Muir Woods

Muir Woods


Famed conservationist John Muir declared Muir Woods “the best tree-lovers monument to be found in all the forests of the world.” On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt made stunning Muir Woods the 7th national monument to protect what was once a 295 acre stands of towering old growth redwoods. It has since expanded to 560 acres and includes Douglas fir, oak, maple, cotton woods, sycamores, and bay laurel trees. Only 17 miles northwest, these are the closest coastal redwoods to San Francisco, a bright green sanctuary, still and silent (except for the occasional twittering of a Steller’s jay) , a real respite from the noisy, bustling city. Hiking trails and rivulets of streams are shaded by the “Fern Gullys” that run through Muir Woods. This is what the north coast of California looked like before loggers and civilization encroached.

The monument is accessed from the Golden Gate Bridge and Highway 101 north, to the Highway 1 and Stinson Beach exit, and follow the signs heading west. Admission is $5 for adults, 16 and older and free for 15 years of age and younger. An annual pass is $20. The park is open daily from 8 a.m. to dusk, with visitor center hours from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. April-October and closing an hour earlier the rest of the year. No picnicking or camping is allowed but food is available. Also, pets are not allowed. Summer is a particularly busy time, especially on the weekends, so get there before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.

Hint: To avoid the shorter, more crowded trails, hike the Ocean View Trail and come back via the Fern Creek Trail for great views and to get away from the busloads of tourists. Slow down, enjoy the walk but watch out for the resident bright yellow banana slugs crossing the trails. www.visitmuirwoods.com 415/388-2595





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