Stockton to Muir Woods

Old Jul 5th, 2009, 12:53 PM
  #1  
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Stockton to Muir Woods

Hi! Would like to do a day trip in August from Stockton to Muir Woods with husband and college age son. Can anyone tell me the best route? We'll have a car and plan to go on a Sunday. Any other outdoor type places to visit? Thanks!
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 02:25 PM
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Where are you starting from? North or south of Stockton -- could make a difference which route makes most sense. But generally you'd want 580 across then over the Bay Bridge, then 101 across the Golden Gate bridge and follow the signs from 101. (I'd drive a different route through SF between the two bridges but for first timers it is probably best to just follow the signs 580 > 80 > to 101).

On a Sunday the traffic won't be bad through the city.

You could also hit Point Reyes and/or Bodega Bay.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 07:16 PM
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If I were driving from Stockton to Muir Woods, I would bypass SF and take the Richmond/San Rafael bridge and then cut back south on 101. But, if you are sightseeing and want to see the Golden Gate Bridge, then by all means drive through the City.

Traffic won't be bad on the highways, but Muir Woods will sure be crowded. Sunday is probably the worst day to visit and August is one of the busiest tourist months. You will probably not be able to park there and will have to take the shuttle bus.

If you can, come on a weekday and arrive early. Otherwise, if you just want to see trees, drive east from Stockton and visit Calaveras Big Trees State Park. These trees are much more interesting than the small grove at Muir Woods.
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Old Jul 5th, 2009, 08:10 PM
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superc: I agree -- except they are driving on a Sunday so there will be next to no traffic in the city. And getting from Stockton to the San Rafael bridge has its own "issues". Either taking nasty hwy 4, nastier (and downright dangerous) hwy 12 or all the way up to Sacramento to catch I-80.

I also agree - Muir Woods would be swamped.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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We still have time to decide before our August mini-vacation, so I'm considering all of your suggestions! thanks so much!
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 07:45 PM
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janisj: getting to the San Rafael bridge could not be simpler. After driving in on 580, instead of taking the Bay Bridge, you stay on 580/80 north for 5 minutes to Albany and then continue on 580 over the bridge to the San Quentin exit. Then it's about ten or fifteen minutes down 101 to the Mill Valley exit. I believe even on a Sunday that this would be the quicker and easier route. And there is no reason to worry about the "issues" you referenced unless you get off the highway.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 09:38 PM
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After Muir woods you can drive south to Marin Headlands. They are just north of the golden gate. You can take the road up to where the 2-way portion ends and get out and walk up to the top of hawk hill. What a view! Check out the website for Golden Gate Raptor Observatory to see what the view can be like and to see if raptors are likely to be migrating in August. if you go through one of the battery tunnels, look up and see if you can see the fabulous copy of the paintings in Lascaux! The tunnels are also a great place to sing if you all like that. And for those who like big guns, you can find an old big gun placement there.

Also, Fort Point on the south end of the golden gate bridge is a great place for those who like military history.

On the SF side of the bridge, Crissy Filed is a great, if windy, walk right near the water, a bit east of the bridge. The restored wetlands are well-done and the visitor center is interesting (if it isn't closed while they re-build Doyle drive)

I recommend that you check out the Golden Gate National Recreation Area web page and the Point Reyes web page to see what looks good.
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Old Jul 6th, 2009, 09:57 PM
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If I wanted to see Redwoods from Stockton, I'd go to Calaveras Big Trees. It's fewer miles and, in my opinion, a more impressive Redwood Grove. It's arguably one of the best in the State Park System.
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Old Jul 14th, 2009, 11:49 AM
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Thanks for all the helpful advice! I think we may very well check out Calaveras Big Trees State Park. We may have another "free" day, so we may also drive to SF and take in some of the other sights that were suggested, minus Muir Woods. Appreciate your comments.
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