Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area of California. The reserve protects 554 acres of forest and rests just 12 miles north of San Francisco. This forest was also named after naturalist John Muir, an early advocate for preserving wildlife and forests within the United States.
One hundred and fifty million years ago, ancestors of sequoia and redwood trees started to grow throughout the U.S. Currently, Sequoia Sempervirens can only be found along the coast from Monterey, CA to Oregon state. Many trees were cut down by the early 20th century, due to logging. The area we know today as Muir Woods was saved because of it’s inaccessibility.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to see these trees. To be in the presence of something so old and so grand. Many of these trees living over 1000 yrs. old! I’ve read about them in books and to see them in person was a beautiful and serene experience. The air, crisp with a smell that I can only describe as green. Visiting Muir Woods has definitely been one of my favorite things that I’ve done in the bay so far.
If you would like to visit the redwoods I recommend visiting their website here. Parking is limited and reserving parking or shuttle service is important. They also have fee information and hours of operation. Getting directions are also important.
They do have a visitor center with maps of the hiking trails available. The reserve also has a cafe, restrooms, and a gift shop not far from the entrance. I got to purchase some baby redwood and sequoia trees to plant myself and the cafe has really yummy grilled cheese and tomato soup. Perfect for the crisp weather. So if you forgot to pack a lunch, they have some food available.
The trip out to Muir Woods is a very long and winding one. If you experience vertigo or motion sickness, I suggest you pop a Dramamine or two before the trip. I get pretty terrible motion sickness, but after some Dramamine, I was ok. Some water and food in my tummy helps as well.
The temperature at Muir Woods is pretty chilly. I would suggest bringing warm attire and some hiking shoes. The forest is along the coast so it does experience frequent rain and fog. A nice rain coat may be necessary.
There is also a beach before the park that’s called Muir Beach. I got to check it out for about 10 mins. We didn’t want to run late for our parking reservation, so we didn’t get to stay too long. The beach was very cold and windy. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but beaches in Northern California are just cold.
Overall, the day trip was totally worth it! It was a nice break from the everyday. Anytime I get to spend some quality time in nature is a good day!
If any of you have been to this park and would like to share your experience, I would love to hear it. Hope you’re all having a great week.