” Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ” – John Muir
Muir Woods National Monument is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The forest consists of ancient redwood trees, known for their height and resilience to harsh weather conditions (they even survive fire). We planned our trip a day before, and given the time of the year (summer) we didn’t realize that it would be so busy, as a lot of people come here for hiking (the Ben Johnson and Dipsea trails for views of the treetops, the Pacific Ocean and Mount Tamalpais). We got to the park after driving for an hour and half from Berkeley but could not find parking (they had two parking lots) as it was already full. The people at the visitor center told us that the parking is usually reserved in advance and if there is no space, you either park about 20 minutes away in Sausalito or book in advance for another day. We decided to drive 20 minutes away to Sausalito and get on the shuttle that runs every 30 minutes. Luckily, there were still spots available as you have to pay and book your seats for the shuttle in advance too.
When we finally got there, I was thinking to myself ‘this better be worth all the driving.’ And I must say that it was worth it. It was an unbelievable sight! The trees were literally touching the sky. It was really majestic and I honesty felt like I was on another planet (and maybe, Jurassic Park). These trees were so majestic and I was looking up to them, I was thinking that I’m probably staring at a tree that’s hundreds of years old and survived even California wildfires. I wondered how many faces and eyes it had greeted.
There were 4 short trails and the visitor center had signs requesting visitors to keep noise at a minimum (no loud noises/whisper to each other.) This was to reduce noise pollution and maintain the natural environment of the forest. We were done in about 45 minutes, stopping by occasionally to take pictures.
If you are in the Bay Area, I would highly recommend you get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and check out Muir Woods. It’s definitely a must see and great for some quiet time and reflection. On your way back, I would recommend driving through Sausalito, which is a small city across from San Francisco. It’s lovely drive with really cute houses on the hills and scenic views. Plus, there are many restaurants on the waterfront. we stopped by at a place called the Joinery and it had the best chicken burgers I have ever had!