“A popular and scenic descent along delightful creeks to access the west end of Muir Woods.”
— Megan W
River/Creek · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Can become very muddy and slippery after even a slight rainfall.
Although the Bootjack Trail actually reaches all the way up to Mountain Theater, most users start where the trail crosses the Panoramic Highway. From this Bootjack Trailhead parking area, buckle in for a very steep descent. Almost immediately, you'll approach an intersection that marks the end of the Alpine Trail
. Take the left fork to stay on the Bootjack Trail and follow Bootjack Creek for a time as it tumbles downhill. After passing by the end of Troop 80 Trail
entering from the east, you'll arrive at Van Wyck Meadow, one of the only sunny spots on this trail. Keep heading downhill, watching for signs to assure yourself you're still on the Bootjack Trail.
This verdant terrain is full of moss covered trees, lichen and lush ferns. The challenging, rocky trail surface sometimes has steps to ease the downhill, but you still spend a lot of time watching your footing. Without your noticing, Bootjack Creek joins Rattlesnake Creek and Spike Buck Creek to become the rugged Redwood Creek. The trail crosses the creek multiple times on new sturdy wooden bridges replaced in a major 2014 overhaul. Depending on the recent rains and the season, you are treated to either a rushing torrent with water cascading over boulders or a faint trickle.
Upon reaching the valley floor, the grade mellows considerably and the creek flows more gently. You'll also notice more redwoods appearing and encounter more tourists venturing away from Muir Woods. Here is where you cross from Mount Tamalpais State Park into Muir Woods National Monument. After passing the junction with the Camp Eastwood Trail on the left, the Bootjack Trail terminates at the paved Muir Woods Trail (also called the Redwood Creek Trail
or the Muir Woods Interpretive Loop). The central location of the Bootjack Trail makes it very useful in creating loops in combination with other area trails. The Bootjack Trail (like many others in the area) was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps as part of the New Deal program in the 1930's.
Flora & Fauna
Snakes, ladybugs, turkeys, northern spotted owl. Douglas fir, bay, redwood, buckeye, maple, and tanoak.