Muir Woods National Monument

Wooden entrance gate. A wooden sign with the name of the park hangs from the gate.
Entrance gate to Muir Woods National Monument

Quick Facts

Information, Restroom, Trailhead


For parking and shuttle information and reservations go to or call 1-800-410-2419. The new reservation system will improve visitor experience and enhance habitat protection. Learn more about the new reservation system.

For up to date trail and park conditions please visit our Know Before You Go page.

To help maintain social distancing we have made the following changes:

  • The Hillside Trail is one-way starting at Bridge 4 and ending at Bridge 2.
  • The Main Trail is one-way counter clockwise from Bridge 1 to Bridge 3 (with an option for a smaller one-way counter clockwise loop from Bridge 1 to Bridge 2)

Muir Woods is surrounded by nearby Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Weather and fire conditions can change suddenly, please check trail the Mt. Tamalpais website for any closures of the connecting trails.

NOTE: There is no cell service in Muir Woods. To use the app with partial functionality onsite, download the data to your phone ahead of time.

Muir Woods offers an experience available in only a handful of places on Earth. The peaceful groves of old-growth coast redwoods found here are examples of the species Sequoia sempervirens, whose only habitat left on the entire planet is in pockets along the northern half of the California Pacific Coast.

Muir Woods offers a space for quiet reflection in a filtered light forest environment. The immense height of the redwoods is sure to impress, but perhaps more amazing is the lifespan of these trees. The average age of the trees in Muir Woods is between 500-600 years, though some as old as 700-1,000 have been documented. In the right conditions, redwoods are capable of living up to 2,000 years. They're among the oldest living things on the planet, making Muir Woods a world-class destination that's not to be missed. Boasting accessible boardwalk trails and trailheads that lead through the forest to the coast, Muir Woods has adventures for all nature lovers, but dog friends must stay home.

Getting to Muir Woods

Muir Woods is a popular place in a hard to reach area. Planning ahead for how you'll get to and from the woods is essential. Reservations are required for all vehicles and shuttle riders. For parking and shuttle information and reservations go to or call 1-800-410-2419.

For a more peaceful experience, consider coming to the woods on a rainy day. Fewer people tend to venture to the woods when it's wet. The redwoods provide a fair amount of cover and can be quite beautiful in the rain. Another option is to come early or late in the day. From April to October, Muir Woods is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Twilight visitors will find the trails quiet and uncongested. Mid-week is always less busy. For the more adventurous, you can plan a hike into the woods from one of the trailheads around Muir Woods.

Keeping California Wild: Establishing Muir Woods

Before the 1800s, California's northern coast was covered in approximately 2 million acres of redwood forests. Development and logging resulted in the loss of 97 % of these trees. The area along Redwood Creek, in what is now known as Muir Woods, may well have been logged too, had it not been so difficult to access. By the early 20th century, Redwood Creek contained one of the last uncut old-growth redwood stands in the Bay Area. Now, it's one of the only old-growth coast redwood forest left in the area, and one of the last on the entire planet.

The preservation of Muir Woods is due to the efforts of Congressman and business mogul William Kent. Encouraged by his wife, environmentalist and women's rights activist Elizabeth Thacher Kent, the couple purchased 611 acres in the region in 1905. They promptly donated half the acreage to the Federal government to ensure its protection. Three years later, President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt declared the site a National Monument, and suggested naming the woods after Kent. Kent declined the honor, giving instructions for the woods to be named after legendary environmentalist, philosopher and all around cool historical dude, John Muir. Muir was very grateful for the recognition saying, "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world."

Get Your Nature On: Trails in Muir Woods

Muir Woods has 6 miles of trails, including half hour, 1 hour and 1½ hour loops. There are additional trails that lead from Muir Woods into Mount Tamalpais State Park. Most of the trails in Muir Woods are asphalt or boardwalk, but some that lead far up the canyon are steep, rutted and often muddy.

Can't See the Forest for the Fog

Some know him as "Karl," a thick gray fog who haunts the city and North Coast, especially during the summer. Karl is sometimes seen as a nuisance, but without him, we wouldn't have the redwoods. When inland temperatures are high, we get a visit from Karl, who comes in from over the ocean, providing a beneficial source of cooling moisture that collects in the forest greenery, and drips down to the forest floor. Karl plays a key role in supporting the forest. The moisture he brings during summer dry periods accounts for about 40 percent of the redwoods' moisture intake. Redwoods can move hundreds of gallons of water daily along their trunks from roots to crown. This water transpires through the trees' foliage, returning to the atmosphere.

ONE Tam at a Time

ONE Tam is a community-based initiative to ensure the preservation of Mount Tamalpais for the next century. ONE Tam raises awareness for the need to maintain the long-term health of the mountain, engage more volunteers in caring for its treasured resources and renew the spirit of philanthropy that was fundamental to keeping Mount Tam unspoiled over the last one hundred years. ONE Tam is a partnership between the following awesome organizations, dedicated to preserving wild areas in an increasingly digital age: California State Parks, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Marin County Parks, Marin Municipal Water District and the National Park Service.

Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods National Monument

Last updated: January 11, 2024