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Muir Woods

Walk among towering redwoods hundreds of years old at this National Park, less than an hour’s drive from downtown San Francisco.

Muir Woods is a 550-acre (223-hectare) redwood paradise, full of monumental trees that reach as high as 258 feet (79 meters) above the forest floor. Sit and watch as sunlight dances between the branches of these colossal giants that have survived for centuries. The oldest trees are estimated to be at least 1,200 years old.

The coastal valleys of Northern California used to be blanketed with redwoods, but many were lost to logging. In the early 1900s, the Muir Woods nearly suffered a similar fate. It was considered ideal territory for a dam, which would have flooded the trees. Luckily, Congressman William Kent and his wife bought the land and donated it to the federal government. 

In 1908 president Theodore Roosevelt declared this awe-inspiring area a national monument. It was named after naturalist John Muir whose work helped to establish the national park system.

You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to enjoy strolling the paths among these majestic trees. The six miles (10 kilometers) of wooded trails provide hiking trips that vary in length and difficulty. Some trails are paved and for the most part level and easy to navigate. About 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) of the trails are wheelchair accessible. Download a map from the National Parks website or pick one up from the Visitor Center at the entrance to the woods.

Spending time among the towering redwoods creates the peaceful sense of being in a wilderness retreat, even though you’re only a 17-mile (27-kilometer) drive from downtown San Francisco. The woods can be crowded during summer weekends, so the best time to enjoy the serenity is on a weekday, or early or late on weekends. 

The park is open every day, and throughout the year this shaded environment is cool and damp, so dress accordingly. Visitors aren’t allowed to picnic in the park because of concerns that litter and human food will harm the wildlife. However, a café near the entrance to the park sells beverages and healthy snacks.

Popular Activities at Muir Woods

Want to be certain to get the most out of your visit here? We've put together a list of popular activities to give you a head start:

Examine our San Francisco things to do page to learn about more activities in the area.


Guide to Exploring around Muir Woods National Monument


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Muir Woods National Monument

See all 631 Properties near Muir Woods National Monument
Stunning, Luxury Retreat in Mill Valley
Stunning, Luxury Retreat in Mill Valley

Stunning, Luxury Retreat in Mill Valley

Mill Valley, California
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Situated by the ocean, this vacation home is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 12 mi (20 km) of Tiburon Ferry and Angel Island. Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio of San Francisco are also within 12 mi (20 km).

    Luxurious Mansion on Mt. Tamalpais
    Luxurious Mansion on Mt. Tamalpais

    Luxurious Mansion on Mt. Tamalpais

    Mill Valley, California
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Situated in Mill Valley, this romantic vacation home is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 12 mi (20 km) of Angel Island and Golden Gate Bridge. Tiburon Ferry and Bay Area Discovery Museum are also within 12 mi (20 km).

      Serene Mill Valley Gem in the Redwoods
      Serene Mill Valley Gem in the Redwoods

      Serene Mill Valley Gem in the Redwoods

      Mill Valley, California
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Situated in Mill Valley, this historic vacation home is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 9 mi (15 km) of Angel Island and Tiburon Ferry. Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio of San Francisco are also within 12 mi (20 km).

        Dream Home by Muir Woods
        Dream Home by Muir Woods

        Dream Home by Muir Woods

        Mill Valley, California
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Situated in Mill Valley, this vacation home is 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 9 mi (15 km) of Angel Island and Tiburon Ferry. Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio of San Francisco are also within 12 mi (20 km).

          Luxurious Creekside Studio Minutes From Downtown Mill Valley, Private Unit
          Luxurious Creekside Studio Minutes From Downtown Mill Valley, Private Unit

          Luxurious Creekside Studio Minutes From Downtown Mill Valley, Private Unit

          Mill Valley, California
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Situated in Mill Valley, this romantic apartment building is 2.6 mi (4.1 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 9 mi (15 km) of Angel Island and Tiburon Ferry. Golden Gate Bridge and Presidio of San Francisco are also within 12 mi (20 km).

            Quintessenial Mill Valley Home
            Quintessenial Mill Valley Home

            Quintessenial Mill Valley Home

            Mill Valley, California
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Mill Valley, this romantic vacation home is 1.1 mi (1.8 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 9 mi (15 km) of Angel Island and Golden Gate Bridge. Tiburon Ferry and Bay Area Discovery Museum are also within 9 mi (15 km).

              Redwood Treehouse, Downtown Mill Valley
              Redwood Treehouse, Downtown Mill Valley

              Redwood Treehouse, Downtown Mill Valley

              Mill Valley, California
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Mill Valley, this vacation home is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 9 mi (15 km) of Angel Island and Tiburon Ferry. Mission San Rafael Arcangel and Bay Area Discovery Museum are also within 9 mi (15 km).

                Mill Valley Inn $254
                Mill Valley Inn

                Mill Valley Inn

                165 Throckmorton Ave, Mill Valley, CA
                   
                  3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Mill Valley, this hotel is 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Muir Woods National Monument and within 9 mi (15 km) of Angel Island and Tiburon Ferry. Mission San Rafael Arcangel and Bay Area Discovery Museum are also within 9 mi (15 km).