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An Easy Redwood Forest Walk In Muir Woods National Monument/North Bay

Pros: An old-growth stand of redwood
Cons: Weekend congestion
Best For: A weekday morning walk among giants

Muir Woods National Monument

Eleven miles north of Golden Gate Bridge, Muir Woods National Monument preserves a never-logged canyon of old-growth redwoods. William and Elizabeth Thacher Kent purchased this land in 1905 to preserve one of the last stands of uncut redwood and donated 295 acres to the Federal Government . It was named for conservationist and lover of Western lands, John Muir.

Redwood groves, which once were populous in North America, exist today only along one strip of non-contiguous land, from Southern Oregon to Big Sur, California. And virgin groves are rare. Muir Woods is precious, which explains its popularity. Busloads of tourists arrive daily and that is why, to enjoy the serenity of this grove, it is best to arrive early on a weekday. Then Paradise is yours alone (well, nearly).

The wheelchair accessible loop of the canyon floor takes about half an hour, but a walk can be extended by branching off onto one of the well-marked side trails which gain in elevation. Be aware that no food (except for light snacks) is allowed on the trails, only on the cafe deck at the visitor center.

Noteworthy: Don't forget to look up often...the tallest tree in the park is over 252 feet high!

Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, 94941
Open daily at 8am
Check website for seasonal closing times and admission fees:

Directions From San Francisco:
Cross the Golden Gate Bridge going north and the road becomes US 101. Take the Hwy 1 exit/Stinson Beach and follow signs to Muir Woods. Parking lots fill up fast on weekends and peak holiday times. Shuttle service is available. See website for more info.