The Bay Area Travel Guide

The Bay Area Sights

Muir Woods National Monument

  • 1 Muir Woods Rd. Map It
  • Mill Valley
  • Forest
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

Nothing gives perspective like walking among some of the world's last old-growth redwoods. The 550 acres of Muir Woods National Monument contain some of the most majestic redwoods in the world—some more than 250 feet tall. Though much of California's 2 million acres of redwood forest were lost to the logging industry, this stand was saved from destruction by William and Elizabeth Kent, who purchased the land in 1905, and later gifted it to the federal government. Theodore Roosevelt declared the space a national monument in 1908 and Kent named it after naturalist John Muir, whose environmental campaigns helped to establish the national park system.

Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods is a pedestrian's park. The popular 2-mile main trail, which begins at the park headquarters, has been covered by a wooden boardwalk, and provides easy access to streams, ferns, azaleas, and redwood groves. Summer weekends can prove busy, so if you prefer a little serenity,

consider taking a more challenging route, such as the Dipsea Trail which climbs west from the forest floor to soothing views of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. For a complete list of trails, which vary in difficulty and distance, check with rangers.

Picnicking and camping aren't allowed, and neither are pets. Crowds can be large, especially from May through October, so try to come early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The Muir Woods Visitor Center has books and exhibits about redwood trees and the woods' history; the Muir Woods Trading Company serves hot food, organic pastries, and other tasty snacks, and the gift shop offers plenty of souvenirs.

Cell service in the park is limited, so plan directions and communication ahead of time.

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Sight Information


1 Muir Woods Rd., off Panoramic Hwy., Mill Valley, California, 94941, USA

Map It


415-388–2595-park information; /511-Marin transit


Sight Details:

  • $10; free on government holidays

Published 07/06/2016


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