Dan Mitchell went to Muir Woods the other day … I keep thinking I’ll check out The Woods, though I have a hard time convincing myself those woods are that much better than the ones we have down here in the South Bay.

About the visitors — There are tons of them. By the time I finished my little photographic amble through the park around noon the place was crawling with people, and not only was the overflow parking lot (where mine had been the only car when I arrived) now completely full, but cars were lining the roadway for a good distance beyond. It didn’t take long to figure out the Muir Woods is on the San Francisco tourist loop, as there were quite a few people arriving by tour bus, and I heard accents and languages from most of the planet.

Even though the crowds are not to my liking, I do understand that areas like this are necessary and, in fact, do serve to expose some people who would not otherwise have the experience to something that feels a bit like wilderness to them. Among the visitors I saw quite a few who seemed truly impressed by the tall trees and the quiet stillness of this patch of forest.

Actually I’m pretty sure you can hike into The Woods from Mount Tamalpais and avoid the parking hassles.