Visiting Northern California? Making a stop at Muir Woods National Monument is a must. Here’s what you need to know before you go!
Earlier this year, Dane and I spent a week in Northern California off the grid. After we got vaccinated and felt a little more comfortable traveling, we knew we wanted to go away, but not somewhere that was crowded. We opted for a road trip through the northern part of the state, because it would offer us time to stop at places we wanted to see, like Muir Woods!
Visiting Muir Woods National Monument
All credit to Dane for putting Muir Woods National Monument on our itinerary radar. The area itself is part of California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just north of San Francisco, and is filled with redwood trees. I mean, you think you have seen a tall tree, but these are just awe-inspiring.
You can take trails among the trees to areas like Cathedral Grove, or do more of a climb for treetop and ocean views (we stayed along the trail).
The park is open from 8AM-6PM and you need to make a reservation online to park. Dane had made a note based on reviews to get there extremely early, and I’m glad we did. We arrived around 7:50, so we could go in right at 8 when it opened. The peace and tranquility we got to enjoy for about 40 minutes before people began coming in (IN HUGE BUS TOUR GROUPS) was absolutely amazing. If you plan to go, I cannot say enough good things about arriving early.
My favorite part was learning more about redwoods and what the state of California has done to preserve them. Some of the trees are almost 1,000 years old!
Outside of the incredible redwoods, Muir Woods has all kinds of animals (mammals, birds, reptiles, insects) that call the Monument home, as well as Redwood Creek that runs through it.
Muir Woods National Monument is managed by the National Park Service, so if you do the NPS passport, be sure to get your stamp.
We visited in the summer and while the temperatures were warm in other parts of northern California, it was chilly in Muir Woods, which is why we both have on long sleeves. I would say that if I went again I’d also wear leggings. It’s definitely cooler temperature wise among the redwoods!
If you have the opportunity, definitely visit this gem of a national park!