Muir Woods Forest is called a national monument, not a national forest, though it is a forest. Teddy Roosevelt made that happen, and I don’t remember all the details. It is north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and about five hours south of the Redwood National Forest, which has taller trees.
The trees in Muir average about 240 feet in height, while the ones five hours north are about 100 feet taller. Nevertheless, these trees were tall enough.
They are in a valley, and you cannot see them until you’re in the forest. It is so odd. You come right up on the forest, but can’t see the trees. There are so many hills and other trees, plus the fog, that the giant redwoods are hidden.
They grow in a hidden environment. They drink from the creeks, the rain, and the fog–about 500 hundred gallons of water (though questionable) a day. They also have a shallow root system, but the roots grow outward, not deep. Therefore, they connect to each other and support each other, which is part of why they can withstand the elements.
It’s rare for one to fall. They live for hundreds of years.
The forest had the feel of entering into a “forest home”. It was small, tight, hidden by a canopy, and super dense. They had boardwalks everywhere, but w/o them it would be hard to navigate. It really was like walking into a forest home community where only wildlife and vegetation live. There was no elbow room, so to speak.
It was also beautiful. The height of the trees were hard to fathom. When everything is so tall, you can’t compare it to anything. We spent a lot of time like we were walking in Manhattan: we were looking up, staring at the giant redwoods.
The kids filled out their ranger books so they could earn their Junior Ranger badges. They were excited about that. They said the pledge and got their badges. That was nice.
We spent several hours in the forest. Unlike the Redwood Forest up north, you could walk this one. (The Redwood Forest you can drive.) We walked a lot, but it was not arduous at all. Quite satisfying, actually.
Because of the tightness (compactness) of everything, they did not have a lot of parking. We ended up parking about 3/4 of a mile on the side of a road. There was a ton of foot traffic making their way to the park.
The park reminded me of San Francisco in a way: it was small and tightly woven together. It does not take you long to get anywhere in San Francisco, though this weekend was probably one of the worst, with it being the fourth of July.