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Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road

Marin, California

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Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road

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  • Deer Park Fire Rd.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Deer Park Fire Rd.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • View west from Deer Park Fire Rd.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Forest canopy above the Deer Park Fire Rd.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Unidentified grass species (help us identify by providing feedback)- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Sedge along the trail.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Firs give way to redwoods along the Ben Johnson Trail.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Giant redwoods along the Ben Johnson Trail.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Hiking along the Ben Johnson Trail.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Moss and lichen en route.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Unidentified hawthorn species (help us identify by providing feedback)- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Hiking along the Ben Johnson Trail.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • The two giants of the west coast (coastal redwood and Douglas fir) side-by-side.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Entrance into Muir Woods National Monument.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
  • Muir Woods National Monument.- Muir Woods via Deer Park Fire Road
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Pacific Ocean views. Back door/less crowded route into Muir Woods.
Cons: 
Weekend parking and crowds.
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Region:
Marin, CA
Congestion: 
Moderate
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
860.00 ft (262.13 m)
Parking Pass: 
General Day Use Fee
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
4.30 mi (6.92 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
180.00 ft (54.86 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

With nearly one million annual visitors, Muir Woods National Monument can feel like a tourist zoo at times, particularly on weekends. Fortunately, there's a little known back-door entrance, that offers a pleasant hike with coastal views, ridges, and redwood stands via the Deer Park Fire Rd. that is a guaranteed way to avoid the crowds. 

Following the ridge along Muir Woods National Monument's southern edge, the Deer Park Fire Rd. traverses through stands of California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica) and an open meadow dominated by greenleaf manzanita (Arctostaphylos patula). Eventually, with roughly 800 ft. in elevation gain, the views on a clear day overlooking the Pacific Ocean are enough to entice any visitor.

As the trail levels out and you enter the coast redwood forest (Sequoia sempervirens) you'll have crossed into the protected Muir Woods National Monument. A little ways further turn right onto the Ben Johnson Trail which begins your descent down to Redwood Creek amongst increasingly larger redwoods and impressive Douglas firs (Pseudotsuga menziesii).

In total, the loop through Muir Woods and along the Deer Park Fire Rd. is roughly 4.3 miles and is one of our recommended routes for visiting this national treasure. 

Note: Mountain bikes and horses are permitted on Deer Park Fire Rd., but may not use any other trails in Muir Woods National Monument.

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