Travels

Muir Woods The enchanted forest of redwoods

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Muir Woods. It was 1905 when a businessman called William Kent and his wife, they decided to buy the land where today the Muir Woods National Park to the north of San Francisco. The objective of the acquisition was neither more nor less than to protect an area of ​​great natural value, which represented the stamp of the old Californian coast full of redwoods before the 19th century. Of the land they bought, 295 acres were donated to the government that later formed part of the new National Park in 1908. His name, Muir Woods, is due to the conservationist John muir, very good friend of the Kent family.

The enchanted redwood forest of Muir Woods

Park visit

It was a weekend in May when we visited Muir Woods in the company of friends from the United States. The day promised to be sunny and about 10 in the morning we headed to the park from the town of Berkeley crossing the San Rafael bridge. Another way to get there would be by San Francisco through the famous Golden Gate, which is only 15 kilometers from the park.


Entrance to the national park

As it was a weekend, the adjacent parking lots were crowded, so we had to leave the car lying in a ditch to one kilometer from the entrance. This does not mean that the park is full to overflowing, since there are numerous paths in its surroundings for hiking trails, so people tend to expand and the feeling of overwhelm does not exist.

After paying the entrance fee, 7$, our visit began. Eye to the wasps, sneaking into this park is extremely easy, but in the US these things are taken very seriously and if you get caught without entry you can drop a succulent fine. Total $ 7 is not too much and also helps to preserve these types of environments.


Muir Woods Redwood Forest

Checking the map of the entrance we decided to make the most simple route, just 2 miles or 3 and a half kilometers. All of it adapted to disabled and perfect for walking with children. Not a single one costs 😀. For the next time I return, I may consider taking a longer route with an end on the Pacific coast.


Redwood Forest of Muir Woods

Certainly the walk through the Forest is really monotonous because there are only trees and trees, but what a nose! What a piece of trees. These redwoods or secouyas (redwood in the US), since we can say it both ways in Spanish, they can live more than 2000 years, although in the park we will only find specimens with up to 600 years. Their height reaches 115 meters and sometimes they are confused with their relatives the Giant Redwoods. These, unlike those found in Muir Woods, reach a height of 95 meters and a nearby life ... hold on ... 3200 years.


Muir Woods Redwood Forest

Redwoods can also have a diameter of 6 meters, slightly less than half of what giant redwoods can reach. In fact in some parts of the park you will be able to pass under the trees through an open tunnel in the trunk.


Redwood Forest of Muir Woods

As a highlight on our short visit is the Cathedral Grove. A place where dozens of redwoods are concentrated in a narrow space of land. Interestingly in 1996 a redwood of 800 years It collapsed in this place without causing great damage and today it can be observed in the place where it fell, since it has not been removed. This is because the decaying tree is rich in nutrients, serves as nesting for animals, ..., etc.

There is also a plaque commemorating the American president Franklin D. Roosevelt.


Cathedral Grove

Additional routes

Virtually all the great routes of the park end up leaving the contours of the protected area. Many of them go to the coast as the DipSea Trail that ends in Stinson Beach. Other recommended trails are the Bootjack trail or the Ben Johnson Trail that allow you to see the high areas of the park.


Muir Woods Redwood Forest

Practical data

Before leaving for the United States

  • United States Planet's Guide
  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in USA with a 15% discount
  • The best excursions in the United States

How much?

The entrance fee is 7$ (2014), being free for children under 15 years. If you have the annual National Parks sympathizer pass, it is free. This pass, with a cost of 80$ per year, it allows you to enter any national park in the United States for free.

Visiting hours

The park opens at 8 in the morning and closes when the sun sets. More information on the website of the park.

Where to buy the ticket?

In the same entrance to the enclosure you have a ticket stand. You can purchase both the entrance to the park and the annual pass.

How to get there Is it easy to park?

Arriving only has three options. One through a tour, by car or by a bus that runs every day in summer or on holidays or weekends the rest of the months (Bus 66 from Sausalito, see comments on the article).

Parking can be complicated depending on the time you arrive and the best hours are first thing in the morning and at sunset. Near the ticket offices there are parking spaces reserved for buses and some for cars, but it is always full. Continuing the road there is a much wider second parking lot which also sometimes collapses. If this is our case, we can continue down the road until we literally see cars parked in the gutter. That will be your parking ...

What to wear

In general, California has a mild climate, but it is recommended to wear a jacket since the entire route runs in the shade and in areas of relative humidity. A map of the area is available in this link.

Other fantastic places near San Francisco?

  • Hiking through Pinnacles National Park : route through the national park closest to the city.
  • Whale Watching in Monterrey.
  • Alcatraz Island in San Francisco.
  • Big Basin Redwoods : If Muir woods fell short, this is your place.
  • Trekking in Yosemite.
  • Lake Tahoe

Important announcement

It is not allowed to walk with animals unless you are blind. It is also not allowed to smoke, ride a bicycle (only in firewalls), camp or of course eat. Interestingly, it is also indicated that carrying the mobile or radio on in hands-free is not allowed.

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