Muir Woods National Monument implements vehicle reservations

“In an attempt to reduce traffic jams and overcrowding, Muir Woods National Monument will become the first national park unit in the United States to require reservations year-round for all vehicles to enter the park….

The parking lot at Muir Woods has 232 spaces. Reservations will cost $8 per vehicle in addition to the $10 park entrance fee and will be taken starting Jan. 1 at After that, reservations can be booked 90 days in advance.”


The property has become wildly popular over the generations, however, receiving up to 6,000 visitors on some summer weekend days. Motorists have parked cars along the winding roads in the area, causing problems and harming the adjacent Redwood Creek, home to endangered coho salmon.

“Some weekends, we’ll have 250 or 300 cars parked down the road more than a mile from the monument,” Brown said. “People were walking in the road. It wasn’t safe.”

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9 thoughts on “Muir Woods National Monument implements vehicle reservations

  1. As someone who was recently in an accident caused by an unsafe / illegal parking I feel like it is imperative that we take action as a community asap to reduce overcrowded, dangerous highway conditions in Big Sur. I hope that those of us who are concerned will reach out to our elected representatives as many times as it takes to ensure that a responsible and sustainable plan is implemented.

  2. What I do not understand is how they think this will help the parking a mile away on the entrance roads and the traffic jams and people walking in the road problems. Seems it will only exacerbate that issue as long as hikers and bikes are still allowed in without reservations.

  3. Big Sur coast deserves this kind of stewardship from all agencies concerned …and collectively owe this “quality of visitor experience “( an phrase in early public agency management plans) to those who want to experience its unique qualities. Another phrase that has been lost from management plans of earlier days was ‘shall do nothing to encourage a greater number of users of the area.’

    Overuse is destroying this coast … it’s time to know where you stand …and stand there on her wild and wonderful behalf.


    As suggested before: 3 toll booths on HWY 1 to regulate traffic, located somewhere N and S on the Big Sur Coast (Point Lobos – Hearst Castle or Palo Colorado – Gorda?) and one on NF road (somewhere flat and wide). Reservations are encouraged!

    Three booths, instead of one at every point of interest along the way, is more economical and will effectively regulate the crowding, thereby preserving all that is contained in and magical about Big Sur.

    PS. To spare us all, free diapers provided at entries.

  5. in an article in the NY Times, Sunday Oct 17, 2017 on ‘why surge prices make us mad’ was the following statement :
    ‘another lesson from these pricing experiments is that they tend to be most resisted when they are new. when Stockholm experimented with a charge to enter the city center in 2006, it was highly controversial with people in suburban towns especially viewing it as an unfair tax.

    but since being made permanent in 2007, opinion has shifted, said Maria Borjesson, a transportation economist at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

    “I think an important lesson is that the conception of fair changes”, she said. “before the charge, the discussion was of how unfair it was and how it would be hardest for low-income people. now when we do surveys, we find that people think it is unfair if the people who use the streets and pollute and increase congestion don’t pay. we’ve seen this everywhere that has implemented congestion charges, that public support increases afterward.”

  6. Here is how Scotland manages one of its top 10 visitor attractions.

    “PLEASE NOTE: In order to protect the plateau, when we are not open for snow-sports funicular passengers are NOT permitted to exit the top station building to go onto the mountain unless they are booked on a guided walk.”

    Here in our little part of California the Soberanes fire dozer cut fire breaks may work well for guided tours and a good reason to keep them clear.

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