Muir Woods

Thursday, September 15, 2016

This national monument is beyond amazing. Wide boardwalk trails, beautiful nature and fascinating history makes it a great family adventure. 

Getting there 
Not too far from 1/101 exit, it is convenient to get there and easy to find.
There are a few parking lots, and some parking on the road, but they fill up quickly on weekends and other holidays. Try to get there earlier to get a parking spot.

Shuttle services are available on weekends & holidays during April-October. Check out the schedule and stops here. 

The trails 
There are a few trails to explore, but the Main Trail is easy and great for little explorers. The trail is a shaded and mostly a boardwalk path along Redwood Canyon.
The paved trail and boardwalk makes this trail stroller friendly, and the dense woods and fences makes it hard to go off-trail, so it’s great for toddlers running around.

The Redwood trees are magnificent. The Sequoias are the tallest, and one of the oldest, living things on earth. Signs with great information about the trees and times in history make the trail great for parents, too.
There is a Giant California you can “stand inside”. Daniel loved it! 
There are 4 bridges along the trails, so it is easy to adjust the length of the trails to your family’s needs. Once you’re ready to go back, just cross the bridge and walk the other side of the creek back to the park’s entrance.

Deer, chipmunks, squirrels, birds, lizards, and banana slugs are commonly seen, so keep your eyes open! Daniel loved playing with the friendly chipmunks next to the visitor center!

If you are looking for longer trails, try the Canopy View to Lost Creek or Fern Creek. With elevation gain of 350-530ft, they are a little more challenging for little kids, but doable with carriers. 

Children’s Activities
There are two great activity books available at the visitor center.
Redwood Discovery: A Quest at Muir Woods (for kids 6-12 years old) 
Solve the rhyming riddles, learn some of the secrets of the Woods, and find the treasure box! The activity book is available for free at the visitor center. 

Become a Junior Ranger (for kids 4-11 years old) 
Complete this activity book and head to the visitor center to get sworn in as an official Junior Ranger. You will also get a cool wooden badge! The activity book is available for free at the visitor center. 

Even on a warm day, it’s cold and moist in the groves, so make sure to bring extra layers.

Visitor Center, Gift Shop and Café
Visitor Center: Stop at the Visitor Center for maps and other information about the park and trails. This is where you’ll get the Junior Ranger Activity Book and Badge and the Quest Map (more information under Children’s Activities).

There are two restrooms - one in the parking lot and another adjacent to the gift shop. Both were very clean and had changing tables. 

Gift Shop: The gift shop is adjacent to the café and is pretty big, with nice selection of items for children. I always buy something small for Daniel to play with on our way home, and also as a conversation starter about the places we visit and activities we do. It’s not always easy to find something small and inexpensive, but here it was hard to choose just one!

Café: Wide variety of organic snacks, sandwiches made with local cheeses, muffins, coffee and delicious hot chocolate! Outside the cafe there are wooden bears to play on and with - lots of fun!
Park hours vary by season. The park is open 8am-5pm year long, with extended hours during the summer.
The Visitor Center closes 30 minutes before Muir Woods.

$10/Adult, 15 and under – free. Annual passes available, check out the information here.

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