Recently while visiting San Francisco I put it on my vacation itinerary to check out Muir Woods. As a bona-fide city girl with a phobia of lizards I was a little unsure about being in the out-of-doors, but my desire to see the Redwood trees told me to suck it up buttercup and make the trip! I am so grateful that I did!
Located just 11 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge makes Muir Woods perfect for someone wishing to see nature and still have all the comforts of a major city nearby. Honestly though after the first five minutes there even this city girl was contemplating hiking more often.
In 1908 this grouping of redwoods, some between 400-800 years old, was established as the Muir Woods National Monument. It is open to the public every day of the year and is free for children 15 and under. As I am writing this the current price for 16 and over is $10, but please check their site for possible price changes.
Getting through Muir Woods is quite easy as there are six miles of trails. Some of the trails are asphalt and the others consist of a raised boardwalk. While walking throughout keep your eyes peeled for woodpeckers, chipmunks, river otters and skunks. We saw two deer grazing just feet from the trail on the day we visited. Everyone gave them their space and they didn’t seem to be bothered by people at all. I was a little frightened by a sign warning of mountain lions, but upon further research, it is highly unlikely that you will see one there.
You can’t leave Muir Woods without the standard “Look Mom I am inside of a tree” photo!
For the safety of you and those around you the following things are not allowed while visiting:
- Horseback riding
With trees up to 250 feet they are nothing short of majestic.
Lucky clover! And speaking of luck you will need it to get a parking space. When reading about Muir Woods one thing most reviews had in common was the difficulty in parking there. While there are parking lots and parking spaces leading quite far down the road from the main entrance, they fill up very quickly. After several times passing by we found a nice family leaving who tipped us off to their space, but if I had to do it over I would take advantage of the shuttle services! For more info on how to get there check out: Muir Woods directions.
If a trip to Northern California is in your future a visit to Muir Woods will make a great addition to your vacation. It gave me a new respect for the beauty of nature and I look forward to the day that I can experience it again! Happy travels!