Insiders Tip: If you want to visit Muir Woods, be sure to buy your parking or shuttle tickets early. During the summer travel season both kinds of tickets will sell out days in advance. You cannot go to a Muir Woods Shuttle bus stop and get a reservation on the spot — they can only be purchased online in advance — we have links below.
Insiders Tip: There is no cell service or WiFi service at Muir Woods itself — it’s in a mountain “dead zone.” If you need to download your parking pass, call anyone, arrange a ride or anything that you do on a cell phone, do so before taking the Muir Woods shuttle or leaving home.
The Muir Woods Shuttle
As of January 1, 2018, access to Muir Woods is controlled by a reservation system, similar to the one used at the National Park Service’s Alcatraz Island. Here are the bullet points you need to know about the new Muir Woods Shuttle:
- Service runs every weekend all year round
- Weekday service operates ONLY during the peak travel season from June 18 to August 10 and on holidays
- There will be no parking outside the Muir Woods lots. The old shoulder areas along the narrow roadside are now “No Parking” zones, and if you don’t ride the shuttle you’ll need to make and pay in advance for a parking reservation
- You need to make an online reservation to get a shuttle seat, and there is no support for walk-ups at the shuttle bus stops
- Your shuttle round trip will cost just $3.00
- There are three bus stops for Muir Woods shuttle riders. Two different routes serve the three stops, and have different schedules.
- When you make a reservation for the shuttle you have to pick which parking lot you’ll travel from and what time you want to go — when a time slot is sold out in a location no more reservations are sold for that bus stop and/or that time. Some shuttle bus stops offer more frequent service than others.
- You get to choose when you take the return bus back down the mountain to your bus stop, and you can stay all the way to when they close the park if you wish BUT…
- They still warn visitors that the last buses of the day could fill up — we need to see if the new shuttle service leaves people stranded in the parking lot with no cell service and no WiFi, as did the old Muir Woods Shuttle, or if they have fixed this irresponsible part of the old system
- You can cancel a shuttle reservation and get a full refund up to 72 hours ahead of your scheduled trip
- All Muir Woods shuttles can board passengers in wheelchairs
- Service animals for disabled passengers are permitted on the Muir Woods Shuttle and in Muir Woods. All other animals are not permitted. This article answers many questions about service animals and the ADA.
- Buy your shuttle reservations or parking reservations ahead of time, because they can sell out days in advance.
Making Muir Woods Shuttle Reservations
Visitors can make Muir Woods shuttle reservations up to 90 days in advance of your visit. We recommend that you reserve well in advance to secure the ideal dates and times for your visit. Click here to go to the Muir Woods reservations website.
On the Muir Woods reservations system home page, look at the upper right hand corner of the screen. Click on the date there to display a calendar so you can choose the date you want to visit, then click on the “Reserve Now” button to go to the order page. On the order page you’ll need to:
- Choose which of the three Muir Woods bus stops in Sausalito you’ll start from, then…
- Choose what time you’ll want to take a bus from that stop
- Enter how many tickets you want to buy (it defaults to zero), and you have to enter a number before you’ll be allowed to…
- Go to the check-out page and use your credit card to pay the $3.00 per seat reservation fee
You can reserve up to ten seats on the same bus on a single transaction.
When you arrive at the shuttle stop of your choice be sure to bring a printed copy of your reservation or make sure you can bring it up on your cell phone, which will have a bar code and the date and time you’ve selected — it’s very similar to the ticket systems used for concerts and Giants games. You’ll buy your Muir Woods ticket once you get to the front gate.