Exploring Muir Woods and Surronding Beaches

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by lgarcia45 on December 22, 2004

Muir Woods is a popular day trip for visitors to San Francisco. Many tour operators offer trips and pick-up from your SF hotel. We have done this in the past, but on this trip, we opted to instead rent a car and explore the area on our own. I can now say renting a car offers distinct advantages. First, you can arrive well before the hordes of tourists and enjoy the magnificent SILENCE of Muir Woods. When tour groups do begin to arrive, you will note people can be as noisy as a gaggle of seagulls! Second, tours do not include nearby Muir Beach or Stinson Beach, just a few miles up Highway 1. Thirdly, you can take in things at your own pace and not worry about being "back at the bus" at a certain time. As for Muir Woods themselves, the giant redwoods are majestic and FRAGRANT.

The National Park Service charges a nominal fee for day use, and maps of the paved (great for handicapped visitors) and unpaved, more primitive trails are readily available. Keep your eyes peeled, as perhaps you can be as fortunate as we were in spotting a famed "banana slug". Rangers also offer talks during the day on the ecosystem of Muir Woods. There is a gift shop, as well as a snack bar. We skipped the snack bar in favor of the nearby Pelican Inn, which I will discuss in another entry, as well as the beaches of Muir and Stinson.

Muir Woods
Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, CA , 94941-2696
(415) 561-4700


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