When we headed to San Francisco there was one day trip that we knew we just had to do, a must when visiting San Francisco with kids , and that was visit Muir Woods National Monument! We love a National park and Muir Woods are so familiar to us having been seen on so many films and television programmes. I had really high expectations of the place and I can safely say neither me or the toddler were disappointed with our visit. Here we round up all the essential information you need to have a successful visit to Muir Woods with kids or toddlers in tow!
Visiting Muir Woods with Kids Tips and Tricks
Organise your Muir Woods Car Parking and Shuttle in Advance
When we visited Muir Woods the new reservations systems for Muir Woods Car Parking and Shuttle had only just been introduced. The new system had been put in place to try to counter act the business of the park.
Now there is a whole parking reservation system and also a Muir Woods Shuttle Bus for those that get parking further away from the park. To book your reservation visit GoMuirWoods.com or call 1-800-410-2419.
It is essential to book your parking in advance as you can’t park without a reservation and also because there is no wifi or service at the park. If you arrive at the park without a reservation you will find yourself driving back into the nearest town to get signal to make your reservations and then have to drive back to the park. This is such a waste of your day so be sure to do this in advance.
We were lucky to be visiting early in the day and in the off season so we got parking right near the entrance to the park but I have since heard that the shuttle is very well organized and ok to use with kids!
If you had needed to use the Muir Woods Shuttle it would take about 30 minutes.
When to Visit Muir Woods National Monument
We visited on an early Wednesday morning in February when there were no school holidays. If you can visit during the week in an off peak season this would be advisable as you can get the park pretty much all to yourself. The benefit of this was also our parking space was literally right night to the park which meant we didn’t have to use the shuttle service.
Tips For Visiting Muir Woods With Toddler in Tow – Is Muir Woods Stroller Friendly?
When we visited Muir Woods we visited with our two year old toddler. Our little girl is a pretty good hiker and what I loved about visiting Muir Woods with toddler in tow is that the boardwalks around the park meant that it was very easy for her to walk around the park on her own.
And in answer to the question “is Muir Woods Stroller Friendly?” – it absolutely is again because of the boardwalks so you could even come to Muir Woods with a baby.
What to Wear at Muir Woods
If traveling to Muir Woods with kids in a morning make sure you bring layers as it can get quite cool and foggy in the park.
If you are travelling during the summer don’t forget to bring the sun screen. Even though the magnificent trees provide great shade you will still want sun screen with you.
What to see at Muir Woods National Monument
The main attraction of the Muir Woods National Monument are the Sequoia Sempervirens aka the enormous Redwoods! They are the largest living things on earth and they are simply breathtaking! They look like they go on together and you will find yourself looking at the sky the whole walk round!
Near the entrance of the park there is a cut through tree which is a great thing to show kids to show the circles and dating method of the trees!
There are several paths within the woods and the site has about 6 miles of trails. As we were traveling with a toddler we decided to take some of the easier boardwalk paths! This was perfect as there were several bridges that meant you could do an easy loop of the park! The boardwalks also meant that it would have been possible to do with a stroller!
What is at Muir Woods for Kids?
If you are wondering what is at Muir Woods for Kids the answer is LOTS!
Hiking Muir Woods With Kids
Muir Woods has over 6 miles of hiking trails which are actually easy to do with kids for the most park. Most people only tackle one trail at Muir Woods – The Main Loop Trail and this is a great length to do with kids and is very flat. The length of the hike on this trail can be altered for your families needs – you just need to cross one of the four bridges to head back and can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour and a half to walk depending on which length you want to tackle.
One of my favourite places in Muir Woods in Cathedral Grove which is a beautiful and tranquil place.
Get Your Junior Ranger Badge at Muir Woods With Kids
One of my favourite things about visiting National Parks with Kids is the Junior Ranger programme. Although classified as a National Monument rather than a National Park you can still take part in the Junior Ranger Programme at Muir Woods.
To take part collect an activity book from the Visitor Centre and complete the hands on activities as you go round. If you complete it all your kids will be rewarded with a badge.
Facilities at Muir Woods National Monument
Near the entrance to Muir Woods there is a visitors centre and cafe. We liked the fact that the food at the cafe seemed to have a lot of organic credentials! While the gift shop had lots of great souvenirs and gifts!
Overall: Muir Woods should be on any San Francisco itinerary when traveling with kids!
FAQs about Visiting Muir Woods with Kids
How to get to muir woods from San Francisco?
If you are wondering how to get to Muir Woods from San francisco I would personally recommend hiring a car and driving to the park. But be sure to reserve your parking in advance.
To get to Muir Woods from San Francisco it takes about 40 minutes.
How long does it take to walk through Muir Woods? How long does it take to visit muir woods?
How long it takes to walk through Muir Woods really depends on you, how much you would like to walk and how much you will let your children walk. I would recommend putting aside at least a few hours or half a day to Muir Woods in your San Francisco itinerary.
If you want to do some of the longer trails you could spend up to 5 hours on site.
Can you go to Muir Woods without a reservation?
Nope going to Muir Woods without a reservation will just mean you have to drive straight back into town and make one.
Have you been to Muir Woods? What are your top tips?