Muir Woods National Monument is an incredible day trip from San Francisco. This young redwood forest was untouched by logging in the early 1900s, so the trees are tall, abundant, and quite frankly, magical! If you don’t have access to a car in San Francisco but still want to visit Muir Woods, this guide is for you. Here’s the easiest and cheapest way to get to Muir Woods without a car.
Distance from San Francisco to Muir Woods
Muir Woods is about 16 miles away from San Francisco. Although it isn’t too far, biking to Muir Woods from San Francisco would be quite the challenge – there’s a bit of elevation gain!
Instead, I’d highly recommend taking public transport.
San Francisco to Muir Woods by public transportation
Public transportation is the best way to get from San Francisco to Muir Woods without a car on weekends and holidays. You’ll take a combination of bus and shuttle to get there!
Leg 1: Bus
From San Francisco, take the Golden Gate Transit Bus 130. You can take this from the Salesforce Transit Center, Civic Center, along Van Ness, or from a bunch of other stops in the city. For more detailed information, check out Golden Gate Transit’s website.
To pay for the bus ticket, you can use cash or Clipper card. I highly recommend using your Clipper card. Unlike MUNI services, when you use your Clipper card, you’ll need to tap in when you get on the bus and tap out when you get off the bus. When using a Clipper card, know that you’ll be charged about $11 when you get on the bus and be refunded you when you tap off. It costs $6.40 each way and takes about 40 minutes.
Get off at the Bridgeway & Gate 5 stop. You can go one stop further to go to Target if you need last minute snacks or supplies.
Leg 2: Walk
From the bus stop, walk along the bridgeway, along the bike path, to the Pohono Park and Ride. It’s a 15-20 minute walk.
Leg 3: Shuttle
When you reach the Pohono Park and Ride, reserve your Muir Woods shuttle tickets. You have to reserve for a specific time shuttle, so I recommend making your reservation on the walk to the park and ride, but know that on busy holidays and weekends, the shuttles might get fully booked, so keep your eye on the reservation page a few days before you want to go to Muir Woods. These shuttle tickets can be purchased at Go Muir Woods and they cost $3.50 per person. The fare includes both your shuttle to Muir Woods and back to Pohono Park and Ride. Make sure to download and screenshot your tickets at the shuttle stop because there is no cell signal at Muir Woods.
The shuttle takes 30 minutes and will drop you off right at the Visitor’s Center. Catch the shuttle back right where you got dropped off.
Important Info! The shuttle to Muir Woods only runs on weekends and holidays.
Uber to Muir Woods?
You can absolutely Uber to Muir Woods, but because Muir Woods is more remote, Lyft and Uber rides can be pretty pricey. I’d expect to pay around 40 to 70 dollars. It’s also important to know that there is no cell signal in Muir Woods, so you’ll have to make other arrangements for getting back to San Francisco.
Other things to know
If you have an America the Beautiful or other national parks pass, bring it to Muir Woods for included entry, otherwise you’ll pay $15 per person to enter the park.
There are beautiful hiking trails that start from Muir Woods. We like the Canopy Trail, which will take you to other trails around Mt. Tam. If you’re looking for a shorter loop, hike the Canopy Trail and return to Muir Woods along the Lost Trail, or walk the length of Muir Woods and hike back along the Hillside Trail from Bridge 4.