“ In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” –John Muir
Across the Golden Gate bridge only about 16 miles north of San Francisco are Muir Woods, a national monument of towering coastal redwoods.
A meandering road leads up to Muir Woods and once there any cosmopolitan vibes seem a distant world away. The redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and they grow only in California and Oregon.
Muir Woods are not a very a large area, once you arrive a couple of hours will suffice to walk around and maybe enjoy a quick snack at the cafe. Of course you can also spend a lot longer here, there are a few benches to sit and enjoy the freshness of the forest. Most of the trails are wide and some are built up into very accessible wooden boardwalks, while some other parts of the trails are cemented. If you go further up in the forest the asphalt ends and it feels more like being in the wild.
It is a national monument so it is managed by the national parks system, if you have the annual pass you can use it here, or if not, you can buy a ticket for the day. I happened to visit on a slightly rainy day and got there before 9AM so parking or crowds were not an issue at all, but I heard it gets very crowded due to its proximity to the city.
Also, don’t be dismayed by a little rain, as I said above the trails are very easy to walk on, just strap on some boots and get out there. A little shower from the sky brings out the scent of the redwoods even more, it is magical walking around on a wet day.