15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (2022)

Located just a dozen miles north of the iconic and world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods National Park is home to some of California’s most majestic coastal redwood trees, many of which tower nearly 300 feet over the forest floor.

They’re the larges trees in the world, and due to their splendor and importance to the area’s ecosystem, given national monument status in 1908.

Because of its convenient proximity to San Francisco, trips to Muir Woods are easily combined with other area attractions which makes it possible to see some of the west coast’s most amazing sites in a relatively short amount of time.

1. Muir Woods Expedition Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (1)Source: viator.com

North-central California’s coastal redwoods are a natural wonder that really should be experienced if you’re anywhere in the area.

You’ll feel like your much farther away from one of the west coast’s largest urban centers than you really are, and this expedition-style tour to Muir Woods typically lasts between 4 and 5 hours and includes at least 1 ½ – hours amongst the majestic trees.

The tour also includes a stop in Sausalito for lunch, a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, and a stop at historic and ever-popular Fisherman’s Wharf.

All the little details have been prearranged, and transportation from San Francisco and Fisherman’s Wharf area hotels is included.

2. Muir Woods Tour from San Francisco

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (2)Source: Mariusz S. Jurgielewicz / shutterstock

Nearby San Francisco is chock-full of iconic sites, activities, and neighborhoods that all deserve to be experienced, but for those looking to leave civilization behind, Muir Woods is the place to do it.

This half-day tour lasts about 3 ½ -hours, 1 ½ of which will be spent inside the park.

The park is full of well-marked paths that lead guests through one of the world’s most remarkable forests, and after you’ve had your fill of nature you’ll head to the scenic coastal town of Sausalito.

While there you’ll have time to look around and if it seems like a place you’d like to explore further on your own, you can say adios to the tour and take a ferry back to San Francisco later in the afternoon.


3. Muir Woods and San Francisco Day-Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (3)Source: randy andy / shutterstock

Quirky and eclectic San Francisco is full of unique neighborhoods, famous landmarks and eating and drinking establishments that are known for their tasty fare and inviting atmospheres.

And in case you didn’t know, San Francisco’s traffic problems are some of the worst in the country, and this tour includes transportation to and from Muir Woods so that guests can relax and take in the scenery while a local fights the crazy traffic.

Both portions of the tour are guided, and after Muir Woods the tour will hit The Castro District, Haight-Ashbury District, Chinatown, and Fisherman’s Wharf as well.

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4. Redwoods and Wine Country Full-Day Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (4)Source: getyourguide.com

California’s Napa Valley and Sonoma County are some of the state’s premier wine destinations and are home to an amazing number of award-winning wineries.

This full-day tour includes a portion walking among the serene coastal redwoods at Muir Woods, and from there guests will head to wine country and get an amazing guided insight into the growing of grapes, and the art and science behind turning them into wine.

The tour includes three tastings, and you’ll get an idea how to distinguish the subtle nuances between wines and how to pair them correctly with food so that they complement one another.


5. San Francisco, Sausalito and Muir Woods Small Group Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (5)Source: ben bryant / shutterstock

This value-packed combo tour includes portions in San Francisco, Sausalito, and Muir Woods.

It’s a great way to get an overview of the area’s highlights in an efficient way, and you may discover things that you’d like to explore more on your own on another day.

The tour begins at Fisherman’s Wharf and includes Chinatown, The Mission – which is known for its amazing murals and street food – and the Castro District, one of the first predominately gay neighborhoods in the country.

The Sausalito portion of the tour includes strolling along the city’s scenic waterfront and snapping a few pictures of the view across the bay.

6. Morning Tour to Muir Woods and Sausalito

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (6)Source: BorisVetshev / shutterstock

For those who like to get an early start and make the most of their limited vacation time, this 4-hour morning tour of Muir Woods and Sausalito would be a great choice.

You’ll drive through the Presidio and across the Golden Gate Bridge, which due to the early hour may be partially obscured by fog.

At Muir Woods you’ll have time to walk among the trees with your guide who’ll tell you lots of interesting facts about the area and its colossal inhabitants.

From there you’ll head to Sausalito and enjoy its scenic waterfront which is home to coffee shops, restaurants, and chic little boutiques.


7. Full-Day Muir Woods and Sonoma Wine Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (7)Source: Michael Warwick / shutterstock

With all its chaotic traffic, masses of quirky and colorful people, and urban attractions, taking a day to get out of the city and into the country may help you keep your sanity.

Muir Woods and nearby Sonoma County are just a hop, skip, and a jump away, and offer some decidedly beautiful and relaxing entertainment that you won’t soon forget.

Wear comfy shoes because you’ll do a bit of moderately-difficult hiking at Muir Woods, and once you’ve soaked up the natural serenity it’ll be time to head off the tour’s wine country portion.

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The tour includes round-trip transportation, the guide’s fee, and 2 wine tastings.

8. Muir Woods, Sausalito and Alcatraz Night Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (8)Source: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock

Another tour that’s super-efficient is this combo-tour that includes stops at Muir Woods, Sausalito, and Alcatraz by night.

It makes for a whirlwind day, after which you’ll probably be exhausted and pleasantly content.

The tour kicks off in Muir Woods which is surprisingly close San Francisco, just across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hotel pickup is included and after Muir Woods it’s off to Sausalito for a little strolling, dining and shopping.

Consider an espresso or cappuccino to give you an extra bit of pep before your night tour of Alcatraz Island.


9. Muir Woods Bus Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (9)Source: R Scapinello / shutterstock

For those uninitiated visitors, driving in San Francisco’s chaotic traffic isn’t a good idea.

Some things are best left up to locals and professionals, and this Muir Woods bus tour will allow guests to appreciate the California scenery instead of succumbing to hypertension and road-rage.

The drive is slightly less than an hour, and the cost of entry into Muir Woods is included in the tour’s cost.

You’ll spend nearly 1 ½ -hours inside the park among the monstrous trees, after which you and your travel mates will head to the Marin Headwaters.

The tour is available in the morning or afternoon, so you’ll still have a large portion of your day left to dedicate to other adventures.

10. 5-Hour Muir Woods and Aquarium Tour

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (10)Source: Gang Liu / shutterstock

San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay is the region’s premier destination for those looking to get up close and personal with lots of amazing marine life.

Combined with a trip to Muir Woods, this tour lasts about 5 hours and is a great to appreciate the beauty of both land and sea.

The tour offers start times at three times throughout the day so regardless of your schedule, it won’t be a problem finding an option that’s convenient.

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Entry to both sites are included, the only thing you’ll need is a few extra bucks for food, drinks, and gratuities.


11. Bike the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (11)Source: Lucky-photographer / shutterstock

The Golden Gate Bridge has been an American icon for generations, and riding across it on a bike is truly a one of a kind experience.

This tour kicks-off in Sausalito and offers guests a bunch of options so they can spend their time doing what they want without worrying about the rest of the group.

Your unguided exploration of Muir Woods will last about an hour, and from there the tour will proceed back to San Francisco which offers convenient access to some of the area’s most popular hotspots like Fisherman’s Wharf and the Haight-Ashbury District.

Before booking check out the available options and decide what’s best for you.

12. Muir Woods, Sausalito Tour and Bay Cruise

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (12)Source: f11photo / shutterstock

The bay area is known for its conveniently located attractions that allow visitors to see many sites in the same day in a fun and efficient manner.

Majestic Muir Woods, with its towering coastal redwoods, scenic and quaint Sausalito, and a stunning cruise of San Francisco Bay are all on this tour’s itinerary.

You’ll get to see the Golden Gate Bridge from multiple viewpoints and experience a pleasant mix of urban and rural attractions.

Sausalito is known for its chic waterfront, cool restaurants, and nifty shops.

The cruise portion includes a trip around Alcatraz Island as well.


13. Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour in a Hippy Van

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (13)Source: viator.com

If VW vans are your idea of far-out transportation, then grab your Birkenstocks and get ready for a fun-filled day in Muir Woods and Sausalito.

Guests in this small group tour will be whisked to Muir Woods via a VW microbus where they’ll enjoy a guided tour of this one of a kind forest.

Everything is included in the cost of the tour except an individual parking fee at Muir Woods.

Sausalito is the tour’s next stop, and it’s a great place for a few photos and a relaxing bite to eat or drink if time allows.

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Snacks, light refreshments and water are included.

14. Muir Woods Tour with San Francisco Zoo Ticket

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (14)Source: Jeff Whyte / shutterstock

Combining the Muir Woods experience with a ticket to the San Francisco is a great way to enjoy the natural world to its fullest.

The Muir Woods National Monument portion of the tour includes a professional guide and hotel pickup and drop-off as well.

After the Muir Woods portion the tour will head to the zoo where guests will have free and unguided time to see the things they want to see at their own pace.

The tour is available with two different start times and all taxes and entrance fees are included.

Bring a few extra bucks for food and snacks.


15. Alcatraz, Muir Woods, Sausalito from San Francisco

15 Best Muir Woods Tours - The Crazy Tourist (15)Source: Zeljko Radojko / shutterstock

Combining three of the bay area’s most popular attractions into one tour makes a lot of sense.

This combo tour includes a trip to view the redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument, admission to the island prison at Alcatraz, and a visit to nearby Sausalito as well.

The trip to Alcatraz includes an exciting ferry ride across the often-windy bay, and once inside, guests will have the option of using an individual audio guide which will tell them the historic significance of the things they’re seeing.

It’s a great way to get the most of your day in the San Francisco area.

Where to stay: Best Hotels in California (CA)

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FAQs

How long do most people spend at Muir Woods? ›

How long should you spend in Muir Woods? If you plan to explore the main area, I recommend setting aside a couple of hours for your visit. If you plan to hike one of the longer trails, you could spend up to 3 to 5 hours hiking around.

Is Muir Woods worth the trip? ›

There are plenty of other locations that you can see redwood trees. However, Muir Woods is a destination that you should at least visit once. It is a historic and internationally known national monument. Even though it has become a little “touristy” the natural beauty and impressiveness of the redwoods still remains.

Can you drive through Muir Woods without a reservation? ›

Do I need reservations? Yes, the National Park Service has a parking and shuttle reservation system at Muir Woods National Monument. Reservations are required for all vehicles and shuttle riders.

Can you just drive through Muir Woods? ›

No, you can not drive through Muir Woods. While you can enjoy the Muir Woods drive, you can not drive through the park, and there are no redwoods you can drive through.

What time is best to go to Muir Woods? ›

The best time to visit Muir Woods regarding the weather is from May to October. Regarding the crowds in the summer, visit the National Monument in the morning or late afternoon. If you hike one of the half-day trails, you can enjoy the majestic ancient redwoods almost alone.

Is it better to visit Muir Woods in the morning or afternoon? ›

Arriving late in the afternoon also means there will be far fewer crowds than during mid-day. Even if you arrive early enough in the morning to park, the crowds fill up by noon (according to the Muir Woods website), so if you're not done hiking by then, you'll be fighting the crowds on the return to your car.

How long does it take to walk through Muir Woods? ›

Muir Woods National Monument contains 6 miles of trails. There is a 1/2 hour loop, a 1 hour loop, and a 1 1/2 hour loop as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding Mount Tamalpais State Park. View a map of Muir Woods and its vicinity.

What do I need to know before going to Muir Woods? ›

Plan ahead for your visit to Muir Woods:

The Muir Woods Visitor Center is open 8:00 am to 30 minutes before the park closes. Parking reservations are always required via GoMuirWoods.com ahead of your visit. Please ensure you have a printout or downloaded copy of your parking voucher before arriving.

How can I get into Muir Woods for free? ›

Entrance Fees

Fourth Graders and Veterans and Gold Star Families can visit for free! Follow the instructions in the link before you arrive at Muir Woods. Entrance fees may be purchased in advance with your parking reservation or upon arrival to the park.

Can you take Uber to Muir Woods? ›

The distance from San Francisco to Muir Woods is only 17 miles. So, technically, you can take an Uber or Lyft driver to the park. However, there is no cell phone service in Muir Woods. So, it won't be possible for you to hire a driver for the ride back to San Francisco.

Is it hard to find parking at Muir Woods? ›

But due to the park's popularity, spaces fill up quickly. It is ESSENTIAL to reserve your parking in advance or you will likely not get a spot. Note that the Muir Woods shuttle does not travel between the onsite parking lot and the entrance to the park, so if you are parking do not reserve a shuttle ticket.

Can I go to Muir Woods by myself? ›

In this post, I'll walk you through the easy process of planning a self-guided Muir Woods tour from San Francisco. You'll get to experience a gorgeous ferry ride across the bay, grab some lunch in famous Sausalito, and soak up the beauty of the largest living things on the planet, the giant redwoods.

Where is the best place to see the redwood trees? ›

The 6 best places to see the largest redwoods in California
  1. Santa Cruz Mountains. The Santa Cruz Mountains offer a few different noteworthy options. ...
  2. Muir Woods National Monument. ...
  3. Humboldt Redwoods State Park. ...
  4. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. ...
  5. Calaveras Big Trees State Park. ...
  6. Carbon Canyon Regional Park.
17 Jun 2021

Is Muir Woods a hard hike? ›

Muir Woods Trail – Bridge 3 and back | Level of difficulty: Easy | Length: 1.3-mile | Duration: 1h. This path follows the Redwood Creek Trail, which is the most popular taken way for anyone visiting the Muir Woods National Park.

Are there bears in Muir Woods? ›

There is no chance that you will be harmed by or even see a bear in the Muir Woods. Can we bring our pet to the Muir Woods? Pets are not permitted in Muir Woods by the National Park Service.

Was Star Wars filmed in Muir Woods? ›

It became so popular that even misguided rumors arose that Endor was shot in Muir Woods. “It is a question they receive all the time,” said Julian Espinoza, spokesperson for the National Park Service. “Despite a persistent rumor to the contrary, none of the 'Star Wars' films were shot in Muir Woods.

Are there giant Sequoias in Muir Woods? ›

Muir Woods offers visitors the opportunity to wander forest paths and trails looking at the giant sequoias which are on average between 800 and 900 years old. There are almost 4 miles (6 kilometres) of trails with different routes depending on the time you want to spend there.

Are there bathrooms in Muir Woods? ›

Upon Arrival

As you arrive at Muir Woods, proceed to the main parking lot follow the signs to the accessible parking stalls located closest to the Visitor Center and park entrance. Accessible restrooms are located across from the parking stalls.

What is so special about Muir Woods? ›

Muir Woods is the first National Monument that was created solely because of a land donation from a individual. Congressman William Kent donated the land to protect redwoods, some of which are over 150 years old, from the logging industry boom. He also insisted it be named for John Muir.

Is there cell service in Muir Woods? ›

There is NO cell phone service or WiFi at or around Muir Woods National Monument. Download your parking reservation or shuttle ticket in advance.

Is Muir Beach worth visiting? ›

A favorite getaway for locals, Muir Beach is a quiet cove tucked away in the redwood trees of Muir Woods National Monument. It's located in Marin County just 20 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, making it one of the closest beaches to San Francisco. As with most beaches in Northern California, the weather is fickle.

What to wear in Muir Woods in August? ›

Due to the weather, the most important thing to keep in mind when you are preparing for your trip to Muir Woods is to bring layers. Layers will come in handy when visiting Muir Woods. Even on the warmest days in the Bay Area, there's a good chance there will be a breeze up Mt. Tamalpais.

Where do you park for the Dipsea Trail? ›

Parking is fairly easy around Old Mill Park just past downtown; from there, look for the first set of stairs that looks more like a driveway just past the playground and next to the traffic circle. Then start climbing: This is the first of three sets of nearly 700 wooden and stone stairs.

Is Sausalito worth visiting? ›

Sausalito is a popular destination to visit for both residents of the city and visitors alike. We have been to Sausalito many times and enjoy taking our out-of-town family and friends there for a day trip. The town of Sausalito is known for its beautiful views of the Bay and San Francisco's skyline.

Is Muir Woods the same as the redwood forest? ›

Muir Woods is the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area and one of the last on the planet. It is estimated that nearly 2 million acres of forest just like Muir Woods once covered a narrow strip along the coasts of California and Oregon.

Is Muir Woods muddy? ›

There are additional trails that lead from Muir Woods into Mount Tamalpais State Park. Most of the trails in Muir Woods are asphalt or boardwalk, but some that lead far up the canyon are steep, rutted and often muddy.

What will I see at Muir Woods? ›

The Main Trail through Muir Woods National Monument features old-growth redwoods, and is the trail most visitors to the monument walk. It starts at the Visitor Center and is laid out along both sides of Redwood Creek, with bridges to cross over from one side to the other.

How long does it take to go through Muir Woods? ›

Muir Woods National Monument contains 6 miles of trails. There is a 1/2 hour loop, a 1 hour loop, and a 1 1/2 hour loop as well as longer hikes on trails that extend into surrounding Mount Tamalpais State Park.

What do I need to know before going to Muir Woods? ›

Plan ahead for your visit to Muir Woods:

The Muir Woods Visitor Center is open 8:00 am to 30 minutes before the park closes. Parking reservations are always required via GoMuirWoods.com ahead of your visit. Please ensure you have a printout or downloaded copy of your parking voucher before arriving.

What do I need to know about Muir Woods? ›

Be sure to recreate responsibly and have a blast at this ancient redwood forest!
  • Plan ahead. Reserve, relax, plan ahead & enjoy the Woods! ...
  • Be patient and flexible. ...
  • Cell service. ...
  • Pets. ...
  • Visitor Center: A Great Start. ...
  • Park Passes. ...
  • Digital guide to enhance your experience. ...
  • Trails: Choose Your Own Adventure.
31 Aug 2021

Is Muir Woods muddy? ›

There are additional trails that lead from Muir Woods into Mount Tamalpais State Park. Most of the trails in Muir Woods are asphalt or boardwalk, but some that lead far up the canyon are steep, rutted and often muddy.

Was Star Wars filmed in Muir Woods? ›

It became so popular that even misguided rumors arose that Endor was shot in Muir Woods. “It is a question they receive all the time,” said Julian Espinoza, spokesperson for the National Park Service. “Despite a persistent rumor to the contrary, none of the 'Star Wars' films were shot in Muir Woods.

Is Muir Woods difficult? ›

Muir Woods Trail – Bridge 3 and back | Level of difficulty: Easy | Length: 1.3-mile | Duration: 1h.

Are there giant Sequoias in Muir Woods? ›

Muir Woods offers visitors the opportunity to wander forest paths and trails looking at the giant sequoias which are on average between 800 and 900 years old. There are almost 4 miles (6 kilometres) of trails with different routes depending on the time you want to spend there.

Are there bathrooms at Muir Woods? ›

Upon Arrival

As you arrive at Muir Woods, proceed to the main parking lot follow the signs to the accessible parking stalls located closest to the Visitor Center and park entrance. Accessible restrooms are located across from the parking stalls.

How can I get into Muir Woods for free? ›

Entrance Fees

Fourth Graders and Veterans and Gold Star Families can visit for free! Follow the instructions in the link before you arrive at Muir Woods. Entrance fees may be purchased in advance with your parking reservation or upon arrival to the park.

Is Sausalito worth visiting? ›

Sausalito is a popular destination to visit for both residents of the city and visitors alike. We have been to Sausalito many times and enjoy taking our out-of-town family and friends there for a day trip. The town of Sausalito is known for its beautiful views of the Bay and San Francisco's skyline.

Is there cell service in Muir Woods? ›

There is NO cell phone service or WiFi at or around Muir Woods National Monument. Download your parking reservation or shuttle ticket in advance.

What is the difference between Muir Woods and redwood National park? ›

Muir Woods is about one mile long by one quarter mile wide and the trees get to about 250 ft tall. Redwood NP is about 50 miles long by up to 5 miles wide, trees get up to 370 ft tall. Also there is more variety of other trees at RNP, spruce, western hemlock, big leaf maple.

Is Muir Woods the same as the redwood forest? ›

Muir Woods is the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area and one of the last on the planet. It is estimated that nearly 2 million acres of forest just like Muir Woods once covered a narrow strip along the coasts of California and Oregon.

Are there snakes in Muir Woods? ›

Reptiles and amphibians such as western garter snakes, rubber boas, and California giant salamanders are uncommon, but slimy bright banana slugs are abundant during the rainy season. Most commonly seen are Steller's jays, Sonoma chipmunks, and Western gray squirrels.

Are there bears in Muir Woods? ›

There is no chance that you will be harmed by or even see a bear in the Muir Woods. Can we bring our pet to the Muir Woods? Pets are not permitted in Muir Woods by the National Park Service.

Why are there no bugs in Muir Woods? ›

Life in a redwood forest is determined by the low light conditions that restrict growth of plant species producing flowers, nuts, or berries. In addition, coast redwood trees contain an abundance of tannin (or tannic acid), a chemical compound that deters the presence of insects.

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