Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Visiting Muir Woods

Muir Woods National Monument, a grove of old-growth coastal redwoods, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Bay Area. The coastal redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and are found only along the coast of northern California and very southern Oregon. A new "tallest tree" was found last year in a state park in the far northern part of California. It measured 379.1 feet tall. The tallest trees in Muir Woods are about 280 feet tall, but you won't notice the difference.

With the winter rains leaving us and summer just around the corner, more and more visitors are taking the lovely stroll through the Woods. This means that the parking lots are filling up -- particularly on weekends.

Here are a few tips to make your visit more pleasant:

1. Visit the park early or late and avoid the crowds. Many people visit the park by taking a scheduled tour from San Francisco. These tours generally arrive about 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Plan your visit so you are in the park before 10:00 a.m. or after 3:30 p.m. and you'll avoid some of the crowds.

2. Visit on a weekday. Locals enjoy visiting the park so weekends are often very busy. Both parking lots can fill up and you may have to walk 3/4 mile along the road just to get from your parking spot to the park entrance.

3. Bring a sweater. San Francisco can be sunny while Muir Woods can be shrouded in fog. Last week I left San Francisco, which was foggy but dry, and arrived in Muir Woods to find pouring rain. Rain is rare in the summer but cold fog is not.

4. Take a private tour with Blue Heron Custom Tours that includes a visit to Muir Woods. You will not have to worry about parking and we can time the visit to avoid the crowds. To schedule your tour, call me at (866) 326-4237 (toll free) or e-mail me by clicking here.

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