Muir Woods Main Trail Featured
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Northern California Hikes

Muir Woods Main Trail

  • 2 miles - Easy Effort
  • Or: 0.5, 1 miles
  • 1-2 Hours (Total)
  • Can Get Very Busy
  • 140 Total Feet of Climbing
  • Max Elevation of 260 feet
  • No Dogs Allowed

The Main Loop Trail at Muir Woods National Monument is a must-visit for just about anyone and everyone. This iconic trail meanders through the heart of the ancient redwood forest, providing an awe-inspiring experience of towering trees that have stood for centuries. The Main Loop Trail offers a manageable and family-friendly hiking experience, with multiple distance options and a stroller and wheelchair friendly trail.

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

Where is Muir Woods Main 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 Muir Woods Main 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 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

This hike is very tame and you don't need anything special. That said, fitness clothing and trail runners are your best bet. I'd bring a water bottle. There's a spot along the way to refill. 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 2Hit SOS or just tell loved ones that you're running late where your cell phone has no service.  Review here.
Gear Topo Pursuit
Topo Pursuit 2The best hiking footwear I've ever owned. No blisters. Get them wet, they dry quickly. Lots of cushion and comfort.
Gear Epix Pro Up Ahead
Garmin Epix ProHiking maps, route info, and fitness stats on my wrist. Review here.
Hikelite 26 Gear
Osprey Hikelite 26Lightweight, carries all your gear, and your back doesn't get sweaty. Oh yea, it's also one of the most inexpensive packs you can get.

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

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

Muir Woods Main Trail Map

Muir Woods Main Trail Path
The first half of this hike is all on boardwalk or hard-packed surfaces, making it ideal for wheelchairs and strollers.
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.

Muir Woods Main Trail Directions

Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 01
Start the hike by going through the iconic Muir Woods sign.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 02
At the first big intersection, go straight.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 03
And right after that, hike past the tree cross-section.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 04
Go straight, passing the Canopy View Trail on the right.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 05
For the full hike, keep going past Bridge 2 (on left).

If you want to do a ½ hour, ½ mile hike, cross Bridge 2 and simply return.

Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 07
Keep hiking straight past Bridge 3.

If you want to do a 1 mile hike, cross Bridge 3 and return.

Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 08
Keep straight past the Fern Creek Trail junction.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 09
Then pass the Camp Eastwood Trail junction.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 10
When the main trail ends and the rugged Bootjack Trail begins, make the left and cross Bridge 4.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 11
Cross Bridge 4 and hike up the stairs.

If you are in a wheelchair or have a stroller, simply backtrack from here to Bridge 3, cross over, and return to the start.

Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 12
After walking up the stairs, make the left onto the Hillside Trail.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 13
Follow the Hillside Trail back toward Bridge 2.
Muir Woods Main Trail Directions 14
When the Hillside Trail ends at Bridge 2, simply make the right turn and hike the short distance back to the start.

Need More Info?

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.