Virtual Guidebook to Marin and the North Bay Counties
Muir Woods National Monument
Marin County California


In the 1890's a private water company planned to log the redood forest and and flood the valley of Redwood Creek on the south slopes of Mount Tamalpais. In an extraordinarily generous gesture, Congressman William Kent bought the property and donated it to the National Park system, asking that it be dedicated to his friend John Muir. In 1908 President Teddy Roosevelt created Muir Woods National Monument.

This is not the finest of the redwood groves, but it is wonderful nonetheless, and very convenient to San Francisco. As a result hordes of people arrive every day of the year, by car and by bus, and marvel at the tall trees and cathedral-like spaces. The park service does a great job of keeping order and protecting the environment - the central part of the grove is designated a "quiet zone", and some of the most impacted trail sections have been replaced with a boardwalk.

If this is your only chance to experience a redwood forest don't hesitate to go, you will treasure the memory. But if you live in California, or have time to travel further north, the Founders Grove on the Eel River, the Newton Drury Parkway at Prairie Creek, and the Stout Grove at Jedediah Smith are bigger, better, and far less tramelled by mass tourism.



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The entrance to Muir Woods National Monument

(October 5, 2001)


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Recumbent bay laurel on the edge of the Cathedral Grove, Muir Woods

(October 5, 2001)


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The United Nations Franklin D. Roosevelt site in Muir Woods

(October 5, 2001)


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The Bohemian Grove, within Muir Woods

(October 5, 2001)


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The tallest tree in the grove commemorates William Kent

(October 5, 2001)


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