California – Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is home to a section of ancient coastal redwoods north of San Francisco and was named after conservationist John Muir.
Located just 16 miles north of San Francisco, it is a convenient spot to see coastal redwoods on a trip to San Francisco.
California’s coastal redwoods are the world’s tallest living things. The tallest one in Muir Woods is over 252 feet. The world’s tallest is in Redwood National Park, in the far north of California, and measures 379.1 feet. Redwoods live up to 2000 years and have a diameter up to 22 feet. Most of the mature trees at Muir Woods are 500 to 800 years old and the widest is over 14 feet in diameter. While the width is impressive, it is when you look up that you are really in awe. The trunk seems to keep going and going.
Two hours at Muir Woods is enough time to see the majority of the redwood groves in the park. The park brochure has a map in it with recommended walks with durations of 1/2 hour, one hour, or 1 1/2 hours. The trails are level and stroller friendly.
During our stroll through the woods we observed a redwood burl, which is a mass of dormant buds that grows on the side of the tree or on its base or roots. Most of the reproduction of redwoods in established forests like Muir Woods comes from burl sprouting rather than from seeds.
Although the width of the redwoods isn’t as impressive as the giant sequoias, it’s nothing to sneeze at. This picture shows how wide they are compared to my kids and nephews.
Speaking of kids, we found some ideal little spots for kids to climb on fallen trees. This one screamed “Climb me!” and my four-year-old nephew answered its call.
This next tree was hollow and provided climbing opportunities both inside and on top.
Kids of all ages seem to love Muir Woods. At one spot one of my daughters befriended a little toddler who was having a ball.
We spent about two hours at Muir Woods and that was about perfect to see what we wanted as well as have some leisurely play time for the kids.
Ready to visit?
Muir Woods National Monument
1 Muir Woods Road
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Opens at 8 am every day. Closing time is seasonal.
Admission: $7 for adults. Free for children 15 and younger.