Tips for Parking, the Muir Woods Shuttle, Best Times to Visit and More
Summer is the busiest time for Muir Woods. Larger numbers of people visit and parking is limited. Roads leading to Muir Woods may be congested. Also, there are many construction projects and events occurring this summer in the surrounding area.
To help you plan an enjoyable visit this summer, here are some tips about getting to the park, the best times to visit, parking, and a suggestion to visit less congested redwood parks nearby.
Tip #1: Take the Muir Woods Shuttle offered on Saturdays, Sundays, and some holidays during the summer only.
Spend more time in the Woods and less time circling to find parking. Take the Muir Woods Shuttle and arrive within steps to the entrance. The fare is $5 per person 16 years or older, and the fee to enter the Woods is $7 per person 16 years or older. Pay your shuttle fare and entrance fee at the Visitor Center.
For more information, see Route 66 or 66F at www.marintransit.org.
Tip #2: Arrive very early or later in the day. Mid-day is busy!
Muir Woods opens every day at 8 AM and closes at 8 PM in the summer. For parking close to the park entrance, it's best to arrive early or later in the day. There are two parking lots at Muir Woods. On busy holiday weekends, both parking lots tend to fill up quickly. If both lots are full, park on Muir Woods Road and walk in. Do not park in the red zones, of course! On busy holidays, expect to walk as much as ½ mile (20 minute walk) to the entrance.
You may drop off passengers in the Main Lot in front of the Visitor Center. Cell phone coverage is not reliable, so plan to meet your group in front of the Visitor Center.
Tip #3: Other Times to Visit
There are times when the park is not as crowded as in the summer. Holiday weekends are always crowded. Late fall, winter, and early spring are generally less crowded than summer. Week days are better than weekends. Early morning and late afternoon are better than mid-day. Rainy days are always less crowded, but can be a dramatic, exciting experience in an ancient forest if you're well prepared and dressed for the weather.
Tip #4: Other Redwood Parks to Visit
Muir Woods is not the only park in Redwood Country. The redwood range spans the coast from Monterey to the California/Oregon border. There is a large number of parks within the 2 million acres of coast redwoods, some of them logged and some of them are old growth like Muir Woods. For information about these redwood parks, visit www.savetheredwoods.org or www.redwoodhikes.com.
Tip #5: Take a Commercial Tour Bus
There are many commercial tour companies who bring clients to the Woods on a regular basis. They are very familiar with road conditions and the best times to visit the Woods. The ones who bring clients to Muir Woods regularly will have a Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) issued by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Ask if they have a CUA.
Tip #6: View our photo essay about parking to help you plan a trip to the Woods.
The photo essay contains signs for you to watch for as you travel to Muir Woods. We hope these photos help you make decisions before you encounter them while driving.Click to view a pdf of the photo essay. (9.43 MB).