The first time I stepped into the hushed shadows of Muir Woods, dusk had already stretched one long arm around the towering trees.
Zach and I had spent most of that day on bikes, riding from Fisherman’s Wharf on down to the Golden Gate Bridge and then across and up the road to Sausalito. When we met up with his dad back in San Francisco in the late afternoon, we decided that there was just enough time to get to Muir Woods. Everyone had cleared out by the time we arrived, and there was “just enough time”. Not a moment more.
On my second visit in 2008, my friend and I arrived earlier in the afternoon to a more crowded park, but the stately Coastal Redwood trees seemed to inspire a “quiet” in those walking the trails beneath them. There was none of the scampering and screaming one sometimes encounters on flat, public trails. Instead, there seemed to be an attitude of reverence… an appreciation of being out of one’s usual “element”.
With the tallest redwood stretching 258 feet above the forest floor and the oldest one dating back at least 1200 years, there is plenty to inspire awe within this national monument. President Roosevelt segregated the land in 1908; its name honors naturalist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and a pivotal figure in the establishment of our national park system.
Further inland are Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks – to be explored on a future trip and the Mariposa Grove of Yosemite National Park. The California Coastal Redwood, found only within a narrow band along the Pacific coast, is the tallest tree in the world. The Giant Sequoias are known for their massive diameters.17 Comments