Thursday, December 26, 2013

Muir Woods, CA

December 24, 2013

Miles: 4.4
Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Parking: Visitor Center at Muir Woods. Arrive early! We got super lucky with parking (on a weekday). By the time we left, the parking lots were full, and people were parked for long distances along the road. Entrance fee to get into the park was $7/person.

Rest rooms: In the parking area.

Map: A very small suggested trail is suggested in the park brochure - Muir Woods. When I asked if we were receiving the map (only $1) with our admission, the park attendant suggested we use the map/trail in the brochure. That was a mistake! She suggested that was around a 1.5 hour walk. Well, everyone goes on the main trails!
I also found this: Muir Woods - but I saw others with the $1 park map, and that is much more detailed & useful. I couldn't find the better map online.

Hike directions: None. Try to get off the main trail if you want a more peaceful hike.

Hike description: I suggest picking up the $1 park map, and planning a hike based on how much time you want to spend there, and how important it is for you to get away from the crowds. We had hoped to hike the Oceanview Trail (less crowded), but that trail as well as the Bootjack trail were closed. The main trails are paved and horribly crowded. You walk very slowly, because there are crowds of people. It is very noisy, and half the people aren't looking where they are going, because they are looking at their cell phones. There was even a "quiet" area on the main trail, but it was far from quiet (their signs had no effect). We took a photo of the park map that was posted on the trail. We then left the main trail and went on the more strenuous, non-paved trails. This was much more peaceful, as there were few people on these.

Post hike dinner: The Plant Cafe, Mill Valley, CA (north of the Golden Gate bridge). This location is more casual than the Burlingame location. You order your food at a counter. This restaurant is not vegetarian, but clearly lists vegan items on their menu. All of the food was delicious.

Year to date miles:  407.7

Entrance to Muir Woods

This is part of the $1 map we should have bought!
We worked on getting off the main trail to try to get some peace.

We headed off to the Fern Creek trail.
It is good to have a map, because once we got off the main trails, there were sometimes unmarked side trails.
We ended up using a photo of the map in combination with our GPS to make sure we didn't get lost!
The smaller trails aren't blazed, though most intersections have signs.
Of course, if you stay on the main trail - navigation is easy, and there are maps at intersections.

View of younger redwoods


A peaceful trail away from the throngs of tourists

Walking on a redwood.

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