Muir Woods National Monument is 240 acres of protected Redwoods. The land was purchased by William Kent in 1905 and donated to the Federal Government. It became a National Monument in 1908. Almost 1 million people visit each year. The area is one of the few places left with groves of Coastal Redwoods. The trees thrive in the cool wet climate of the Bay Area. They grow to 400 feet tall and 22 feet wide with very small pine cones. Coastal Redwoods can live 2,200 years; Muir Woods trees are 700 years old. Very little light penetrates the tree canopy and the forest floor is covered in ferns and moss.The main attraction at Muir Woods is the Bohemian Grove Trail. It follows Redwood Creek and consists of three loop walks along a wooden boardwalk. The loop walks average 30, 60 and 90 minutes; the full trail is two miles. The trail is appropriate for all ages and strollers. There are three groves to explore along this trail: Founders Grove, Cathedral Grove and Bohemian Grove.My favorite area of this emerald forest is Cathedral Grove. As you approach you will notice signs encouraging silence. Once in the grove there is an overall peace. There are several paths branching off from the loop for moderate hikes. The Canopy View Trail takes you above the forest or follow the creek trail to Muir Beach. Muir Woods is a perfect day trip from San Francisco. There are several tours from the city. If you choose to DIY this, go very early; parking is limited. Be cautious of the drive the road is narrow and winds with sharp drop offs. There are public restrooms, a cafeteria and a gift shop in the park. Be sure to bring a jacket, the forest is dark and damp.
Visit Muir Woods website for current admission fees.
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