Muir Woods is one of the last Old Growth stands of coastal redwoods in the world.
Muir Woods is located 10-miles north of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
This National Monument was created in 1908 named after famous conservationist John Muir. Muir was quoted as saying “It’s the best tree lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world”.
To visit Muir Woods, you must make a parking space or shuttle reservation before you leave. There's no cellphone reception or WIFI there.
10 BEST things to do at Muir Woods
1. Pick up a map at the ticket booth.
Muir Woods Visitor Center
2. Take a photo at the iconic NPS entryway to Muir Woods.
Muir Woods National Monument
3. Explore the 2-mile main loop trail at Muir Woods.
The two-mile main loop trail starts at the Visitor Center and follows Redwood Creek, passing Bridges 1, 2 and 3, then Cathedral Grove, before crossing Bridge 4 and looping back on the other side of the creek.
Muir Woods trails
4. Or take a shorter loop.
You can shorten this trail to an easy 1/2 mile loop walk if you cross earlier at Bridge 2. Alternatively it's only a 1-mile loop walk if you cross at Bridge 3. These shorter routes have the advantage of being hardscape all the way.
Muir Woods California
5. Peer up at these giant redwoods.
Their average age is an astounding 500 to 700 years old! There were once 2-million acres of the beauties in the Western United States, now reduced to almost nothing.
Muir Woods National Park
6. Discover a redwood's age, by looking at a cross-section of its rings.
This particular tree dates back to 909AD making it over 1,100 years old! Key events are marked on each ring of the tree, like 1492 when Columbus arrived in America, or the 1776 Declaration of Independence.
7. Search for Coho or Steelhead Salmon in the creek.
The adults return to Redwood Creek in the winter months to spawn.
Muir Woods San Francisco
8. Walk through ethereal Cathedral Grove.
The highlight of Muir Woods is ethereal Cathedral Grove, where the largest and oldest trees are found. The dense coastal fog has enabled these redwood giants to reach 250 feet in height. The oldest tree is dated 781 years old (as of 2019). Walk under the canopy and experience the majesty of this primal forest.
Cathedral Grove signCathedral Grove at Muir WoodsMuir Woods Cathedral Grove
9. Search for nurse logs that host new life.
As these fallen trees decay, they host new seedlings from which other trees and vegetation grow.
Giant redwoods at Muir Woods Cathedral Grove
10. Visit the Muir Woods Visitor Center and Cafe:
Muir Woods National Monument has a gift shop, visitor center, cafe and restrooms.
The Muir Woods Visitor Center
Muir Woods Gift ShopMuir Woods log sign
National Park Service sign
Know before you go