Muir Woods National Monument
"This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world," declared conservationist John Muir when describing the majestic coast redwoods of Muir Woods. Until the 1800's, many northern California coastal valleys were covered with coast redwood trees similar to those now found in Muir Woods National Monument. The forest along Redwood Creek in today's Muir Woods was spared from logging because it was hard to get to. Noting that Redwood Creek contained one of the San Francisco Bay Area's last uncut stands of old-growth redwood, Congressman William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, bought 295 acres here for $45,000 in 1905. To protect the redwoods the Kents donated the land to the United States Federal Government and, in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument. Roosevelt suggested naming the area after Kent, but Kent wanted it named for conservationist John Muir.
Hiking in the park is encouraged. There are multiple trails that explore some of the tallest trees in the world. Pets, bicycles, smoking, horseback riding and camping are not permitted within the park. Food is not permitted except in the plaza and cafe deck.
Seasonality / Weather
The park is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to sunset, including all of the holidays. Beginning on November 7, the park will close at 5 p.m. The visitor center will close at 4:30 p.m. The Muir Woods Trading Company gift shop and cafe will close at 4:30 p.m. Muir Beach, Muir Beach Overlook and Stinson Beach will close at 6 p.m. The park is cool, shaded and moist year round. Daytime temperatures at Muir Woods average between 40 F and 70 F. Be prepared for rain if visiting the park between October through May.
Muir Woods is located 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Take Highway 101 to the Highway 1/ Muir Woods Exit. Follow the signs to Muir Woods. Roads to the park are steep and winding. Vehicles over 35' long are prohibited. Parking space is very limited and fills quickly on most days. There are no RV parking facilities.
Vehicles longer than 35 feet are not permitted on the Muir Woods Road and some portions of Highway 1 in southern Marin County.
No public transportation directly serves the park. Golden Gate Transit (415-923-2000) bus #63 runs on weekends and holidays in the spring, summer, and fall, and makes stops at the Mountain Home Inn, Pantoll, and Bootjack on Panoramic Highway. From any of these stops it is a 1 to 1.8 mile hike down to Muir Woods. On weekdays, the Marin Stagecoach brings visitors.