Golden gate national rec area

Discussion in 'Trip Planning and Travel Concerns' started by Fitzjohnfan, Jan 16, 2018.

  1. Fitzjohnfan

    Fitzjohnfan
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    So, provided all goes well, we should be visiting relatives in Sacramento on the last week of March (this year). We plan on making a day trip to the Golden Gate Rec Area, and although the websites seem to have good info, it's still overwhelming. We have a 32' motorhome and will have about 6-8 people in the group. I think we will be taking a tour of Alcatraz, looking around Muir Woods, and maybe stopping by The Presidio. I have some questions about the area:

    1) I see Muir woods has limited parking, and a shuttle service. Is there parking for a 32' motorhome? Website says 35' vehicles are not allowed.
    2) which would you see first, second,etc.?
    3) is there a way to park at a central location and use transit/shuttle to all locations?

    Any other suggestions on visiting the area?

    Thanks,
    Chris G.
     
  2. Rollin Ollens

    Rollin Ollens
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    I wish I could provide good information on parking for you Chris. I have been to the San Fran area a number of times but always with a towed. I believe there is parking for RVs near the wharf for your trip to Alcatraz. Heads up though. That venue has always been busy no matter what. If you can, reserve ahead. While you are in that area be sure to take a ride on the Cable Cars and maybe check out the Cable Car Museum. I don't want to rate best to worst. You are trying to fit a lot in for one day. Alcatraz is at least three hours by itself. The audio tour is amazing.

    Like any big city, traffic can be an issue. There are some pretty narrow streets. Perhaps you might want to rent a minivan for a day to see the sights. It might be a little easier on the nerves than maneuvering a 32 foot rig especially on a tight schedule.

    You will love the Bay area I'm sure. Enjoy.

    Darrell & Jerry
     
  3. dbnck

    dbnck
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    You're planning all this in one day, in a 32-foot motorhome, from Sacramento? That's very ambitious. Maybe even impossible. And wrangling 6-8 people isn't going to make things any easier or faster.

    Plus, you'll need to spend the entire day there, which means you'll be coming into town during rush hour, which will slow you down.

    Muir Woods has just started requiring reservations to visit the park. The shuttles will be running only on weekends and holidays during March. You won't be able to park your motorhome in the park:

    Please note: there are no parking spaces for RVs or other oversized personal vehicles. All vehicles over 35 feet long are prohibited from traveling to Muir Woods.

    And to clarify that, it also says:

    Under the new reservation system, there will continue to be approximately 232 parking spaces within Muir Woods for privately owned vehicles. Additionally, there are 12 large vehicle parking spaces that will be available to reserve under a separate reservation system managed through recreation.gov for commercial carriers.

    So maximum length is 35', and the large vehicle spaces are available only to commercial carriers.

    It'll be a lot easier if you rent a regular vehicle, as suggested, but it's still going to be a whole lot to fit into one day.
     
  4. Fitzjohnfan

    Fitzjohnfan
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    Yeah, we've come to that conclusion as well, so we’ll rent a minivan for the day. Maybe try to do the early Alcatraz tour and then go to muir woods in the afternoon. Might go to the precidio on the 2nd day.

    Thanks for all the replies!
     
  5. LA Bostian

    LA Bostian
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    Well Chris, you have inspired me to write my first post! We recently bought our first 24' Trend and we live in San Rafael - about 20 minutes north of San Francisco. We know the area pretty darn well, but not from the point of view of a RV owner. So I'm going over all the options I could suggest to you.
    1. North of Novato is Enterprise Rental and they just may let you park your RV there.
    2. The ferry terminal at Larkspur may allow RV parking. The ferry ride over to the city is a lot of fun with great views. From the terminal in the city you could take a long - 2 or 3 mile hike down to the wharf where you would catch the Alcatraz ferry. Or walk a few streets from the terminal and catch the cable cars down to the wharf.
    3. If you can afford a motel, San Rafael has the Embassy Suites that may help shuttle you around to the city or ferries, they may even have a shuttle that would take you to Muir Woods.
    So, those are our suggestions for the moment. I'd love to suggest a few highlights near the Golden Gate Bridge - up in what is called the Headlands if in a van. The Presidio is also near by. Interesting area we live in, expensive, beautiful and lots of things to do. Enjoy your visit and check it off the bucket list.
     
  6. Texasrvers

    Texasrvers
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    We have wanted to visit SF and the surrounding area for quite some time now, but have never made it. Your information has piqued our interest again. Thanks for all the good tips.
     
  7. Fitzjohnfan

    Fitzjohnfan
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    Here is some info I have learned, and another question.

    The parking situation at Muir Woods was a little confusing until I got a feel for the various websites. You cannot park in the park on weekends and holidays, and you will need to park in an outlying parking lot and take a shuttle. You CAN park in the park on weekdays, but you still need to reserve a space ahead of time. You also need to reserve your arrival time. We will be taking a regular car, not our motorhome.
    We will take the alctraz tour in the morning, and visit Muir Woods in the afternoon.

    Now a question: the family we are visiting is actually in Lincoln CA. Using this site, I didn't find any RV parks in town, and many near there get mixed reviews or are 55+. There is one casino near by (thunder valley) and they allow RVs to park there , but we would like a little electricity to be able to plug in at night. Do any of the light poles there have outlets? Any other suggestions on where to stay near Lincoln?

    Thanks again,
    Chris g.
    Westminster, CO
     

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