OAKLAND, Calif. (BCN/KTVU) - This month the National Park Service began taking parking and shuttle reservations at the Muir Woods Monument in Mill Valley.
All vehicles and shuttle passengers will be subject to the reservation system, but visitors arriving by commercial carrier, on foot or on bicycle, are not required to use the reservation system or pay reservation fees.
Visitors arriving by privately-owned vehicle also need a parking reservation. Those reservations will not be sold in the parking areas and must be made off-site in advance.
Commercial carriers will be required to make advance reservations through a separate system managed through recreation.gov. Reservations for commercial parking spaces are expected to begin in late spring 2018.
The new vehicle and shuttle reservation system, managed by Ace Parking Management Inc., will allow visitors to plan their trip in advance. The reservation system will be open year-round on a website and call center. Demand for reservations is expected to be high, and the National Park Service recommends reservations be made in advance.
Reservations can be made online or by phone now -- a process which began Jan. 1. Parking and shuttle reservations will be required starting Jan. 16.
Reservations can be made up to 90 days in advance on a rolling basis. Visitors can reserve a vehicle parking space for $8 per car or a seat on the shuttle for $3 per adult 16 and older for the first year. The vehicle parking reservation will increase 50 cents every two years and the shuttle
reservation will increase 25 cents every two years.
The vehicle or shuttle reservation gives the visitor a timed arrival with no restriction on the length of stay for the remainder of the day.
Shuttle buses run on different schedules at each Park & Ride locations: Pohono Street in Mill Valley, Bay and Bridgeway in Sausalito and the Marin City Hub.
Visitors 16 and older also will pay a $10 park admission fee in addition to parking or shuttle reservation fees.
The reservation system is intended to protect the health of Muir Woods and Redwood Creek watershed, address overcrowding, traffic congestion and parking issues. Annual visitation is expected to drop from 1.2 million to 1 million visitors under the new registration system.
Limited parking and high visitation led to unsafe illegal parking, foot traffic along narrow roads, and unsafe public safety risks in the area.
More information about the reservation system is available at GoMuirWoods.com.