Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument

You can’t go to Northern California and not take time out to checkout Redwoods and Sequoias some of Earth’s oldest and tallest trees! On holiday vaccay easier this year to San Francisco, Hawaii and the Big Sur, we wanted to see for ourselves these amazing trees. 

Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were under snow and when P looked to see how far Hawaii was from California, Hawaii won. Luckily just north of San Francisco is Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument, a National Park filled with Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias. 

Most of the photos are noisy with ISO as it was my first time shooting in such light. I wasn’t sure of the levels shutter speed or aperture so please excuse the noise and look of some photos.  As usual I’m a bad editor cutting down photos.

If driving there you have to book up in advance the parking ticket. No advance ticket, no entry. About 1-2km from the park are signs reminding you last chance to book up before as there’s no mobile or wifi coverage once in the park. Parking is $8.50, entrance $15 per person. Under 15’s free. A shuttle bus is available from near by towns.

The main show is the monument, a mostly boarded loop trail in the thickest darkest part of the forest. Redwoods are the stars here. I wanted to do the Panoramic Trail (once the ocean view walk before the trees grew blocking the vista) however time was an issue before the park closed. A ranger recommend the Canopy trail, a 4.8km/3mi approx 2 hours hike that connects with Lost Trail and and part of Fern Creek trail looping back to the entrance. He mentioned it’s great for lefties. Being mixed handed I loved the trial until it looped back in favour of righties. The path flowed. We got there around midday on a Sunday with the trial already getting busy. If you want peace and quiet, no human voices go early. It was so obvious we were the tourists in our winter coats while the locals were in t-shirts and tank tops. No way was it warm enough! It was the same temps as back in Barcelona and everybody there was in winter coats.

Canopy trail

Highest part of the canopy trail. Trees changed from redwood and sequoias to deciduous trees.

Coast redwoods are taller skinnier trees, Giant sequoias shorter wider ones. Along the monument trail are loads of information signs telling you what to look out for. I preferred the trails away from the monument as it was quieter. A spending that week nearly 24 hours traveling, walking around San Francisco, being in a car and air conditioning, being surrounded by nature and fresh air was an equaliser balance. The air in the lower parts of the trial was damp and cool which right now in summer sounds so good. Up along the higher parts in the sun that got through was surprising warm which is now I know why the locals skipped coats. Though they skipped coats the whole trip in Northern California.

As the trail via Lost Trail and Fern Creek Trail headed back to the monument it got cooler, darker with bridges across creeks.

Local banana slug!

Fern Creek Trail

Log crossing to Pelvin Cut trail

Back on Fern Creek Trial to Redwood Creek trail to the visitor centre cafe for tea and snacks!

Mouse? Shrew? Rat? Mole? Vole?

Have you hiked among redwoods and sequoias? Image what stories and tales they could tell from breathing in the air, nutrients and water from the soil. I’m sure they sense what happens on Earth. There’s something magical walking among them. Sadly only pockets remain due to climate change, over logging in previous years, oak death, droughts, wild fires even land use for vine yards. By being more mindful of using less plastic, reusing and repurposing are just a few things we can do to ensure these magical giants and forests all over the world will be around for centuries to come.

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