Saturday, August 4, 2012

A Day in Muir Woods

For the last few days of our Crater Lake trip we had planned on coming down the California coast, staying in Bodega Bay and visiting the Muir Woods National Monument.  But the hair raising drive from 101 to the coast had so completely shaken me, that we decided it was best to just drive on home.

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!
Many of the large trees had hollowed out centers from past fires.

Craig enjoyed exploring them.  I had to laugh at him because before he went into a tree, he poked a stick in and asked: "Is anyone in there?"  I guess they looked like good places for bears or sleeping raccoons.

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.


  1. Great post. Got a kick out of the sign Craig quoted and your photos were delightful. Put a smile on my face for sure!

  2. Looks like a fun place to hike and play in the trees.

  3. well we have been there before but plan to stop by again as we will finally be leaving Oregon and entering California tomorrow...

  4. Nice photo of that old bridge, and Craig makes a nice addition to it. Did you notice the "wood elf" in those two tree photos?

  5. What a lovely way to spend a day! Certainly worth the 2 hour drive. I'll have to go onto my laptop later so that I can pin this post to pintrest!

  6. We used to enjoy Muir Woods when we lived in the area. Yes, the steps along the trail are great for older able-bodied folks, but Suzy would never have been able to navigate that with her mobility scooter. We are so thankful those days seem to be behind her now.

  7. Sure would like to visit there someday. Enjoyed the pictures. Good shot of Craig sitting in the tree.

  8. I remember being at Muir Woods when I was a teenager. Thanks for the memory!

  9. Love those shots of Craig in the trees. Funny about poking the stick in first! I miss you Merikay!

  10. Great place to visit. Love the size of the trees. Craig had a really good time I can see.


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