on March 1, 2007
Muir Woods is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, one of the largest urban parks in the country. Named after the conservationist, John Muir, this is a tree lover’s paradise. Only 20 minutes from downtown San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a must-see attraction. The park is open from 8:00am till dusk and the entrance fee is only $3 for adults and children 15 years and younger are free. This park is filled with coastal Red Woods, some of the tallest trees in the world among a number of other plant life.At the main gate you can purchase tickets and a map of the park. You can spend as little as one hour to all day, depending on how much walking or hiking you plan that day. The main trail, Cathedral Grove, is about a mile long and a very easy walk. This area has some of the tallest Red Woods in California towering over 250 feet and some were wide as 14 feet. We just happened to get there when a free tour was given by a volunteer. It lasted about one hour and it was a leisurely walk along a path and streams pointing out all the plant and tree life and even had a glimpse of salmon. Off of the main trail, the guide suggested taking The Ocean View Trail or the Panoramic Trail and you have magnificent vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the surrounding canyon. Because of a recent storm, we were unable to take the trail because it was closed. Next we were headed back to highway one to visit Muir Beach. It is only a 10-minute drive from the main gate. This coastal area is what I expected the coastline would look like, very jagged rocks with the Pacific Ocean crashing in them. If you have time, you might want to head up to the next beach town, Stinson Beach but unfortunately for us, highway one was closed and we had to take the long route and did not have enough time. Our day is coming to an end as we head back to San Francisco as the sun sets over the Golden Gate Bridge.Tips: Weather can change rapidly so dress according, no camping at Muir Woods, there is a snack bar. I would not spend the money to take a tour. This place is very easy to get to and the cost of the entrance fee is only $3.
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