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Muir Woods via the Bootjack Trail is a 7.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Mill Valley, California that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Length 7.1 mi Elevation gain 1,496 ft Route type Loop
Kid friendly Hiking Nature trips Walking Bird watching Running Forest River Views Waterfall Wild flowers Wildlife Fee No dogs
Description
Waypoints (2)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Every weekend during the summer months, signs on the main roads in Marin County start reading "Muir Woods Parking Lot Full," leaving those who crave a stroll among the wondrous Muir Woods redwoods two options: take a shuttle or try another day. But there is a third option -- Muir Woods National Monument is only two miles by trail from the Pantoll Ranger Station at neighboring Mount Tamalpais State Park. The out-and-back hike along the Bootjack Trail, plus a couple miles of wandering at the Monument, should yield about six miles of heaven under the big trees. There's about 800 feet of elevation loss/gain on a steep, challenging path down to the Monument, so it might be too much for beginners, but it's no big deal for experienced hikers. Vehicle registration: $8 cash or credit when ranger is working, cash only when station is unmanned. You pay at the ranger's office then stick the permit on your windshield.

Parking on Muir Woods Rd can be bad. Be prepared to walk a long distance

National Parks Service page on Muir Woods. http://www.nps.gov/muwo/ California Parks page on Mount Tamalpais State Park http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

TIP: - DESCEND via BOOTJACK then ASCEND via BEN JOHNSON. - Trekking poles are very helpful on this trail. - Shading gear I.E hat and sunglasses NOT a necessity as there's more than adequate shade from the greenery. Sunscreen for safety. - WIND BREAKERS not needed. We went on a cool, windy day and the cold breeze were welcomed if not demanded. - there is a drinking fountain on the base where the "tourist" loop is. Don't forget to fill-up. - CASH ONLY for vehicle registration. $8. You pay at the ranger's office then stick the permit on your windshield. Save your strength for the return hike -- 800 feet in 1.3 miles is a stern ascent. Go early in the day: Night falls fast in the canyon at Muir Woods, and you don't want to be on the trail after dark. Don't start this hike after 2 p.m.; there's more parking in the morning, too. Dress in layers -- it can be very cool and moist at Muir Woods, even misty and rainy even while it's warm and dry at Pantoll. What to bring: Water and snacks, you'll need to stay hydrated and energized. A Mount Tamalpais State Park trail map: The vast array of trails around Muir Woods makes it easy to get turned around; a good map will keep you on track.

Mount Tamalpais State Park is accessible via the famed California Highway 1, accessible via Highway 101 in Marin County. Once you're on Highway 101 near Sausalito, look for the CA 1/Mill Valley/Stinson Beach exit; turn off and head west on Shoreline Highway (CA 1) till you reach Panoramic Highway (just over 3 miles) -- the main thoroughfare through Mount Tamalpais State Park. Turn right on Panoramic Highway (you'll see signs pointing to to Muir Woods along the way; ignore them -- we're going in the back way) and continue for about 5.5 miles till you reach the large Pantoll Station parking lot. Turn left, park and buy a parking permit at the ranger station ($6 at last check but subject to inflation).

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Reviews (132)
Photos (1926)
Recordings (116)
Completed (405)
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Blanca Edna Garcia
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HikingFee
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Leslie Karina
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Hiking
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Dawn Dake
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Dawn Dake
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MsAnh ..
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HikingBugsFeeGreat!

This is my 2nd time hiking this trail. Still very beautiful. The trails are best when you go there early in the morning. Saw a deer during my hike today which was pretty awesome!!!

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DJ Goodman
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Hiking

I think there are better trails within Muir Woods. The first 1 1/2 to 2 miles are stunning with a couple of redwood groves. In my opinion, this trail got a little monotonous but at least it was a good workout. BTW - make sure to buy your parking pass in advance via their online website. Enjoy!

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MsAnh ..
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HikingFeeGreat!

This is by far the best trail I’ve hiked! Loved the shades throughout the trail, rivers and not to mention the beautiful forest views! There is an $8 parking fee at Pantoll. Overall, the hike is not hard and totally worth it!

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Ken Plamenco
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Hiking

Get to the Pan Toll parking lot before 9am.There was a long line of cars waiting after our hike. Great hike, didn’t expect the tough elevation gain coming back. We were confused about what was open and what was not in Muir woods. Got past the Cathedral grove despite the confusing do not enter signs that were sitting right next to one way arrow signs letting you go further in. We didn’t want to risk a fine if we ventured in further.

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Kalle Freese
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Hiking

Empty trails, apocalyptic vibes

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Westen W
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Hiking

Amazing workout complimented with amazing scenery! Only approached this area via Mount Tamalpais because I hadn't secured a parking pass ahead of time. Very happy it turned out that way. Dropping in through beautiful forest, crossing creeks along the way was nice. Then arriving at the creek bed with all the redwoods towering overhead was the perfect touch. Only downside was that part of the trail at the bottom was partially closed for maintenance.

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Adrian Gaviola
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HikingRocky
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Jesse Wilks
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Hiking

Just hiked this in the complete fog and it was spooky and beautiful. Loved it. I brought three beginner hikers and they were totally fine on it too. Trail seems to get busier the closer to Muir you get. 10/10 would do again.

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Darren He
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Hiking

The part of the trail in Muir Woods is beautiful (and easy). The Bootjack to Alpine to TCC section is extremely worn out, with short metal pipes sticking out of the trail, exposed tree roots, and exposed erosion protectors. Technical-in-a-bad-way kind of trail.

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Jim F
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Hiking

Got there around 715 Plenty of parking however pretty small lot. Trails very good condition. Knees hurt on the way down & lungs hurt way up. When it comes to Redwoods that are close - great. However if you want real redwoods need to get out of the Bay and explore

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Lydia Krefta
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HikingMuddy
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Dean Mccauley
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Hiking

Not much of a view. Crowded. Trees are dying and falling down. Steep and badly maintained. Go elsewhere.

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Brad Bowser
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The best

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J DaLomba
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Hiking

Fantastic, challenging hike with wonderful scenery and lots of shade

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Matt Souther
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Hiking

Great way to go check out Muir Woods! Beautiful forest all the way through and plenty of flat sections in between your moderate parts so you get your exercise without being so exhausted you can’t enjoy the Redwoods. Would do it again if there weren’t so many trails I haven’t done.

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Megan Hannon
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Hiking

#1, get a reservation for parking. #2, get here super early. #3, download your maps. If early, you can do the soon-to-be-crowded part first with relatively no one around. Which is nice. Once you are back on the trails you may not see anyone for a half-hour at a time. This whole area is what you make of it. Bring your maps! Bootjack is no joke.

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Maria Edible
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 24, 2018
Hiking

We had no idea that Muir Woods requires parking reservations so I inspected the map to figure out that we could take the Bootjack Trail from Mount Tamalpais to Muir Woods since MW is essentially encompassed by MT. BOOTJACK TRAIL: We drove to the state park and parked at the lot for the Bootjack Campground (self-pay, cash only, $8 day use fee, bathrooms available). While the Bootjack trail begins further North, it continues here so you'd cross the road and take the trail down to Muir Woods (about 2.5 miles). I'd say the trail is moderate. There were a lot of stairs which wasn't bad going down to Muir Woods however coming back was pretty rough. This actually allows you to bypass the Muir Woods entry fee which I'm not too proud about. Nonetheless, we got to experience the gorgeous trail and got to check Muir Woods off our list. And honestly, the Muir Woods trail system is rather limited in mileage so if you wanted to do some longer hikes, you'd want to venture out into Mt. Tamalpais anyway. If you have questions at the state park, stop at the Pantoll Ranger Station (half a mile up the road from the Bootjack Campground). There's a small parking area there and a friendly ranger to help you. Grab a map too!

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tara kalmanson
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Hiking

so much greenery, feels like a wonderland!

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Gerald Torcende
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 7, 2017
Hiking

TIP: - DESCEND via BOOTJACK then ASCEND via BEN JOHNSON. - Trekking poles are very helpful on this trail. - Shading gear I.E hat and sunglasses NOT a necessity as there's more than adequate shade from the greenery. Sunscreen for safety. - WIND BREAKERS not needed. We went on a cool, windy day and the cold breeze were welcomed if not demanded. - there is a drinking fountain on the base where the "tourist" loop is. Don't forget to fill-up. - CASH ONLY for vehicle registration. $8. You pay at the ranger's office then stick the permit on your windshield. My Bestfriend, BIL (and her 2 y/o) and I went and did this. Our legs were burning specially my BIL since he had his daughter on the carrier. I carried my niece going up and man was I hoping I brought my trekking poles. ALL IN ALL it was a BEAUTIFUL trail to do.

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Mig Liev
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Hiking

Stunning hike. My advise: start at Hillside and follow Ben Johnson trail up. Bootjack down is beautiful, specially after the rain.

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Karen B
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Hiking

Gorgeous hike. Start at the top and work your way down. The trail runs parallel with the falls 90% or the way.

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Walter Schwartz
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Plenty of great redwood and creek views. This is an especially nice trail because it is away from the crowds. I began at the main park entrance at 8:00am on a weekday, so the park was nearly empty. Then took Fern Creek to Bootjack to TCC to Dipsea to Ben Johnson and finally, Hillside Trail - a nice loop back to the entrance. All trails were well maintained, except some switchbacks were cut through on Ben Johnson and even a key sign was down. - May 15, 2015

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Tony Teshera
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First to Review

We took the "Strenuous Route" and had one of the most enjoyable hikes ever. We started/ended at Pantoll. Starting our hike around 8:30AM on a Friday, we had most of the trails to ourselves until we hit Steep Ravine around Noon and we saw more people. Watch out for the steep descents especially at the end of Dipsea before hitting Steep Ravine... we weren't in quite the shape we'd prefer to be so it was a bit tough on the knees, but it was worth it. Great hike!

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