. Thanks Jacek, who planned weekend visit to Muir Woods along with a small hike to Mount Tamalpais. After beautiful drive around Mt Tamalpais and quick hike, we headed towards Muir Woods National Monument. This post shares about our experience, some extremely important tips and what do avoid if you want to make best of your visit. 

The most important part is that you have too book parking slot before you come to Muir Woods. Go online, make payment and get a time-slot. You would only be allowed to enter during that time slot. If you don't find parking slot, park your vehicle in surrounding areas and book shuttle. Above photograph shows the shuttle bus which moves between the parking areas and bring you to the Muir Woods National Monument. So don't forget about advanced reservations when you plan for Muir Woods.

The most important part is that you have too book parking slot before you come to Muir Woods. Go online, make payment and get a time-slot. You would only be allowed to enter during that time slot. If you don't find parking slot, park your vehicle in surrounding areas and book shuttle. Above photograph shows the shuttle bus which moves between the parking areas and bring you to the Muir Woods National Monument. So don't forget about advanced reservations when you plan for Muir Woods

Apart from the reservation fees, you need to buy entry ticket worth $10. There are no extra charges for carrying camera inside this beautiful forest with some of the oldest redwood trees in this part of California state in USA. Above photograph shows root of one of the trees and it's age. If I remember it right, the tree was 1000+ years old tree and now sure if it belonged to Muir Woods or somewhere else.

Apart from the reservation fees, you need to buy entry ticket worth $10. There are no extra charges for carrying camera inside this beautiful forest with some of the oldest redwood trees in this part of California state in USA. Above photograph shows root of one of the trees and it's age. If I remember it right, the tree was 1000+ years old tree and now sure if it belonged to Muir Woods or somewhere else. 


There are some well defined trails which you can follow and explore Muir Woods. It's more about these high trees and some historical events associated with them.

There are some well defined trails which you can follow and explore Muir Woods. It's more about these high trees and some historical events associated with them. 

These trails are wheel-chair friendly, except some of the trails which are elevated and have steps. Above photograph is clicked at a spot from where guided tour starts almost every 30 mins, although I am not sure if it's daily thing or was happening during that week only. Since there was more time for next guided tour to start, we moved on.

These trails are wheel-chair friendly, except some of the trails which are elevated and have steps. Above photograph is clicked at a spot from where guided tour starts almost every 30 mins, although I am not sure if it's daily thing or was happening during that week only. Since there was more time for next guided tour to start, we moved on. 

In above photograph, find 3 human bodies and then compare them to the size of these trees at Muir Woods. That would give you some sense about the scale we are talking about. Walking around these trees is certainly very special

In above photograph, find 3 human bodies and then compare them to the size of these trees at Muir Woods. That would give you some sense about the scale we are talking about. Walking around these trees is certainly very special 

There are some wooden bridges over the water stream which takes visitors to other side of the creek. There are multiple trails on both sides of the water stream and various bridges to cross through.

There are some wooden bridges over the water stream which takes visitors to other side of the creek. There are multiple trails on both sides of the water stream and various bridges to cross through. 

Muir Woods National Monument is located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 19 km north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres , with 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests.

Muir Woods National Monument is located on Mount Tamalpais near the Pacific coast, in southwestern Marin County, California. It is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and is 19 km north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres , with 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests.

I loved capturing these beautiful textures on these Redwood trees of Muir Woods National Monument.

I loved capturing these beautiful textures on these Redwood trees of Muir Woods National Monument. 

The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest in California. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. Although, there was no fog when we visited in the month of feb. Fog is usually seen in summers and I would love to visit the place again in summers. The fog is also vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during drought seasons.

The Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest in California. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. Although, there was no fog when we visited in the month of feb. Fog is usually seen in summers and I would love to visit the place again in summers. The fog is also vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during drought seasons.

Play of light with some of the other trees also add drama to the whole environment. Jacek and I loved walking around the forest and shared our thoughts around organizational behaviors, how things changes when a startup moves towards IPO and what kinds of traits are important to retain after company is public. I learned a lot from Jacek's personal experiences at Facebook & other companies he worked with.

Play of light with some of the other trees also add drama to the whole environment. Jacek and I loved walking around the forest and shared our thoughts around organizational behaviors, how things changes when a startup moves towards IPO and what kinds of traits are important to retain after company is public. I learned a lot from Jacek's personal experiences at Facebook & other companies he worked with. 

150 million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be found only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California, in the south to Oregon in the north. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest scontaining redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast.

150 million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be found only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey, California, in the south to Oregon in the north. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest scontaining redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast.

By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down. Just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility.     Know more about history of Muir Woods National Monument, check this link.

By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down. Just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut, mainly due to its relative inaccessibility. 

Know more about history of Muir Woods National Monument, check this link


At some places you find few beautiful wild flowers in Muir Wood National Monument and this white flower was almost everywhere.

At some places you find few beautiful wild flowers in Muir Wood National Monument and this white flower was almost everywhere. 

The main attraction of Muir Woods National Monument is the coast redwood trees. They are known for their height and are related to the giant sequoia of the Sierra Nevada. While redwoods can grow to nearly 380 feets, the tallest tree in the Muir Woods is 258 feets. The trees come from a seed no bigger than that of a tomato. Most of the redwoods in the monument are between 500 and 800 years old. The oldest is at least 1,200 years old.

The main attraction of Muir Woods National Monument is the coast redwood trees. They are known for their height and are related to the giant sequoia of the Sierra Nevada. While redwoods can grow to nearly 380 feets, the tallest tree in the Muir Woods is 258 feets. The trees come from a seed no bigger than that of a tomato. Most of the redwoods in the monument are between 500 and 800 years old. The oldest is at least 1,200 years old.

The paved/boardwalk main trail begins at the entrance plaza and goes into the old growth redwood forest alongside Redwood Creek. Other unpaved walking trails extend from the main trail to connect with Mt. Tamalpais State Park trails outside of the monument boundaries.

The paved/boardwalk main trail begins at the entrance plaza and goes into the old growth redwood forest alongside Redwood Creek. Other unpaved walking trails extend from the main trail to connect with Mt. Tamalpais State Park trails outside of the monument boundaries.



I loved walking around the Muir Woods National Monument and enjoyed clicking photographs. Now that I am familiar with the terrain and the route, it should be easy for me to plan another visit during summer.

I loved walking around the Muir Woods National Monument and enjoyed clicking photographs. Now that I am familiar with the terrain and the route, it should be easy for me to plan another visit during summer. 

Comments

Nandan Jha said…
And I have visited SF many times and never been to Muir woods. In the initial years, it was because of no good public transport and in later years, my local friends were not interested, so on and so forth.

got to go for sure.
VJ Sharma said…
Public transportation is a common issue and a blocker for travelers in SF Bay area, unless someone is comfortable hiring a car and drive around. Apart from Muir Woods, there is so much to explore but lack of public transportation becomes an issue.

Just ensure that your local friends read this comment and they plan a day visit to Muir woods for you :)
amazing nature pictures sharing
Jacek Migdal said…
My experience is that other visitors are usually way more interested than locals in travel, hikes and other touristy places.

Yes, public transport may be a blocker, but Muir Woods you can do it. Just go to San Francisco, than Sausalito through bike/ferry/bus and there is a shuttle from Sausalito to Muir Woods. See:
https://gomuirwoods.com/muir/shuttleParkingInfo

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