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Sausalito is an incredible destination in its own right, but one of the most amazing parts of this area is the access you have to other natural wonders and urban delights. From ferry access to Angel Island to a short drive up to Wine Country, Sausalito is a great place to base yourself to explore the North Bay and all it has to offer.
One of the most popular destinations you can visit from Sausalito is Muir Woods, a beautiful grove of Coastal Redwoods that’s protected as a National Monument within the National Park Service. Actually, this is a top sight in the San Francisco Bay Area – not just from Sausalito.
If you’d like to travel from Sausalito to Muir Woods and are wondering how to get there – plus what to do once you arrive – look no further. In this guide, I’ll share the different options for getting to Muir Woods from Sausalito, the shuttle details you need to know, tour options, and tips for your visit. As you’ll soon discover when you visit yourself, Muir Woods is a magical place and easily visited as part of your trip to Sausalito.
Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native-Land.ca.
This post was originally published on my blog Discover Sausalito; it was migrated to this site in January 2024.
How to Get from Sausalito to Muir Woods
There are three ways to travel to Muir Woods from Sausalito: car, tour, or Shuttle. Having mentioned all the alternatives, let me be straight: the drive from Sausalito to Muir Woods is no joke.
Driving yourself to Muir Woods is certainly tempting, given that it is less than an hour from Sausalito. However, the drive is full of challenges: narrow roads, hairpin turns, and steep patches, just to name a few. Also, there’s limited or no phone service, meaning you can’t rely on your GPS or iPhone if you get lost. Finally, personal vehicles need to purchase parking reservations ($9 for a standard vehicle) in advance, which doesn’t guarantee that you will find a parking spot upon arrival.
The best ways to get from Sausalito to Muir Woods are the Muir Woods Shuttle and Sausalito to Muir Woods tours:
- The Muir Woods Shuttle provides seasonal service to the Muir Woods National Monument from Sausalito, Marin City, and Larkspur Landing. The shuttle costs $3.75 per adult (16+), and advanced reservations are required.
- Booking a Muir Woods tour is another fantastic way to visit the park. It’s a popular destination from Sausalito and San Francisco, so you’ll find no shortage of tour operators offering great packages to visit Muir Woods year-round.
Read on for more details about each of these options below.
Tips For Your Muir Woods Visit
As you might have noticed, visiting Muir Woods requires extra planning. Below are my tips to ensure you have a fabulous experience discovering the wonderland of Muir Woods from the moment you book your ticket.
- Plan ahead! Muir Woods draws visitors from far and wide. Since the area’s ecosystem is highly delicate, the National Park Service controls the volume of people that can access it with a reservation system.
- Don’t wait until the last minute and purchase your Shuttle ticket early.
- The same principle applies to people driving to Muir Woods. Get your parking reservations as early as possible.
- Download your entrance ticket and parking reservation before arriving, as there’s no cell phone service or WiFi at or around Muir Woods National Monument.
- Don’t wait until the last return service to leave Muir Woods. If the bus fills up, you won’t be able to board it. There have been cases of buses leaving visitors stranded in the parking lot with no cell service and no WiFi.
- There are no parking areas outside Muir Woods lots. So don’t drive up there without reservations thinking you might find another place to park your car.
What to Bring (and Not!)
- Bring an extra layer! The coastal fog creates a damp and chilly environment at Muir Woods.
- Don’t bring your pup. Pets are not allowed in Muir Woods, but…
- Service animals for disabled passengers are allowed.
- You can bring your camera and take photos for personal purposes. However, you still have to stay near the paths and boardwalks.
Sights to See
- Cathedral Grove is a must-see; towering trees create a sense of solemnity that everyone should experience.
- Hike the Main Trail to wind your way among the largest and oldest Redwoods in the grove.
- See (and cross) any of the bridges that cross Redwood Creek for a different perspective.
- Stop in Bohemian Grove for a few deep breaths and you’ll understand why so many have been drawn to pilgrimmage to this part of California searching for “more.”
- Don’t take any “souvenirs” from the park. Every animal, plant, rock, and stick fulfills a special role within the ecosystem. Don’t disturb it.
- Avoid touching animals. The fauna in Muir Woods is not dangerous; however, human presence can agitate animals and lead to unnecessary inconveniences.
- If you’re visiting with your children, pick up a Junior Ranger book at the Visitor Center.
The Muir Woods Shuttle Schedule (2024)
The Muir Woods Shuttle runs services from Sausalito to Muir Woods on weekends and holidays only and only between mid-March and October. However, you should always check the service calendar for up-to-date information about their schedule.
Since Muir Woods is highly popular (and getting more popular every year), and reservations are required – you must arrive for your designated shuttle time. You can buy your shuttle tickets at least 90 days before visiting gomuirwoods.com.
Muir Wood Tours from Sausalito
Muir Woods is a popular destination from Sausalito and San Francisco, meaning you can browse numerous alternatives that take you to the magical park. Here are a few you can check out for your Muir Woods trip.
The Small-Group Muir Wood & Sausalito Tour is a lovely journey to discover Sausalito and Muir Woods. The bus departs from San Francisco, crosses the Golden Gate Bridge, and arrives in Sausalito. Visitors get a comprehensive view of the bayside town before heading to Muir Woods, where they’ll spend an hour exploring the towering Redwood trees and incredible wildlife.
You can also check out this Muir Woods & Sausalito Half-Day Tour. The highlight of this tour is that you get to spend 90 minutes in Muir Woods. Then, your guide will take you to discover Sausalito before returning to San Francisco.
Dylan’s Famous Tour covers the best sights of San Francisco, Sausalito, and Muir Woods. The tour starts exploring San Francisco’s top neighborhoods – your guide will know some pretty photogenic spots, so have the camera ready! Then, they take you to Muir Woods for an hour to see the famous redwood trees. You’ll seal the experience with a delicious lunch in one of Sausalito’s beautiful waterfront restaurants.
Have any other questions about how to get from Sausalito to Muir Woods or visit this incredible national monument? Let me know in the comments!