The Muir Woods National Monument (Panoramic Hwy. off Hwy. 1, 415/388-2596, www.nps.gov/muwo, daily 8 a.m.–sunset, $5) comprises acres of staggeringly beautiful redwood forest nestled in Marin.
If you’re visiting on a holiday or a summer weekend, get to the Muir Woods parking areas early—they fill up and afternoon hopefuls often cannot find a spot. Lit signs on U.S. 101 will alert you to parking status at the main parking lot. To avoid all the traffic hassle, check the NPS website for information about the Muir Woods Shuttle.
The Muir Woods Visitors Center (1 Muir Woods Rd., follow the signs from the Stinson Beach exit off Hwy. 1) abut the main parking area and marked the entrance to Muir Woods. In addition to the ranger station, where you can get maps, information, and advice about hiking, you’ll also find a few amenities.
The visitors center includes a bookstore and a café where you can purchase souvenirs and sustenance. If you’re new to Muir Woods, the visitors center is a great place to begin your exploration.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition