Explore the most popular wildlife trails in Muir Woods National Monument with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

If your car-less and coming from San Fran, an easy and affordable way to enjoy Muir Woods is: 1. Take bus(#30)/ferry to Sausalito ($6.50/$12 one way), 2. Take Muir Woods shuttle ($3 round trip; reserve seat in advance). Beats the $70+ tours! This trail was mainly in the shade but got some filtered sun. Very few muddy spots. Well maintained, wide packed trail for most of it. There is no summit (it hugs the contour line once you’ve reached max elevation) and there aren’t viewpoints. Consider the Dipsea trail if you want a peak at the ocean. Definitely nice to get away from the crowds.

Beautiful coastal trail. Birthday hike surprise from my fav hiker

Started at 8am on a misty and dense Saturday. We found parking in the lot - keep in mind you have to pay $7-$10 for your permit. The trail started leveled ground, then midway it was incline and after it was steep. We ended at the exit, which led to a street and cars parked alongside. Decided to hangout at Stinson Beach for a while before hiking back.

Overall, this trail requires you to have stamina and endurance to keep going forward. Other than that, it was very scenic and I would do it again.

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoy this hike and the beautiful views. It was hard for me because of all the stairs and steps this hike had but overall it was beautiful!

Great trail with a huge diversity of terrain!

Start early and make sure to wear layers. I started the hike counter clockwise to end at the beach. I got sunshine, to rain and dense fog which you can't see 8 ft ahead of you. It was an amazing trail to hike.

A stunning trail. Make sure to check out the Zen Center at the start of the trail.

Absolutely beautiful but start early! A lot of stairs and bring layers as the weather changes quickly throughout the hike!

Beautiful views. Minimal shade. Lots of fun to be had.

hiking
3 months ago

The information provided here is wrong. Dipsea trail is 7 miles one way. The trail path mentioned here does not include the first 2.5 miles of the trail.

Combines the essence of Northern Californian Nature - the redwoods, the long open hills, the Pacific coast. Good mix of not so exhausting stretches w very demanding climbs - beware the roots and loose stones. Steps down to Stinson should be taken w caution, and when you return from Stinson take your time on these steps, they are very uneven (no rhythm to establish). A trail that demands your attention/concentration at each step!

Awesome trail! Challenging and diverse.

Took about 3 hours. Beginning portion on Dipsea trail is all in the sun and uphill. Once Ben Johnson starts it’s all downhill and shade.

Honest review by a hiking newbie family of three, with the kid being a 7 yr old girl. We did the trail in reverse with the intention that we might attempt the Dipsea depending on how the kid was doing. Had a parking reservation at 8am and snagged a parking spot very close to the Dipsea trail marker. Trail was very doable for us, but quite warm (full sun on ridge -- end of June). Lots of solitude (maybe encountered 5 hikers), distant ocean views, meadow and forest trails, and tons of butterflies. Kid had heel complaint so we went Stapelveldt (steep desent switchbacks) to Ben Johnson (busy trail, terrain is filled with roots that trips up heavy tired feet, steep in parts, log crossings) to Hillside to Main Muir Woods trail which completes the loop. Before taking this on, we already bought the $1 trail map in Muir Woods.

I took this trail on a holiday weekend, the trails were packed with people.
It was foggy so I missed the views but the trail was beautiful but the hike is brutal coming up from Stinson.
Not a lot of stairs A REAL LOT OF STAIRS!!
I was glad when I was near the top it kinda levels off and you go across the ridge.

I stopped at the top and met some nice people that suggested I take the Matt Davis trail back so I did it was worth it not having to go down all those stairs with great scenery and put me 1 block from-the trailhead at Stinson where I parked

The Matt Davis trail has a few pretty hairy spots that could get ugly if not being extra careful

It was a great day over all and look forward to going back to explore other trails on MT Tam

EDIT I consider myself an average hiker, that night and the next day my legs are really sore

hiking
4 months ago

Really great hike! One of the best around. Only saw a few people on the trail and there is plenty of shade! We went in the morning and it was the perfect time. Saw some deer and a banana slug (watch out for them crossing the trail!) Most tourists do not usually hike and just check out the visitor center and around it. I recommend reserving parking in advance online, which is really all you have to worry about when going to Muir Woods.

I really enjoyed this trail. We started from Stinson Beach, went to mile marker 4 and then turned back. It was scenic.

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked this trail for the first time in January and was so inspired by the beauty, I hiked the loop a second time. Definitely tired after 2 loops, but followed it by a great meal at BooKoo in Mill Valley. I’ve returned three times since because the trail views are lovely. In the summer, the amphitheater is used for live theater so we planned a day around it: We watched Mama Mia and then hiked...very fun. I felt safe hiking it alone, but use your own discretion.

The trail starts off with half a mile of the scenic redwoods. They are as beautiful and poised as they come. Soon after the scenic trail, going towards Ben Johnson, the trail becomes an elevated climb and is progressively becomes steeper until about a mile from summit where it is the steepest. but don't stop until you reach the summit since the view is awesome with lofty terrain around and a view of the bay if there's no fog. also you can top off your potable water at the summit. then turning back towards dip see trail is all downhill and equally enjoyable.

Start early in the day in case you get lost! Use a tracker on your phone (or screen shot directions or a map because you’re not always going to have service!) For the most part, you will see signs to guide you. We took a few wrong turns and had to guess where we were going. We also had to ask a few people directions. My son is 11 and didn’t complain, he even fell and bloodied his knee and still kept going! Although my nephew (his cousin that’s about the same age) barely made it :( We had to stop and sit multiple times, which kind of got irritating because it was getting dark. However, family is family and I felt really bad for my nephew. This hike is def. not for the inactive.

There were an abundance of beautiful redwood trees and green forest areas, but I saw very little streams (or what used to be streams) so I wasn’t that impressed. I didn’t see the beautiful bed/meadow of flowers I saw in the pictures on Yelp or online that people posted. It could have also been because I believe we got lost and took a ghost route for a bit. Now that was the scary part- towards the 5th mile I think? I can’t remember but we came to a split path with no signs. We walked one way for a little bit but decided to backtrack and take the other route. The trail kind of seemed shady about half a mile in (very narrow paths with branches and bushes almost about to cover the path). I was thinking about turning back and my son was eager to get out of there he kept going faster pushing through. Eventually the path got a little wider and we ended up back on what we hoped was the Dipsea Trail— but because we were apparently on a ghost trail, we had cut back into the this bigger trail and didn’t know which way to go!!! We had no service so we had to guess and make a decision to where we thought the beach was! About almost another half mile, we started to second guess AGAIN. This was def. a God moment because it was getting dark and everyone seemed a little worried. I thought, I better start praying because I’m starting to feel a little scared. I quietly called out God’s name. Then out of nowhere this couple showed up and gave us directions

Awesome hiking place, must to go!

It’s a beautiful hike. Not too crowded. A little tougher than I expected. The sign says allow 3 hours but we did in just under 2 with lots of photo ops.

Wonderful trail with lots of shade. Went with my girlfriends and her 2 friends on a Sunday afternoon in mid-August. We hit the fog in the scenic spots, which was a slight shame. Fun hike nonetheless.

Go early. Start at Stinson Beach to Muir Woods. Reward yourself with the beach at the end. It’s beautiful. Excellent trail for running. Saw one snake and it was little. Not overly busy but later on the way back more hikers around. It was beautiful.

Great trail, we didn’t know what to expect. We actually started from Tennessee Trails, stopped by Pirates Cove, went to Muir Beach and then returned. That “small” hill going back was a beater for my boyfriend and I, but well worth it!

I did this hike solo and it was such a beautiful experience. I recommend buying the Dipsea trail map they have at the visitor center in Muir Woods. It helped me get through the whole day without much trouble figuring out the trail because it can get complicated at some points considering there are so many trails in Muir Woods. Start out surrounded by redwoods. End your journey resting your tired ass toes in the Pacific at Stinson Beach. Just to finish off at the beach was one of the most phenomenal feelings and moments of my life. Currently writing this review at Stinson beach because I couldn’t pass up the moment to capture my energy from this hike.

loved this trail! It had such diverse terrain and views. It was absolutely beautiful! It is a difficult trail though for sure. I am from Colorado and hike all over the place but this is now one of my favorite hikes!

Dipsea half marathon was muddy, raining, tough

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