Muir Woods National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast of southwestern Marin County, California, 12 miles (19 km) north of San Francisco, and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The National Park Service protects 554 acres (224 ha), of which 240 acres (97 ha) are old growth, Coast Redwood forests. One of these such growths remains standing in the San Francisco Bay Area – the Muir Woods National Monument.
Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the Muir Woods is regularly shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth. The fog is also vital for the growth of the redwoods as the trees utilize moisture from the fog during the dry summer season.
Muir Woods mainly caters to pedestrians since parking of vehicles is only allowed at the very entrance. Arriving early to the park on weekends is recommended since the parking lot tends to fill-up quickly. There is parking along-side the roads outside the parking lot; however, these fill-up as well and may make for a rather long walk to the main park. If you’re ok with the extra walking, then more power to you! In addition to the level paved trail of the main canyon floor, there are also unpaved hiking trails which vary in difficulty and distance. These trails connect the Muir Woods National Monument with the Mt. Tamalpais State Park. Picnicking, camping, and pets are not permitted; however, visitors may purchase food and beverages at the Muir Woods Trading Company Cafe and Gift Shop.