Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Rd.
Mill Valley, CA 94921
Sometimes, the best things in life (and the tallest things) are free…but not always. In 2016, the National Park Service celebrates its 100th birthday. To commemorate “America’s Best Idea,” on 16 special days throughout 2016, all 127 of the 409 National Park Service sites that normally charge entrance fees will offer free admission to everyone. Mark your calendar for these dates during the centennial year: January 18, Martin Luther King Jr. Day; April 16 through 24, National Park Week; August 25 through 28, National Park Service Birthday; September 24, National Public Lands Day; and November 11, Veterans Day.
Muir Woods fees are hiked
Meantime, general admission entrance fees at the hugely popular Muir Woods National Monument are getting a hike as of Jan. 1, 2016. The last fee increase was at the start of 2012, from $5 to $7. The latest increase takes the adult admission fee to $10 for those 16 and above. Children under 16 are always free. Alternatively, a Muir Woods Annual Pass at $40 (up from $20) is good for 12 months, admitting the pass holder and three adults to Muir Woods multiple times.Concessions for many
In addition, any fourth grade student can get a free annual pass through the Every Kid in a Park program, and active duty military and citizens with a permanent disability can also get free passes. A Senior Pass for U.S. citizens or permanent residents age 62 or over is $10 for a lifetime.
Walking inside Muir Woods
Open 365 days a year, Muir Woods is approached via narrow, winding roads and features parking lots that are notoriously small and busy. Visitors are reminded that going on weekdays can help to spread the demand and using mini tour buses or shuttle buses from off-site parking lots is the wisest solution. A café is just inside the main entrance.
Wander through the park on your own or join one of the free ranger-led trail walks. Muir Woods National Monument is surrounded by a California State Park, with many trails to and from Muir Woods connecting with Mount Tamalpais State Park trails. These trails are long, narrow, unpaved, and often steep. Wear sturdy shoes and be prepared for temperatures that are always cooler under the canopy of the giants. Remember, the woods are home to many species of wildlife and pets are not permitted in the woods.
Muir Woods attracts one million annually
California is home to many iconic and unusual landscapes including famous national parks such as Yosemite, Death Valley, Alcatraz Island and Sequoia. When it comes to giant coastal redwoods, the world’s tallest known tree and one of the world’s oldest trees, Bay Area resident are lucky. Muir Woods National Monument is in San Francisco’s own backyard, just 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.
According to preservation group, Save The Redwoods, only five percent of the original old-growth coast redwood forest remains, along a 450-mile coastal strip that extends through the Bay Area. Due to its easy access from the city and surrounding communities, Muir Woods is the most-visited redwood park, drawing about one million visitors annually.