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Muir Woods National Monument - General Park Information

The Muir Woods National Monument covers 554 acres in northern California. Situated 12 miles north of San Fransisco, the Muir Woods monument was founded in 1908 after the owner of the land, a U.S. Congressman named William Kent, donated the land to the federal government. Although President Theodore Roosevelt suggested that the park be named after Kent, Kent believed that a more appropriate person was naturalist John Muir. The National Park Service was partially created by John Muir's environmental campaigns, and Congressman Kent believed that naming the monument after him would be an appropriate way to honor John Muir's commitment to keeping some of the wild lands pristine.

Because it's close to the Pacific Ocean, the Muir Woods National Monument is often shrouded in fog. The climate is mild and wet, contributing to an optimal environment for vegetative growth. Old-growth coast redwood trees cover 240 acres of the monument, making it one of the last places on earth to contain a significant stand of this magnificent tree. The oldest redwood tree in the monument is over 1,200 years of age, and the average tree is between 500 and 800 years old. Big-leaf maples and tanoaks are other types of trees that grow in this forest.

The Muir Woods National Monument is available for day-use only. Amenities include restrooms, a gift shop and an interpretive center. Although no camping or lodging facilities exist at the Muir Woods, camping spots are available at the nearby Mount Tamalpais State Park.

Visitors to the Muir Woods can get close to the giant trees by walking on a number of paved walking trails. Unpaved walking trails are also abundant. Ranger-led walks covering a variety of topics are available as well as moonlit walks on nights when the full moon is out. Special events are held in the Muir Woods during both summer and winter solstices. In winter solstice, visitors can walk along candlelit trails and enjoy a bonfire and stage performances. Summer solstice visitors celebrate on Muir Beach.

Families and other groups as well as individual travelers and romantic couples will be entranced by their visit to the Muir Woods.