Muir Woods - Pt Reyes

May 27th, 2007, 03:50 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
Muir Woods - Pt Reyes


While in San Francisco, I am thinking about a day trip from SF to Muir Woods and then on to Pt. Reyes.

My questions are, (1) is this a realistic thing to do in a day, and if so then (2) what is the best route.

Is there any logic to doing Muir 1st then Pt Reyes, or vice versa?

We are going in early June, I suppose we can expect June gloom in the morning, so I was thinking of the Point for the afternoon.

Thoughts, ideas, help appreciated.
bubbyg is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 04:32 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 2,385
Sure, that sounds like a nice plan to me! I don't have a map on me so I hesitate to give directions, but it will be quite straightforward.
cabovacation is offline  
May 27th, 2007, 05:41 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 23
Yes, perfectly reasonable plan. Start by getting off the 101 by taking the #1 at Mill Valley. Stop at the Muir Woods for a couple of hours.

Continue down the #1. See Pt. Reyes. You might want to determine what you want to see and do there - it's a nice drive but there are great trails and things that take more time.

I highly recommend you take a meal in Olema at the Olema Farm House. Awesome local food.

If you end up in Olema, you can take Pt. Reyes/Petaluma/Novato road to Novato to get back on the 101. It's a much faster road than the #1.
Sbustobante is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 07:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Definitely Muir Woods first and then Point Reyes. Why? Because the Muir Woods walk, unless you are a dedicated all-day hiker, is a much more "set" itinerary and you can get in, see the most impressive part of the Woods and be on your way again in two hours or less. Point Reyes' attractions are a bit more far-flung and require some driving in between. For instance, if you wanted to hit both Limantour Beach and then the lighthouse, that requires driving and backtracking a bit. Point Reyes lends itself to meandering, and changing your plans a bit due to weather is no problem. I like the town of Point Reyes Station, and I never miss a chance to go to the Bovine Bakery in town for strong coffee and sweet almond rolls.

If you feel like doing a bit more driving at the end of the day and don't want to retrace your steps, there a number of scenic roads intersecting Highway 1 slightly north of Point Reyes which will take you eastward towards Petaluma and Highway 101. The Marshall-Petaluma Road and the Tomales-Petaluma Road are my favorites, going up and down hills for views and cutting through some very pretty countryside.
dovima is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 10:24 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,108
Another reason to stop at Muir Woods first, not sure if it was mentioned, is that if it is foggy that day, the fog will not detract from a visit to the redwoods. This gives the fog time to burn off before you get to Point Reyes, and therefore a better chance at sunshine while you are there.

The June Gloom is more of a southern California phenomenon - the central and north coast tend to get fog all summer long due to the inversion layer. The hotter it gets in the valley, the foggier it is along the coast. Generally the fog burns off in the afternoons though. You can also be in one area totally socked in and then drive 10 miles up or down the coast and have sunshine. It is a really interesting feature of this area.
J_Correa is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 01:28 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 824
I'll make another suggestion. Start your day off right with a breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe. It's in Mill Valley just off Hwy 101 on Hwy 1. You can't miss it on your way to Muir Woods.

After visiting Muir Woods, if your day is sunny by all means take Hwy 1 thru Stinson Beach and by the Bolinas Lagoon up to Olema but if it's foggy, there's a more interesting route.

Go back to the Panoramic Hwy, make a left and head towards Mt. Tamalpais. Make a right on Pan Toll Rd at Pan Toll and then make a left on Bolinas Ridge Rd. This route is usually above the fog and affords incredible views of the ocean (or sea of fog below you) and the Bay Area. Stop and park and walk out to the edge for the best views. Then continue on to where the Fairfax Road takes off but stay left and descend down to Hwy 1. You'll rejoin the highway at the Bolinas intersection.

If the fog does burn off later, you can return by Hwy 1 and drive the stretch from Bolinas to Muir Beach which is beautiful when the sun's out.

Another recommendation is to either picnic at Pt. Reyes or eat at the Drakes Beach Cafe. Their website is not current but last year they were open Friday to Monday from 10 to 5. At Drakes Beach, there's a great hike down the beach to the Estero that's between Drakes Beach and Limantour Beach. There's usually a bunch of harbor seals down there plus all kinds of sea birds.

Whatever you do, get an early start and make sure you have a good map. AAA has the best ones.

Otis_B_Driftwood is offline  
May 29th, 2007, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Great suggestions, Otis B.!
The Bolinas Fairfax road was always a kind of "romantic" favorite of mine - I used to imagine bootleggers or the like sneaking over the mountain in the dark on its snaky twists and turns.
The last time I ate at the Drakes Beach cafe, there were local oysters in season - fried, or in a chowder. Good stuff.

bubbyg, I suggest Drakes Beach in Point Reyes if you are interested in history at all. It's kind of eerie to stand where Drake and his crew did, and imagine what an untouched paradise they landed on so long ago.
dovima is offline  
May 30th, 2007, 02:18 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 13
Thank you all so much!
It is so wonderful to have the first hand input on these things! I love this website.
I can't wait!
bubbyg is offline  

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