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"This is the best tree-lovers park that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world," declared conservationist John Muir when describing the majestic coast redwoods of Muir Woods.
Until the 1800's, many northern California coastal valleys were covered with coast redwood trees similar to those now found in Muir Woods National Monument. The forest along Redwood Creek in today's Muir Woods was spared from logging because it was hard to get to. Noting that Redwood Creek contained one of the San Francisco Bay Area's last uncut stands of old-growth redwood, Congressman William Kent and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, bought 295 acres here for $45,000 in 1905. To protect the redwoods the Kents donated the land to the United States Federal Government and, in 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared it a national monument. Roosevelt suggested naming the area after Kent, but Kent wanted it named for conservationist John Muir.
Thousands of visitors travel each year from far and near to look upon these great trees. But the trees are not the only magnificent site the park has to offer. Scattered throughout are many exotic wild flowers, such as shooting stars, pansies, violets, and the spotted dear-tongue.
Muir Woods is located on the south side of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County, 12 miles north of San Francisco. From Highway 101, take the Highway 1 (Stinson Beach) exit in Mill Valley. Follow the signs to Muir Woods. Public transportation to Muir Woods is limited. Contact Golden Gate Transit or the Red and White Fleet in San Francisco for public and commercial transportation information.
Muir Beach: This semicircular cove offers a chance to relax and enjoy the California coastal scenery. The Muir Beach Overlook provides a dramatic view of the California coastline.
Stinson Beach: The sandy beach stretches beneath steep hills rising to Mount Tamalpais with vistas out to sea. Swimming is advised only from late May to mid-September when lifeguards are on duty.
Olema Valley: This pastoral landscape is a hiker's paradise of forested canyons, tree-lined ridges, open grassy slopes, and historic farm buildings. Most trails are long and many are steep, ascending to ridge tops for ocean views.
More Information: Muir Woods Park
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