A Hidden Oasis in Muir Woods

October 5, 2012 | By | Comments (1)
Tourist Club

Photographs by Flickr user phil dokas

In New York, the cool kids know where the party’s at—and it’s usually at 1am in a top-secret, abandoned warehouse in New Jersey. In the Bay Area, you still need to know someone with the directions to find the best weekend party, but the “directions” are a trail map and the dress code is hiking boots and a Camelback. Party favors? Pitchers of local beer and your choice of old-school board game.

Playing games at the Tourist Club

The Tourist Club—an ironically named members-only lodge hidden in the depths of Muir Woods—is open to the public just six days a month and is accessible only by foot. Built in 1914 by a group of Germans living in the Bay Area, the Club has been maintained ever since by its loyal members, who often hold court at their reserved tables on the sun-drenched upper deck while visitors unpack their picnic lunches at the tables and decks below. Cell phone service is minimal here, and that’s just fine by the droves of in-the-know hikers who come to unplug for a few hours and enjoy the smell of coastal redwoods, a light buzz, and perhaps a Monopoly victory.

The view from the Tourist Club


  1. Catherine

    How could I not like something that’s in the Muir Woods, accessible only six days a month, has limited cell service and local beer? Very nice! Thanks for this and the foraging updates, among other things.

    Catherine in Seattle, with Cold-Water Swimmers: A Blog about Nature, Food–And Food from Nature

    October 6, 2012 at 3:31 pm

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