Muir Woods Redwoods NPS 7

In 1908, when John Muir learned that William and Elizabeth Kent had requested that their donated parkland be named in his honor, he said, “This is the best tree-lover’s monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world.” Most folks agree.

Muir Woods National Monument is a sanctuary that preserves an ancient, old-growth redwood forest. The coast redwoods, the tallest trees in the world grow here and tower hundreds of feet into the sky. They dominate the landscape and create a canopy of intimacy that few want to leave, including the diverse population of wildlife critters. Common to the area are Steller’s jays, Pacific wrens, Sonoma chipmunks, Western gray squirrels, banana slugs, and the black-tailed deer. You won’t likely see the nocturnal bats, spotted owls, and raccoons roaming unless you’re trespassing in the park after dark. Migrators spend time here, too. A popular summer guest is the convergent ladybug. Wintertime brings the birds: warblers, kinglets, and thrushes. To help students identify wildlife, the National Park Service (NPS) has created a helpful Muir Woods Wildlife Guide

It’s always fun to look for wildlife, but kids will also enjoy identifying the plants. You’ll find the Muir Woods Plant Guide, also created by the NPS, useful too, and it can be printed prior to your visit. The kids are sure to enjoy their hike on the main loop boardwalk with their plant guide, and Nature Tale Books created a Muir Woods Nature Hunt for additional fun. The canyon floor loop is shaded and quiet and perfect for marveling at the majestic qualities of the parks’ trees and the myriad of plant life. Strollers and wheelchairs are easily managed on its wide and level path.

Muir Woods is not a well-kept secret. Busses loaded with San Francisco tourists and local schoolchildren begin arriving around 9:00 am, so come at 8:00 am or after 3:00 pm to beat the crowds. After a few hours of exploration or meditation at Muir Woods, you’ll understand why this park really is the best tree-lover’s forest in all the world!

Before You Go!

Read: NPS Old-Growth Redwood Forest

Read: Muir Woods 100th Anniversary Brochure