Insiders Tip: Download your parking pass before going up the mountain to Muir Woods. It is routine in 2018 to see people stuck at the parking lot entrance trying to bring up the online parking pass they bought and paid for but did not download. They’re sitting there pleading with the parking attendants and getting nothing but a blank screen, because…
There is little no to cell phone or WiFi service at Muir Woods and in the Muir Woods parking lots. Don’t make any plans that require you to call someone from there, to check your email or messages, or to use a website like Uber or Lyft.
Muir Woods Parking
As of January 1, 2018, parking at Muir Woods is controlled by a reservation system. There are less than 300 spots in the lot, and when you make a reservation you’ll pick a day and time for your vehicle to arrive. You cannot drive to the park and get a reservation on site — they can only be purchased online in advance.
You must arrive within that window, and parking attendants will direct you to an open spot. You can remain at Muir Woods as long as you want, up until closing time for the park.
Please scroll down for a link to the Muir Woods parking reservation system.
For visitors with disabilities, when you make your parking reservation you can reserve a disabled spot in the lot.
Electric vehicles will have access to two spots that have charging stations, with an additional fee. If no charging is necessary then they can park in any standard slot.
Fees for parking reservations at Muir Woods are:
Cars (including electric vehicles that that don’t need a charging station): $8.00
Electric cars that need a charging station: $11.00
Vehicles for disabled visitor spots: $8:00
There is no RV or oversized vehicle parking at Muir Woods.
The Elephant in the Room: Spaces Will Sell Out Early
Here’s the problem that this new system is designed to address: As the number of annual visitors grew past a million people per year the shoulders of the narrow roads around Muir Woods would be packed with vehicles literally for a mile outside the park gates. This presented both safety and environmental problems and aroused the ire of neighbors down the hill when local streets were jammed with visitors.
Under the new system there will be no parking outside the Muir Woods lots. The shoulder areas along the narrow roadside are now going to be “No Parking” areas enforced by local authorities.
During the warm months of the year (and perhaps even during off-peak times) if you don’t ride the Muir Woods Shuttle you’ll need to make and pay (well in advance) for a (scarce) parking reservation. The parking concessionaire (Ace Parking) will adjust the timing of slots to match the rate at which spaces fill and open up, but the total number of spots for cars in 2018 will be dramatically lower than last year.
Our advice: If you want to drive to Muir Woods, make your reservations as far ahead of time as possible.
Using the New Muir Woods Parking Reservation System
Click here to go to the Muir Woods reservations website. Go to the upper right hand corner of the page, click on the date to display a calendar of potential visit dates, click on the desired date and then click on the “Reserve Now” button.
Insiders Tip: The new website has some flaws that can make you think no reservations are available on a given day when there are lots of free seats and parking places. We give you step by step instructions on how to avoid these problems under the heading “Using the New Muir Woods Reservations System” on our Muir Woods Tickets and Reservations page.
Reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance. You can cancel a reservation for a full refund up to 72 hours prior to the scheduled time of your visit.
Insiders Tip: On the order page you’ll need to:
- Choose what time you’ll want to arrive at Muir Woods and park on the selected day
- Enter how many spaces you want to reserve (it defaults to zero and you can reserve one or two spaces at a time) for the correct kind of vehicle before you’ll be allowed to…
- Go to the check-out page and use your credit card to pay the $8.00 or $11.00 per space reservation fee
Cool feature: A few days before your scheduled visit they’ll send you a reminder email with a copy of your bar code for your reservation, and they do so outside the 72-hour cancellation window so that if you have to change your plans you still can. The email comes from Ace Parking, the concessionaire that operates the site.