Visit Muir Woods
Visit the Redwood Forest - National Monument California
Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape.
Muir Woods lies in the middle of the redwood’s latitudinal range that spans from the California/Oregon border to Big Sur, just south of Monterey. The weather is mild throughout the year, but summer is the busiest time to visit Muir Woods.
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 humble Steller’s jay, ladybugs, ancient horsetail ferns, and the banana slug hold their own beneath the canopy. Plants adapt to low light levels on the forest floor, while whole plant and animal communities bustle in the canopy above our heads.
The 558-acre monument preserves one of the last remaining ancient redwood forests in the Bay Area. Some of the redwoods are nearly 1,000 years old and reach heights of more than 250 feet.
Named for conservationist John Muir, it was the 10th national monument to be designated under the Antiquities Act of 1906, the first to be in proximity to a major city, and the first to consist of formerly privately-owned lands.
Today, Muir Woods National Monument is home to more than 380 different plants and animals, including 27 species of mammals, 50 species of birds, 12 species of reptiles, and 5 species of amphibians. Redwood Creek, the principal stream in the monument, runs clean and clear beneath the towering trees. Its waters are home to Coho salmon and steelhead trout—keystone species in many Pacific ecosystems.
Muir Woods National Monument is managed by the National Park Service as a distinct park unit within Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
Top 10 tips for a great Muir Woods Tour and Day Trip
- Plan ahead. Reserve, relax, plan ahead & enjoy the Woods! Make your parking reservation here. Parking reservations are required ahead of time.
- Be patient and flexible. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Muir Woods during the months of June, July, and August. Traffic and narrow winding roads to Muir Woods often make the drive longer than expected.
- Cell service. There is NO cell phone service or WiFi at or around Muir Woods National Monument. Download your parking reservation in advance.
- Pets. Pets are not permitted in Muir Woods. The park is very small and can get very crowded. To protect the wildlife, other visitors, and your pet, we suggest that you visit nearby areas such as the Coastal Trail at Muir Beach, and some trails in the Marin Headlands where they are permitted. For more information please click here.
- Visitor Center: A Great Start. The visitor Center and Park Ranger Orientation Stations provide orientation, information, and trip-planning advice. Park staff and park partners are on duty.
- Park Passes. If you’re an America the Beautiful pass holder (“Annual,” ”Military,” “Senior,” “Access,” or “Volunteer”), you enjoy free entry to more than 2,000 federal recreation sites, including Muir Woods National Monument. Parking reservations are required at gomuirwoods.com.
- Digital guide to enhance your experience. Download the free NPS app (and offline content) before you arrive.
- Trails: Choose Your Own Adventure. Muir Woods National Monument contains 6 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 Mount Tamalpais State Park. View a map of Muir Woods and its vicinity. All of these walks afford views of old-growth coast redwoods, the tallest living things in the world.
- Be a Junior Ranger! Want to learn even more about your parks and earn cool badges along the way? Ask for our Junior Ranger Booklet at the visitor center or Orientation Station. Junior Ranger activities are fun, informative, and free!
Explore beyond our borders.
- The greater Muir Woods/Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes much more than the park. Plan your trip to take in the beautiful public lands, and natural wonders including Muir Beach and Muir Beach Overlook, Marin Headlands and Mount Tamalpais State Park.
Muir Beach Overlook
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.”
— John Muir