Named for naturalist John Muir, Muir Woods National Monument protects one of the few stands of old growth coast redwood left in the Bay Area. The park is less than hour from San Francisco and, with trails for all ages and abilities, it was no surprise to find lots of cars all going to the same place we were. Still, just a few minutes from the overflow parking and a $10 entry fee later we found ourselves in Cathedral Grove, it’s impressive trees towering over us.
Once we navigated past the puddle-ridden boardwalk and onto the Bootjack Trail the crowds thinned out considerably and there were many sections where we didn’t see any other people and all we could hear was our own shoes squelching in the mud and the rushing water of the river that ran beside us as we walked.
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.” – John Muir