A Local, National Treasure: Muir Woods National Monument
Nature is easily accessible for most of California’s population giants, but few can compare to the options we have as San Franciscans. Looking beyond our extensive park system, San Francisco’s location allows us to explore some of the most breathtaking and unique scenery on Earth. Arguably, the crown jewel of California’s beauty is the majestic coast redwood. Groves of the tree line the Central and Northern coast of the state, and San Francisco sits right in the middle of their range.
Muir Woods can be found 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge on the outskirts of Mill Valley. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Muir Woods is one of the last redwood groves in the Bay Area. After 30 minutes in the car, San Franciscans will find themselves in an environment that seems hours away from the city.
Upon arriving at Muir Woods, visitors are greeted by redwoods towering above and Redwood Creek babbling nearby. After paying the seven dollar entrance fee, visitors are able to walk through the forest. Hikes vary from short strolls around the entrance to difficult and lengthy ones to Muir Beach and Mt. Tamalpais. The paths near the entrance of the park are either boarded or paved, making it an ideal outing for those who may not have hiking background. Depending on the time of year, visitors may encounter steelhead trout in the creek and banana slugs along the paths.
It becomes apparent with each visit that Muir Woods provides a definitive California experience. With its close proximity to San Francisco and low maintenance commute, Muir Woods is the perfect spot for a break from the city.
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