On Friday we decided to drive from home to Muir Woods by car. It's just north of San Francisco, about two hours from us, but we have never been there.
Muir Woods is the place where people who are visiting the city from other parts of the country go to see the redwoods.
There are other places, Redwood National Park (up north) and Yosemite National Park are two others. Each is a very special place. Muir has some very beautiful old growth groves.
I was surprised by how many people were there on a non-holiday Friday. The parking lots were full, and we ended up parking along the road over a mile away from the visitor's entrance center.
Most of the people seemed to stay in an area near the entrance. There is a nice "civilized" two mile loop trail with boardwalks, wide level paths, and informative signs. The guide that was given to us at the entrance didn't have much information about other trails, but I had done a little research and printed a trail map that included a larger area before we went. Based on it, we were able to find our way to a much-less-traveled loop of trails. Including the walk back to the car, my pedometer measured our hike at 7.4 miles.
The first trail we took was called "Ocean View" but we decided it should have been called the "Root Trail".
From Craig (sign of the day from the visitor center at Muir Woods National Monument): "Due to fire prevention, the Ocean View Trail no longer has a view of the ocean."
Part of our route took us along the edge of a fairly busy road because the linking trails within the park were closed. (No photos. Imagine walking the white line at the edge of a curvy highway with very narrow shoulders.)
Once back into the forest we were delighted by its beauty. After crossing many bridges, Craig said we should have been counting them because there were so many. Some were new, and some had been there for a long, long time.
One thing I like about the trails in National Parks/Monuments is the little helping elements here and there. Such as these stairs in the middle of the forest!
Muir Woods National Monument is a good place for hiking, once you get away from the crowded central area. The trees may be more impressive at Redwoods National Park, but it's so much farther away from civilization that the two sites come out about even.