Exploring Muir Woods with Kids
Almost all of us grew up singing about the Redwood Forest, but if you were like me and lived on the east coast, singing was all you did. Finally, though, last summer on a trip to San Francisco, our family was finally able to see a redwood forest.
Tips for Taking a Muir Woods Tour with Kids
Muir Woods Hours
Muir Woods is a national park, located just outside San Francisco. Operating hours are 8 am to sunset, daily, but the Visitor’s Center doesn’t open until 9 am. Tip: If you arrive between 8 am and 9 am, you’ll get in free! The entry fee if you arrive after 9 am is $10 per person over 16. Those under 16 are free.
Selecting a Muir Woods Tour
You can either drive to Muir Woods yourself or take a tour. Because we decided not to rent a car in the city, we booked a trip with Extronomical Tours. Our tour guide was Roman, and I can’t say enough positive things about our Muir Woods tour. Our group consisted of around 12 people, which is about the maximum number I want to be on a tour with.
We booked the Muir Woods Expedition & Sausalito Morning Tour. Our guide picked us up first thing in the morning, right in front of our hotel Hilton Financial District San Francisco, which was centrally located to everything. From there we had a quick photo stop at the Golden Gate Bridge before we headed straight across it and into Muir Woods.
Because we arrived to the park early in the morning, crowds were extremely light. I highly recommend an early arrival. By the time we left, a short two hours later, there was a marked increase in the crowd level. I don’t believe we would have enjoyed our time nearly as much if we’d arrived later in the day.
The forest was quiet as we walked in. With the sun piercing through the overhead canopy, we simply looked in awed silence for several minutes. The trees here are sequoias, and while they aren’t giant sequoias, they are still massive.
Muir Woods Trails
There are several marked trails you can travel, complete with the estimated time to walk them. This is very handy if you’re on someone else’s timetable like we were. You’ll probably want more time than what you have planned if you’re on a tour; our time in the forest passed much too quickly.
The walk was easy and did not require a lot of climbing. On our way back to the entrance, we saw several families with elementary-aged kids. There is also a gift shop and cafe on-site, as well as restrooms.
Our tour included a trip to Sausalito after we left Muir Woods. Our awesome tour guide made it a point to stop on the way at a few extremely photogenic areas. While we enjoyed Sausalito, Muir Woods was definitely the highlight. In fact, we enjoyed it so much, we’re looking to visit Yosemite National Park sometime in the future.
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- Your Guide to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park
- The Hidden San Francisco Itinerary – 5 Unique Places to Visit
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