Muir Woods Visitor Center,
Time: 6:15 AM to 10:45 AM
Fee Information: Free
You are cordially invited to attend a sunrise guided tour through Muir Woods National Monument. While the early hour may seem uncivilized, if not down-right obscene, sunrise is a particularly beautiful time to visit an old-growth redwood forest. Participants will be introduced to the local plant and animal residents (more likely seen in early morning), all of whom have been invited to stop by and meet you. Note that many of the animal residents are distracted by family or personal concerns and the event often slips their mind. Not to mention that some are not very social, others are rather afraid of visitors, and still others are too caught up in the rat race of making a living to stop by and greet you. The resident plants, on the other hand, are more staid. They are quite happy to stand around while visitors admire their majesty and beauty. During the tour, we will explore the ways in which the residents make a living, how they form a unique community, and the similarities and differences with the ways residents in your own community make a living. Participants will also be invited to explore the evolutionary history of Muir Woods and how the community managed to survive the threats posed by an invasive species, namely us.
This 3⅓ mile (5⅓ km) stroll through Muir Woods (mostly flat, with a relatively steep section) is designed to engage adults and may be over the head of younger teens. Participants should be comfortable crossing a log bridge and managing a large step (about 2½ ft or ¾ m). Dress warmly, ideally in layers. We will be making frequent stops to talk about the forest. Dress to stay warm during these periods of inactivity. This is a tour, not a vigorous hike. Wear sturdy shoes. Bring a water bottle and optionally a thermos of your favorite hot drink and pastry to enjoy at Camp Eastwood. Heavy rain cancels.
Reservation required. There are two steps. First, call 415-388-2596 to make a tour reservation (free). Second, make a parking space reservation for 8 am of the day of the tour by calling 800-410-2419 or at gomuirwoods.com ($8 fee per car). (Note: Do not make a shuttle bus reservation as it does not run at the time the tour starts. You do not need to pay the park admission as it collected only after 8 am.)
In order to park a car, you must have a parking reservation. Between 5:55 and 6:10 am, the gate will be manned to allow cars with parking reservation access to the parking lot. Except for this time period, the parking lot is gated and will not be opened again until the regular staff arrive at 8 am. Please be prompt.
Parking space reservations must be cancelled 72 hours in advance to receive a refund. Should we cancel the tour, we will make every effort to do so four days in advance. When this is not possible, you may still use your parking space reservation to visit the park at 8 am of the day of the tour or we will offer an alternate program.