The California North Coast (Bay Area) Travel Guide is a resource for Bay Area visitors who wish to sample the beautiful California coastline without extensive driving. The North Coast features exciting scenic drives, great hiking, beautiful beaches, rugged cliffs overlooking the ocean, redwood forests, quaint towns, bed and breakfasts, mountains, and historic attractions - all within a two hour drive of San Francisco.
(Right: Muir Woods)
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Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument offers a quiet sanctuary famous for its ancient forest of giant coastal redwood trees. This stand is one of the last remnants of giant redwoods on the coast which have never been cut or harvested. The park was established in 1908 and named for famed conservationist, John Muir, who said about the park, "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world."
Muir Woods' Cathedral Grove was the site of the first meeting of the United Nations, on May 19, 1945, when delegates from 48 countries attended.
Directions and Visitor Center. From the US-101 freeway north of Marin City, take California Highway 1 (Shoreline Highway). Turn north on Panoramic Highway, then west on Muir Woods Road. Total of about three slow, steep, and winding miles from US-101 (no RVs over 35 feet). The traffic to the park is pretty heavy most of the time. You can also access Muir Woods Road from Highway 1 just south of Muir Overlook. The park is open daily from 8am to sunset. The visitor center, cafe, and gift shop close earlier. Phone (415) 388-7368.
Parking and Traffic. Muir Woods is extremely popular, and parking is relatively limited (with no RV parking). The lots are usually full, and it can be almost impossible to find a space on weekends. Traffic can be clogged on the winding road.
The Muir Woods Shuttle (Route 66) is a public bus service operating with frequent service from park and ride lots in nearby Mill Valley and Marin City. The service is offered on weekends and holidays from early May to late September.
Hiking. There are 6 miles of hiking trails in Muir Woods. Hiking loops range from 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours, with longer hikes available on trails into surrounding parks. All hikes are through the old-growth redwood forest and also include some pretty nice streams. Picnicking, pets, bicycles, smoking, and camping are not allowed within the park. Hiking Map of the Trails in Muir Woods (PDF file).
Schedule of Events. Organized events are held occasionally at the park, such as the Muir Woods by Moonlight guided walk. Reservations are recommended, call (415) 388-2596.
Note: Some of the links in this guide are to publications in PDF format. The PDF's can only be viewed or printed using
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California North Coast (Bay Area) Travel Guide Index
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