"Some of the Last Old-Growth Redwoods on Earth" Top 5 Page for this destination Muir Woods National Monument by Karnubawax

Muir Woods National Monument Travel Guide: 35 reviews and 113 photos


"Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away; and if they could, they would still be destroyed - chased and hunted down as long as fun or a dollar could be got out of their bare hides, branching horns, or magnificent bole backbones. Few that fell trees plant them, nor would planting avail much toward getting back anything like the novel primeval forests. It took 3,000 years to make some of the trees in these western woods - trees that are still standing in perfect strength and beauty, waving and singing...

Through all the wonderful, eventful centuries since Christ's time - and long before that - God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, tempests and floods; but He cannot save them from fools - only Uncle Sam can do that."

-John Muir, 1909

Muir Woods National Monument is an amazing bit of nature, made all the more amazing due to its close proximity to San Francisco. I believe that no trip to the City is complete without spending a day tooling around the natural beauty of southern Marin County.

Muir Woods is just as famous for its crowds as it is for its trees. There are ways around this of course. First and foremost, make your excursion to Marin on a weekday. The roads leading to Muir Woods also lead to some other popular places like Stinson Beach, and they are jammed on sunny weekends. Muir Woods on a rainy day is virtually deserted, and a great time to go (provided you have adequate rain gear, of course). Finally, the earlier in the day you go, the better - as usual.

A great day trip from the City can include any (or, if you hurry, all) of the following:

Muir Woods National Monument
Mt. Tamalpais State Park
Marin Headlands
The towns of Sausalito, Mill Valley, and Tiburon

...and, since you are going over it anyway, the Golden Gate Bridge.

Prior to the 1800's, most coastal California valleys looked like this. By 1900, this stand was one of the only uncut ancient redwood forests left. William and Elizabeth Thatcher Kent bought the land in 1905, and, in order to preserve the beauty here, donated it to the Federal Government. President Teddy Roosevelt designated it as a National Park in 1909, and suggested it be named after Kent. Kent declined, and instead suggested it be named after conservationist John Muir.

The first meeting of the Bohemian Grove Society was held here in 1892. They bought some land near the Russian River in 1900, and this secret society of wheelers and dealers has met there ever since.

  • Last visit to Muir Woods National Monument: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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