1 Muir Woods Road, Mill Valley, Ca. 94941
(415) 388 - 2595
DescriptionMuir Woods National Monument is located in Mill Valley, California. Handicapped-parking can be found close to the main entrance at the Visitor's Plaza. The plaza is a "compacted mix of recycled asphalt and dirt. It is firm and stable." (website)
Multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms can be found here.
A "raised, accessible boardwalk from the entrance is part of the Main Loop trail." (website) Following this trail to the right leads to an accessible shop, cafe and restrooms. If you continue, you will encounter a combination of boardwalk and asphalt walkway (which is usable, but contains pothole and some severe cracks).
Most areas are relatively flat. Some uneven terrain, as well as a steep area (between Bridges 3 & 2) is here as well. Benches can be found in some locations, especially near the cafe, restrooms and shop.
There is NO CELL PHONE SERVICE here.
- Surface of lot: paved
Distance to venue: close
Terrain: a bit uneven
Places to rest: plenty of benches
Doors: no doors, this is a park
Ramps: portions are raised boardwalk
Width of aisles: wide
Places to sit: benches at some locations along the path
Location of restrooms: at main entrance and next to gift shop and cafe
Type of restroom: multi-stall, handicapped accessible
Ease of entry and exit: easy
Baby changing station: yes
Available food services: cafe with indoor and outdoor seating
Friendliness of staff: very friendly
Notes: *If handicapped parking is not available in the closest lot, passengers can be dropped off in the visitors' plaza where they are benches.
One of our “must visits” on our trip to San Francisco was a stop at Muir Woods National Monument. All of the guidebook rate this as a “must see” and they are certainly correct. I feel, however, that they should include at least some reference to the ride from San Francisco. No one tells you about the winding mountain road. It reminded me of a shorter version of the ride to Haleakala Volcano in Hawaii. My husband says I am crazy, that the trip is “no big dea!” No matter, I’m certainly glad I made the trip, even if most of it was with my eyes closed. This place is special indeed.
“Muir Woods National Monument is named after John Muir – whose environmental campaign helped establish the National Parks System in our country. In 1908 the land was declared a National Monument, the first to be created from land donated by a private individual.” (brochure)
It is “a unit of the National Park Service on the Pacific coast…twelve miles north of San Francisco, and part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It protects 534 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth Coast Redwood, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area.” (brochure)
As we drove into the main entrance visitors’ plaza we found an entire row of dedicated handicapped parking. More handicapped spaces are located in a lot a bit farther from the entrance. If needed, passengers can be dropped off in this area where we found plenty of benches. Multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restrooms are here as well “The surface material of the entry plaza is a compacted mix of recycled asphalt and dirt. It is a firm and stable surface.” (brochure)
We picked up a brochure when we paid admission and took a few minutes to read it. It says, “…once you enter the park…follow the raised, accessible boardwalk. This boardwalk is part of Muir Woods Main Loop trail. If you follow to the right you come to an accessible shop, cafe and restrooms. If you choose to continue into the Redwood Forest, the accessible boardwalk continues several hundred feet to the Pinchot Tree Area. If you proceed past the boardwalk you will encounter an asphalt trail which is usable; however, it contains potholes and severe cracks due to heaving tree roots. As funding becomes available we will continue to replace the asphalt mix with an accessible, raised boardwalk.” (brochure)
We decided to continue on the path as far as we could. We found that the boardwalk portions are easy for all to use. The remainder of the main area has some uneven terrain, with one area a bit steep (between Bridges 3 & 2). We did see two wheelchair users and a baby carriage. When we asked the people doing the pushing how it actually was, they said that it wasn’t bad and certainly worth the effort. We couldn’t agree more! We found several benches in various areas; nice to just sit and take in the spectacular beauty of this place.
On our way back to the main entrance we made a brief stop at the small cafe which serves locally grown, sustainable foods.The outdoor seating was nice. In this same building is a gift shop and multi-stall, handicapped-accessible restroom with baby-changing station. There are lots of benches nearby.
Take note – There is NO CELL PHONE SERVICE here – so plan ahead!
As I entered the car for the trip down the mountain road I thought about how glad I was that I had experienced this amazing place that might not be here if it were not for one man’s vision.
As always, we at Destination Accessible, advise you to check a venue’s website, www.nps.gov/muw, when planning a visit, to “know before you go.”