To the gulf stream waters, this land was made for you and me. Like most growing up in the states at some point in our elementary school life, we sang that song and I always wonder what the places in that song really looked like. Before the day of Google and Instagram, I had to settle my curiosity with encyclopedias with small pictures of these beautiful places.
When we started this journey one of the top things on my bucket list has been to see the Redwood Forest and we finally checked that off this year when we stopped in San Francisco for 2 weeks. While there we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge to explore Muir Woods National Park.
We opted to do the park and ride and took one the first shuttles up to Muir Woods on a
beautiful sunny Saturday.
The weather was absolutely perfect! Once we got there we picked up our Jr ranger books, reviewed the hikes with a ranger and then headed into the park. The first part of the hike is on a wide handicap accessible path and boardwalk with interpretive signs along the path. The kids were excited and blown away by the giant trees, which reminded them of the Sequoias we saw 2 years ago. Best of all we were hiking with the same friends we were the day we explored the Sequoias.
Along the path we saw the most amazing clover patches, moss covered downed logs and ferns that looked like something out of Jurassic Park. After hiking along the accessible path we turned to take the Hillside path which leads you up a paved path over looking the river. It was an easy hike for our crew but there was a drop on one side of the path so it may not be a good choice for those with littler hikers.
After finishing our hike, we had a picnic lunch and the kids finished up their Jr Ranger booklets. The books were fairly easy to complete and Dean for his age group needed to complete 8 of the pages. We like ones that allow the kids, to pick the pages they can do and this one had a lot of drawing options, which are always Dean's favorite to complete. Once the books were done, we headed to the Ranger station for swearing in. Strange thing happened at the ranger station though, their booklets were reviewed and they received their badges but the ranger skipped the swearing in portion. No biggie, just a bit odd for us but maybe he skipped it because we have obviously done it a bunch of time ;)
Some important things to know before you go
The parking lot at Muir Woods fills up very fast each day and you must have reservations to park. The drive up there is very steep and narrow so if you are afraid of those type of roads or don't want to mess with the very limited park then the their shuttles may be the best bet for you. Vehicles must be under 17ft to park at the park and the fee for parking is $8
The shuttles while we were there were only running on weekends. It was $3 for ages 16 and up and free for ages 15 and under. They offer 3 shuttle pick up location but only one is park and ride, the other 2 are designed for those using the ferry or mass transit
This is the address for the park and ride
Pohono Park & Ride 100 Shoreline Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941
For more information and to purchase your shuttle or parking tickets visit
Junior ranger program
Yes! And we received a wooden badge, it was a fairly simple program to complete
Pets are not permitted in Muir Woods or on the shuttles, services animals are permitted in both
There is no signal at Muir Woods, be sure to have your shuttle tickets saved to your phone. We connected about 1/2 way back down the mountain.
There is a small cafe at the visitors center serving sandwiches and salads
Flush toilets were available before you entered the park and by the cafe