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Muir Woods via the Bootjack Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews

Muir Woods via the Bootjack Trail is a 5.6 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.

5.6 miles
1,496 feet

kid friendly


nature trips

trail running


bird watching





wild flowers


no dogs

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. - CASH ONLY for vehicle registration. $8. You pay at the ranger's office then stick the permit on your windshield.

5 days ago

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

1 month ago

1 month ago

Under tree cover the entire hike. Possible to park for free at any turnout instead of the paid lots. Bootjack is muddy. Ben Johnson is drier but has a lot of debris on the trail from the storms, and a few recent dead-fall including a large root bundle blocking the trail at one point, had to scramble over. Undergrowth is starting to encroach. The trail is steep so expect a workout. Description is wrong, elevation change is well over 800 ft. More like 1300 ft. based on the topo. Still moderate difficulty but a challenging moderate. Lovely waterfalls following the stream down Bootjack. Wonderful moss and ferns and just lush green on Ben Johnson. Option to cut across TCC instead of Alpine.

5 months ago

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

6 months ago

The best

7 months ago

Fantastic, challenging hike with wonderful scenery and lots of shade

7 months ago

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.

8 months ago

#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.

Monday, February 19, 2018

so much greenery, feels like a wonderland!

Sunday, May 07, 2017

- 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.

Monday, April 17, 2017

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

Friday, February 03, 2017

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

Friday, December 30, 2016

Great hike and a great burn for the gams! I did just an out and back from the bootjack campground parking lot to Muir Woods. It was a beautiful hike, much of it followed a small stream with multiple tiny waterfalls (or water falling over rocks really). Not many people on the trail until you hit Muir Woods. Next time I would probably cut back before the visitors center.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

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

Friday, April 18, 2014

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!

1 month ago

1 month ago

3 months ago

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