Muir Woods

Spend a Day Strolling through the Grandeur of this Incredible Redwood Forest

Millions of people from all over the world flock to San Francisco and the Bay Area each year to experience our world-class city and all it has to offer. However, for those who like to mix towering redwoods with their towering skyscrapers, there’s a place that inspires awe and wonder that is an easy drive away: Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods is home to more than 240 acres of old growth coastal redwood forest and is one of the best places in the Bay Area to, quite literally, get away from it all. The wooden fencing and paved trails make it easy for visitors to stroll through the woods and experience the stillness and majesty of a unique biome found nowhere else in the world.

President Theodore Roosevelt established Muir Woods in 1908. As prescient as he was presidential, Mr. Roosevelt was alarmed at the rapidly disappearing coastal redwood forests of the northern California coast. Working with another forward-thinking statesman, Congressman William Kent, who had bought the land to protect the remaining redwoods, Mr. Roosevelt designated the area as a National Monument.

Today, Muir Woods is home to several different species of trees. Along with the aforementioned sequoia redwoods, visitors will find maples, alders, tanoaks, Douglas firs and others catching the light that filters through the redwood branches high above the forest floor. The paved trails have an easy roll to them, which makes it easy for everyone to take a morning, afternoon or whole day hike through this very special place.

Getting to Muir Woods is not easy, but well worth it. Since parking at this National Monument is quite limited, your best bet is to take public transportation and avoid parking hassles altogether. From May 4 through Oct. 27, visitors can take the Muir Woods Shuttle from the Marin City Transit Hub, the Sausalito Ferry Terminal or the Pohono Street lot in Marin City. The fare is only $5 round-trip and free for anyone 15 years old and younger. If you must drive, plan to arrive early around 8 a.m. for a shot at a parking spot in or near the parking lot. You may also wish to go on a weekday or in the off-season to avoid the crowds and enjoy the enviable experience of having the trails to yourself.

Upon learning that his name was chosen for this very special place, noted naturalist, author and Sierra Club founder John Muir remarked to William Kent, “This is the best tree-lover’s monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world. You have done me great honor and I am proud of it.”

If the idea of strolling unhurriedly through the best tree-lover’s monument in the world is an idea that resonates with you, you should definitely plan on visiting Muir Woods. There simply is no place like it in the world. For more information, visit the official website at