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Bootjack Loop Trail Featured
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Northern California Hikes

Bootjack Loop Trail

  • 6.5 miles - Moderate Effort
  • 3-4 Hours (Total)
  • Not Often Hiked
  • 1,200 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 1,230 feet
  • No Dogs Allowed

The Bootjack Loop Trail fits the bill for those wanting to do a "hike hike" away from the crowds into the Muir Woods National Monument wilderness. The hike has a fair amount of climbing and takes you on the more rugged trails of the backcountry.

In this Guide:
  • Turn by Turn Hike Directions & Video
  • Muir Woods Trail Maps
  • How to Get to Muir Woods
  • Insider Tips & Recommendations

Where is the Bootjack Loop Trail?

Muir Woods Map
Although Muir Woods National Monument is only 12 miles away from downtown San Francisco is only 12 miles, getting there can be a challenge.

The trailhead for the Canopy View Trail is: Muir Woods Visitor Center, 1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Muir Woods is not an easy place to visit.

If you have a car, I'd recommend first visiting the parking and public transportation website at GoMuirWoods.com. Try to get a permit as early as possible. They also have information on the shuttle that runs from the ferry terminal with a limited schedule.

Your other option is to ride-share there, and then taxi back. The problem is that there is no cellular service at the park. But you'll find a payphone at the visitor center (bring coins). I'd write down the number of a taxi company, or even try to book one before-hand.

Muir Woods Park Entrance
In addition to the parking or transportation costs, there's also an entry fee for Muir Woods. I recommend the America the Beautiful Pass which gets you into any park or federal land.

Gear Recommendations

If you have hiking gear, bring it. Otherwise fitness clothing works. The trails are more primitive than the main loop; trail runners are your best bet. If you have trekking poles with you, they'll help on the climbs and descent. I'd bring 1-2L of water. And don't forget, there's no cellular service here, so having a satellite communicator will come in handy if there's an emergency.

Gear That I Love Right Now

Nothing is sponsored or promoted, just the actual gear that I use.


Gear Inreach Mini 2
Garmin InReach Mini 2If you are out of cellphone range the Mini 2 will reliably allow you to hit SOS via satellite. You can also send non-emergency texts to just say that you're late, let friends and family follow along, and check the weather. You can see my review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The wide toe box means no blisters, an aggressive tread is great on the trail, it dries very quickly, and it has lots of cushion for long days. It combines everything I love about every other shoe into one.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProThese watches are pricey, but I use them 24/7 for sleep tracking, workouts, heart rate, and tracking my hike. It has preloaded hiking maps that help me navigate the trails and is a backup to my smartphone navigation. The Epix Pro has a great battery life, a screen similar to an Apple Watch Ultra, and works in harsh conditions when just using the buttons. See my review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26This updated version of the Hikelite 26 offers incredible value for the money. It's got a wide trampoline back, so your back doesn't get sweaty. It's under 2lbs, has deep side pockets, and is a great balance of what you need without what you don't.

Check out the complete list here. ( Updated May 2024)

A big thank you to Overwatch x Rescue for covering the travel expenses for this trip.

Bootjack Loop Trail Map

Click Here To View

Use This Map:
View in CalTopo | PDF Map | GPX File

There's also a map from the Parks Service you can download here.

Bootjack Loop Trail Directions

Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 01
Start the hike by going through the iconic Muir Woods sign. Follow this all the way up the Main Trail.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 01
When you get to Bridge 4, hike straight onto the Bootjack Trail.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 02
The Bootjack Trail is a more primitive single-track and follows the creek upstream.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 03
There's about 1000 feet of climbing.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 10
When you get to Van Wyck Meadow, make the left.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 05
And then take the TCC Trail.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 06
The the bridge, continue to bear left and join the Stapelveldt Trail.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 07
Right after the bridge continue left on the Stapelveldt Trail.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 08
Continue straight onto the Ben Johnson Trail.
Bootjack Loop Trail Directions 09
At the Hillside Trail, make the right and continue to Bridge 2 and then the Visitor Center.

Need More Info?

  • Have a question about the guide or want to see what other people are saying/asking? View the Youtube comments for this video. Leave a comment and I will do my best to respond.
  • When planning, always check the park website and social media to make sure the trails are open. Similarly, check the weather and road conditions.

This Guide Was Written by Cris Hazzard

Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite
Hi, I'm Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional outdoors guide, hiking expert, and author based in Southern California. I created this website to share all the great hikes I do with everyone else out there. This site is different because it gives detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I also share what hiking gear works and doesn't so you don't waste money. I don't do sponsored or promoted content; I share only the gear recommendations, hikes, and tips that I would with my family and friends. If you like the website and YouTube channel, please support these free guides (I couldn't do it without folks like you!). You can stay up to date with my new guides by following me on YouTube, Instagram, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter.