Monday, July 9, 2012

Muir Woods National Monument Review

Muir Woods National Monument contains a magnificent redwood forest near San Francisco. If you've been following my blog or Twitter lately you know I've been on the west coast the past couple of days. The next several posts will entail our adventures and experiences starting with Muir Woods. Included within are some of my Muir Woods pictures. But first, some background information on the California redwoods.

Where is the redwood forest located? There are two species of redwood trees in California: coastal redwoods and giant sequoias. The giant redwood trees are found along the coast of California while sequoias are only found in a few remote regions of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Redwoods can grow to a height of 379 feet, diameter of 22 feet, bark 12 inches thick, and an age of 2000 years (while sequoias in comparison grow to 311 feet, 40 feet in diameter, 31 inch thick bark, and 3,200 years of age)!

Some of the closest redwoods to San Francisco are found at Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California. This 104 year old park, named after John Muir, is located 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. There are over six miles of Muir Woods hiking trails amoung the humungous trees. If you plan on visiting Muir Woods National Monument here are a few of my personal tips for a better and more enjoyable visit:

If you do decide to visit I recommend getting to the park early, as soon as it opens. The Muir Woods parking lots are tiny and fill up very quickly. If you don't get a parking spot you may park along the side of the road leading into the park but we warned you may have to walk a mile or even two (seriously) just to get to the front entrance!

There is an entrance fee to for the Marin Muir Woods trails (parking is free) but it was only $7 a person. Remember, there aren't many places where you can see these rare and wonderful trees.

The Muir Woods weather is quite cool so bring a jacket. Even though it might be nice and toasty while in the parking lots, the park is a dense forest where little sunlight reaches all the way to the forest floor making the air very cold. Dress appropriately.

The Muir Woods address is Mill Valley, CA 94941. The national park doesn't have an actual street address but was already listed in attractions on my Garmin Nuvi GPS navigator.

More updates from California coming soon!

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