Muir Woods, San Francisco

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 36 Reviews

Mill Valley, Marin County 415-388-2595

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    Muir Woods, Marin County, near San...
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  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Muir woods park

    by solopes Updated Sep 26, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    San Francisco - USA
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    No, I'm not a midget.

    No, I have no inferiority complex. No. The truth is that the tree is really very big. They say it's redwood, the only tree higher than giant sequoia.

    Having been there, a few kilometers after passing Golden Gate, I have no doubt. And I do recommend the park

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  • sftravelertips's Profile Photo

    Looking for a Quiet Place? Check Out Muir Wood

    by sftravelertips Updated Apr 6, 2011

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    My family went hiking every other weekend since I was little. The quietness and tranquility of forests provide great bonding time for us. Even though I do not go hiking with my parents as much as I used to, I still try to find time out of my busy schedule to go hike at least once every two months. One of my favorite national parks nearby San Francisco is Muir Woods, a 30 minute drive from San Francisco. Muir Woods provides a quick and weekend getaway from the busy city. Remember to bring a jacket when you get there because the temperature in the shade could be lower than you expected. I hope you could enjoy Muir Woods as much as I do.

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  • azz8206's Profile Photo

    An American Treasure

    by azz8206 Updated Feb 3, 2011

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    A river runs through it
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    Muir Woods National Monument is an American treasure and is something to behold. Giant redwood and sequoia trees are what make this forest distinct from any other forests you've visited. They are beautiful and, my God, are they ever tall. The forest has a small creek running through it which makes for some very pretty pictures. Keep your camera ready at all times because you could be lucky and catch glimpses of the local wildlife like deer and chipmunks in their natural enviroment. That would be an awesome photo oppurtunity but alas I wasn't so lucky. There are numbered trails throughout the forest which you must keep to them.
    Winding roads will get you to and from Muir Woods. There are some very scenic vistas along with foggy hilltops that give you great oppurtunities for some beautiful pictures.
    Entrance fee is 5.00USD per person.
    One more thing. I got so many beautiful pictures of the forest and of the vistas to and from Muir Woods, I had a real dilemma on which pictures I should add to this tip. I hope you enjoy the ones I've chosen.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Daytrip to Muir Woods

    by Dabs Updated Oct 5, 2009

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    Muir Woods fawn
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    There are a variety of options for getting to Muir Woods, you can join a guided morning or afternoon tour with several different operators, there is a public bus option that runs during certain times of the year or you can do like we did and rent a car.

    We got an early start and arrived at the park around 9am, we grabbed one of the last parking spots in the small lot next to the entrance, I believe there was more parking but I understand it fills up very quickly especially on the weekends. I'd highly recommend going early in the day, the park opens at 8am, but bring warm clothes as it was very chilly that early in the day. The woods were very peaceful when we started off on the 1 1/2 hour loop and when we got finished the woods were filled with loud people, their voices echoing through the majestic redwoods. We didn't see any of the redwoods that are so big that you can drive a car through them but there are some really impressively tall trees in the woods.

    We saw the coolest thing along the trail, a couple of does scrambled up the hill right in front of us, followed by a couple of bucks and they sat in the trees, the females eating and the males watching us and them. One of the bucks was making this really strange snorting noise, we weren't sure if he was trying to warn us off or trying to get rid of his competitor. And at the end of the trail we saw a baby deer oblivious to all the tourists snapping her photo, we were just a few feet away from her.

    A large portion of the 1 1/2 hour loop was accessible to all but once we got on the hillside trail it was not but it certainly wasn't a strenuous hike and the 1 1/2 hour time estimate is generous. There are lots of other longer trails in the park that do involve more climbing but we wanted to see some other things in the area.

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    The Majesty of Muir Woods

    by razorbacker Written Mar 29, 2009

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    This is a renewing experience. The drive itself is wonderful but pales in comparison to the rejuvenation of strolling through these hushed and verdant groves.
    On our return to the City we made a short detour off 101 up Lombard to drive its twisting block. That was a memorable experience too.

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  • peachfront's Profile Photo

    Tom Martell walking tour of Muir Woods

    by peachfront Written Mar 21, 2009

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    Tom gives great value for money. He picks you up at your hotel, takes you on the hike of the redwoods, and drops you off in Sausalito, where you can enjoy the afternoon as you will or take the ferry back to SF. He actually does the hike with you and looks out for birds or plants or whatever you're interested in. You do not have to be worried about missing your tour bus if the hike goes too long. I noticed that the tour bus people seemed to be afraid to get out in the woods, and we did not have to hike long to have the redwoods to ourselves. That's because the tour bus drivers are apparently just bus drivers and don't go in the woods with you. Go with Tom, you won't miss the bus because he "is" the bus. :-) Unless you have some mobility issue where you can't hike and deal with elevational changes, I believe he's the way to go. Rather than constantly checking your watch to be sure you won't miss the bus, you can enjoy the redwoods and hear the unique story of this ancient forest.

    There are Spotted Owls. Ask Tom about them, and he can tell you the story of the owls and also of the Marbled Murrelets. Even if you don't see an Owl, he can show you some of the Owl's "barf." People who know owls will know what I mean. However, I do think if you hear Ravens kicking up a fuss, check quickly. I saw an Owl being chased, I just don't know what species.

    This is not a birdy forest. The redwoods are greedy and soak much nutrition out of the area. However, they are worth seeing for the lovely play of light through the trees. And of course there is also the amusement factor of such things as the "fetid adder's tongue," now there's an interesting flower that smells like wet dog on a dry day!

    Here is my trip report:
    http://peachfront.diaryland.com/muirwppd.html

    Don't put any "www" or you won't get there!

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Large Redwoods!

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 31, 2008

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    w/ mom and uncle
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    You can enjoy a beautiful, ancient redwood forest that is truly unique for just $3 per person (excluding the $ 5 toll you pay at the Golden Gate Bridge), you have to thank Congressman William Kent for that since 100 years ago, he was the first environmentalist who bought and preserved this area of large redwoods. Today the National Park Service Protects this 554 acre area and it is really a nice area to walk around and reminisce and coomune with nature. Kenny Loggins Had A Live Event here in 1993!

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Large Redwoods!

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 31, 2008

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    Serenity
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    You can enjoy a beautiful, ancient redwood forest that is truly unique for just $3 per person (excluding the $ 5 toll you pay at the Golden Gate Bridge), you have to thank Congressman William Kent for that since 100 years ago, he was the first environmentalist who bought and preserved this area of large redwoods. Today the National Park Service Protects this 554 acre area and it is really a nice area to walk around and reminisce and coomune with nature. Kenny Loggins Had A Live Event here in 1993!

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  • apbeaches's Profile Photo

    Muir Woods

    by apbeaches Updated Jul 15, 2008

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    We followed trails, went over bridges, climbed into trees and walked through redwoods in this 544 acre forest. The tallest tree in the Muir Woods is 258 feet (79 m). The average age of the redwoods in the Monument are between 500 and 800 years old with the oldest being at least 1,200 years old. One hundred fifty million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be found only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey to Oregon. In 1980 Pres. Theodore Roosevelt declared Muir Woods a 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.

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  • Cruiseone2003's Profile Photo

    Muir Beach, N.California's little Oasis

    by Cruiseone2003 Updated Apr 6, 2008

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    I had the good fortune to visit the town of Muir Beach located 16miles north of San Francisco between HWY 101 and the coast. Most people come here to enjoy the day at the beach or as a starting point on Hw1 north. This area is sandwiched between some high cliffs which serve as a shelter form the winds.

    After a day at the beach, you definitely want to have something to drink and/or eat or even spend the night at the Pelican Inn. See my review under restaurants.

    Most people arrive by car however my friend Tony and I like to hike and we decided to walk from San Francisco to Muir Beach. In total it was a 16 mile hike and with the exception of the last 2.5 miles it was relatively easy.

    We met up at Crissy Field and then walked west to the entrance of the Golden Gate Bridge, the weather was perfect, not too many tourists since it was about 1030am. From my apartment near city hall to the tourist center at the Northern end of bridge it took 3 hours or about 5.5-6 miles. From the tourist center parking lot take the stairs that go under the bridge, continue until you seen another set of stairs leading to another parking lot on the West side of the bridge. You'll see some trees and a marker showing "10.6 miles to Muir Beach" Just follow the trails and I would recommend either buying a book of trails so you don't get lost or stop and ask people as you go to make sure you are on the right trail.
    Basically, you will eventually get to the Tennessee Valley and from there you'll have another challenging climb over the cliffs with a few switch backs until you arrive at Muir Beach. The trails are pretty much easy to walk on but as stated earlier, the last 2.5 miles have very rugged terrain, gravely and narrow trails so you do need to watch your footing.
    The views from trails were beautiful, you could see all the way down the coast to Pacifica, at times we had views of the Sunset district, Goldent Gate park, Twin Peaks and the tops of the Golden Gate Bridge. There were also views of Sausalito and the areas just north.

    In total we walked 16 miles and it took 7.5 hours at a good pace with stops about every 1.5 hours for water, food, and use the facilities. I would recommend bringing something to protect you from the wind, a light parka/jacket, sunscreen, sunglasses, a hat, water and food.

    We decided to have drinks and dinner at the Pelican Inn located in Muir Beach, a friend met us and drove us back to the city.

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  • gypsysoul73's Profile Photo

    Visit the land of the giants: Muir Woods

    by gypsysoul73 Written Feb 15, 2007

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    After about 30 minutes of winding road we reached Muir Woods National Monument, a 560 acre redwood forest in Mill Valley.

    The first thing that struck me about this place was how utterly peaceful it is. I walked quietly along the paved trail, careful not to make too much noise lest I disturb the peace. This was nature in it's most majestic form. I was in awe of just how incredibly tall and wide these things were! (Stretching up to over 300 feet, they are in fact the tallest living things on the planet.) Because of their strength and resistance to fire, drought and disease most have been around for over 800-1000 years.

    The park has numerous trails of varying degrees of difficulty, but because of (coughcough) the lack of time, we kept to the (easy) main trail loop that led us over creeks, under fallen redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens, for the geek in you), through hollow tree trunks, inside charred trunks of live trees, and past thick ferns. The entire forest floor was covered in wild flowers, fallen twigs, evergreen huckleberry, azaleas, and clovers, among others.

    Being surrounded by all that raw beauty felt almost like a religious experience. It was all at once inspiring, humbling and joyful.

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  • chewy3326's Profile Photo

    Muir Woods National Monument

    by chewy3326 Written Aug 23, 2006

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    Muir Woods

    Muir Woods National Monument is north of San Francisco in Marin County. This tiny park is nestled in Redwood Canyon, a ravine filled with a few hundred acres of coastal redwoods. The coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) are the tallest living things on earth; farther north, redwoods reach 360 feet in height, but at Muir Woods, the tallest tree is about 250 feet tall. Muir Woods has a good visitor center, and a couple of possible loop walks; the best is to follow the main trail a mile to the Cathedral Grove, then take a smaller and hillier trail back for a round trip of 2 miles. This loop takes in both the Cathedral and Bohemian Groves of the Muir Woods redwoods. Admission is $3 per person, under 16 free.

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    Great for hiking and nature!

    by USCgirlie Written Mar 22, 2006

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    Muir Woods, located in beautiful Marin County (easily accessible from San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge), is a tranquil, soothing place. I am not normally a hiker, but was able to hike around Muir Woods. The air is incredibly fresh, and the setting beautiful and serene. Muir Woods is a national monument and park of the Golden Gate Recreational Area. Its redwoods are over 1000 years old! $3 entry fee.

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    Serenity Among the Giants

    by g_i_r_a_f Written Jan 15, 2006

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    Towering Giants
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    Well worth renting a car and driving to the closest redwood trees to San Francisco. Wear your hiking shoes and walk all the trails. It was hard to stand next to these giants and not be amazed by their size. The walk was very peaceful and serene. Muir Woods is a long steep ravine that survived the building boom only because it was hard to harvest the trees from the ravine.

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  • cheap_tourist's Profile Photo

    Muir Woods

    by cheap_tourist Updated Nov 6, 2005

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    Muir Woods

    My friend was kind enough to take me to Muir Woods. I wanted to see the California redwoods. Before I knew it, I was taking a 5-mile, moderately difficult hike. I am not really into it but the experience was well worth it. We took the Ocean View Trail but the fog prevented us from seeing the ocean. Still, we saw a lot of spectacular views of what must be God's country.

    We went there by car but I also saw a lot of tour buses. I'll find out if you can get there by public transportation. We were there early in the morning (8:00 AM) so we were able to get a good parking spot and enter the park for free. When we left at noon, the cars were parked along the road a long distance from the park entrance.

    There is an easy trail that you can follow if you are not into hiking. You still get to see an old-growth forest with its spectacular sequoias.

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