MARIN COUNTY (CBS SF) — Muir Woods National Monument will reopen to the public on Monday — one of the last sites in the National Park Service to welcome people back after closing because of the coronavirus.
When the park is open and the summer is in full swing, there can be thousands of people lined up the entrance to Muir Woods. While the COVID-19 shutdown eliminated the crowds, come Monday they’ll be back.
Muir Woods has been closed for more than three months, a closure that has prevented tens of thousands of visitors from around the world from seeing some of the largest trees on earth.
Muir Woods was not among the Marin County businesses or locations forced to roll back planned openings on Monday due to the recent spike in local coronavirus cases.
Golden Gate National Recreation Public Information Officer Charlie Strickfaden explained that the reopening comes with new rules.
“We recommend that you bring a mask and that you stay with your group,” said Strickfaden. “And we will be doing our best to distribute folks along the trail.”
One of the biggest changes is the discontinuation of visitor shuttles for the time being. As before, visitors must walk, bike or — if you have an advance reservations for parking only — drive in.
“All they have to do show that to our parking attendant and they will have a parking space,” said Strickfaden.
Reservations are made online and there are only half as many parking spaces as before the pandemic. The entrance fees have stayed the same.
News that the Woods were set to reopen next Monday had made it down to visitors at Muir Beach. Christopher Mabunay said he is a little cautious about returning right away.
“I’ll go take a look at it but, see, I don’t know,: said Mabunay. “I might give it a couple of days, maybe a week, you know? ‘Cause there’s probably gonna be a lot of people going there, this whole pandemic thing going on. Kinda wanna stay back and see what happens.”
The Park Service said they are looking forward to Monday.
“Come on out and enjoy Muir Woods National Monument!” said Strickfaden.