Muir Woods

The Muir Woods are one of the few places where kids can see old-growth redwoods. Many of the redwoods here are 600 - 800 years old, the oldest is 1200 years old. The tallest coast redwood in the Muir Woods is 258 feet high.

Tip: The Muir Woods are very popular and parking is very limited. Advance reservations for both car parking and shuttle bus stop at farther away location is required. Click here for reservations.

Start your explorations of the Muir Woods at the Visitor Center, with an excellent model of the Muir Woods valley, and a small diorama of redwoods. There's also a cafe with good selection of sandwiches, salads, drinks and snacks.

Main Trail -
The Main Trail follows along Redwood Creek, a clear sparkling fern-lined stream that's home to coho and steelhead salmon (no fishing, these lovely fish are endangered). Along with the towering redwoods, look for sword ferns, lady ferns, and moss on the forest floor. The trail is a wide boardwalk so it's easy with strollers, and open year round.
From the visitor center, go up the trail to the first bridge. Check out the huge cross section of a redwood from 960 AD. The self-guided nature trail begins at the Pinchot Tree, ten different stops where kids can learn about not only the redwoods, but the stream, fish, and banana slugs (park map has all the explanations at each of the stops).

For a one hour loop walk, along the creek, walk up the trail to Cathedral Grove, come back to bridge 3, cross over the creek and walk back down by Bohemian Grove. Even little kids will have fun with this walk. For a 1 ½ loop hike, continue up to bridge 4, then take the Hillside Trail back to the visitor center.
Fern Creek & Ocean View Trails -
Bigger kids will enjoy a longer hike up Fern Creek. From the Main Trail (before bridge 4), take the Fern Creek trail which goes back and forth across the creek - one bridge is built across a huge downed redwood tree! Continue on to the Lost Trail, then Ocean View Trail along the west side of the valley and back down the Main Trail. (Fewer people on this trail that the others above).

Tips for enjoying Muir Woods
Picnics - If you've brought a picnic, there's no picnicking along the trails the Muir Woods. Outside of the cafe are benches, as well as benches near the parking lot (before you enter the national monument).
Poison oak - Poison oak grows along the trails. Keep your eye out for it, as kids can easily brush up against it if they're wearing shorts. Poison oak is leafy green in spring, reddish brown in late summer.
Cool weather - Cooling fogs are part of the ecology of the Muir Woods. It may be a hot sunny day in summer, but fog can roll in, and the temperature drops considerably. Bring sweatshirts or light jackets to be prepared.
follow us on facebook
follow us on twitter
follow us on instagram
vimeo travelforkids
follow us on pinterest