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Coast Redwoods the Tallest Living Trees on Earth
One of the truly majestic 'old growth' forests in the United States is the Muir Woods National Monument in Mill Valley, California. The park is part of the 75,398 acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Muir woods is just 12 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
In my opinion this is one of the most relaxing and awe inspiring trail walks I have ever had the pleasure to take. The secret to an amazing Muir Woods experience is to arrive as early as possible on a cool morning because this wonderful park can and does, get rather crowded as the morning unfolds (the park opens at 8:00 am.) We literally had the park to ourselves for little more than 2 hours.
The sounds of the breeze whispering through the tops of these majestic giants, and the gentle babbling of Redwood Creek, transports you into a different time. The peacefulness of this forest is truly unforgettable.
The trails aren't too difficult, but the high trails are probably not for the elderly or small children.
While there are a few guard rails at steeper sections, this is not always the case and the trails can be quite uneven and narrow due to tree roots and trail wash-outs. The high trails are the best however in that it gives you a different perspective and sometimes puts you at eye with a number of interesting birds.
There is a tremendous diversity of flora and fauna in the park and on a quite early morning visit you are sure to see a few of them. On our morning hike we saw a Pileated Woodpecker, a few Steller Jays, and a Black-tailed deer doe and her fawn. Always keep in mind that you are in their habitat, so keep your distance and if you take photos, use a telephoto lens as I did above. And, watch out for the poisonous plants, yellow jackets, mountain lions and snakes in the area.
Location: Marin County, California, United States
Nearest City: Mill Valley, CA
Area 554 acres (224 ha)
Muir Woods National Monument Created January 9, 1908
U.S. National Register of Historic Places designated January 09, 2008
Photos and articles by: Dr. Von Zuko © MMXVI.
Muir Woods is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places on earth . . . (in my opinion) however, every time I look at this photo, I can't help think of the flying Speeder Bike chase in "The Return of the Jedi."
Although, the movie scenes were actually filmed a bit further north at Redwood National Park.
The Coast Redwood, is also referred to as the California Redwood, or Giant Sequoia.
It is the tallest tree species in the world, capable of growing to a height of approximately 380 feet (115.8 meters) and a achieving a girth of 23 feet (7 meters) at its base.
The Coast Redwood is estimated to live for 2,000 to 2,200 years.
The range of the Coast Redwood covers a narrow strip of land along the Pacific coast approximately 470 miles in length and 5 to 46 miles in width. This range extends from the Northern California, Oregon boarder to the Monterey area.
The oldest and tallest tress are always found in deep valleys, and ravines with year round flowing streams. Here the trees are protected from the ocean and salt spray but are still close enough to capture the fresh water rains blowing in from the sea.
These deep valleys also capture and retain fog that creates a near continuous misting for the trees.