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.
yes you can hike from Mt. Tam to Muir Woods. It’s a long hike but then you don’t have to pay the entrance fee to Muir Woods because you are entering from the back! It was cool.
Right on both counts: Other Redwood forests accessible to Bay Area residents are at least as beautiful as Muir Woods and far less crowded. And, yes, Muir Woods and Tamalpais are adjacent and connected via trail.
Might as well self-plug and chime in with my 200 cents’ worth, in case y’all missed it!
I also have it on good authority from a local photographer, that if you get there before 8am you can skip the entrance fee and walk straight in, since there are no staff around. Apparently the staff are very much okay with this.
Plus it’s a great time of day to take photos, with no peeps around, and plenty of light streaming through the trees. Oh, and there’s plenty of parking!
Tom, if you go make a day of it and do the Dipsea out to Stinson Beach. I’ve done it both winter and summer (pre – chair, it’s not an easy access for me now)and found it a revelation. Haven’t tried it for years, but maybe there’s some more recent knowledge aboard here….anyone?