Hiking the Redwood Forest of Majestic Muir Woods

Hiking the Redwood Forest of Majestic Muir Woods

In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir

Being the nature lover that I am, a visit to see the majestic redwood trees was a must. As we traveled north from San Francisco to Napa Valley, we ventured a little out of the way to explore this beautiful monument of redwood trees.

Also known as nature’s skyscrapers, or California giants, these trees reach heights of more than 350 feet. Most of the trees in Muir Woods are between 500 and 800 years old, with the tallest being 260 feet and the oldest being 1200 years old! To give a better visual of the height, imagine 45 six-foot-tall individuals stacked on top of each other.

The immensity of the trees make them a challenge to photograph! The best shots I could get from trunk to treetop was by using the Panoramic feature vertically on my iPhone.

John Muir was a great explorer of California and was very active in preserving the United States’ natural beauty. Any nature lover will have an extra appreciation for the wonder of these trees, due to their ability to grow so tall and live so long. It often seems as though many things aren’t built to last anymore, or things in the wild aren’t respected and damaged with litter and other harm.

The fact that these trees have so much longevity and prosper for centuries is very satisfying. Muir Woods even has “quiet zones,” where you are expected to make minimal noise to enhance the whole experience.

The longevity of the trees is attributed to favourable weather conditions such as the coolness and fog, the tannin in the bark which makes it resistant to termites, and the thickness of the bark to help protect the inner core from fire.

Traveling into Muir Woods off highway 1 is an adventure itself with incredibly steep and sharp winding roads. My husband had a blast driving these roads while I felt carsick.

An abundance of research informed me that in order to gain entrance into Muir Woods, you need to arrive right when it opens. I can attest firsthand this is true – the cars did start to pile in right as the park opened its gates. Despite the amount of people that enter the park a day, there are so many hiking trail options that each path we took was relatively free of other visitors. The canopy view trail was much quieter than the boardwalk trails below. We also visited on a weekday, which reduces crowd numbers considerably.

These are not trails to race through.

I believe that these trails are meant to be hiked slowly.

Pause and reflect.

Breathe deeply.

Think about the history that these ancient trees have lived through.

Advice From A Tree

Stand up tall and proud.
Sink your roots into the earth.
Be content with your natural beauty.
Go out on a limb.
Drink plenty of water.
Remember your roots.
Enjoy the view!

~Ilan Shamir


My passion for capturing memories through the lens of my camera, my love for food and the joy I find in reflecting on my travel memories using a pen and paper results in a series of blog entries filled with warmth, pure happiness and inspiration. I hope to share a little bit of myself and my adventure of life with you.


  • I love the idea of a ‘quiet zone’.. Personally, a trip to the forest is not really complete without hearing the sounds of nature! Plus those photos of the redwood trees are incredible. I too would’ve love to see this and spend a day enjoying the view!

  • I went to Muir woods 5 years ago, and that was also when we were on our way to Napa Valley! I absolutely loved walking amidst the tall redwoods, it was such a brilliant experience. Your post brings back such great memories, thanks for sharing!

  • I visited the redwoods on a teenage trip to California and I was so struck by them that even 30 years later, I still remember my awe! Not just their physicality but their age, and what they will have lived through as we live our far shorter lives in their shadows!

  • Your idea to make pictures with your Panoramic feature vertically on your iPhone is great! It looks like taken with a professional camera. Muir wood forest is a place in California I’d love to visit. Good that they make quiet spaces to enjoy the surroundings. I’m sure it can be pretty busy!

  • I love that the forest has “quiet zones” to force you to be more at one with the nature. I think that hiking can be a wonderful reflective experience, and so I really enjoy that they acknowledge this. It was a really clever idea to do a vertical panorama to try and get more of the redwood into the photo. The only other thing I could think of is using a camera drone and taking a photo from much further away.

  • These Redwood Forests just look amazing! I cannot believe the height of these trees, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere with this sort of perspective. And quiet zones too – I can imagine being just incredibly reflective and at one with nature.

  • Just the thought that this has been named after the great John Muir makes me filled with awe. Those ancient trees… they must have seen centuries… they must have seen the entire new nation take birth and grow up! It is almost a spiritual experience.

  • These trees are so huge and gorgeous. Walking amidst them definitely makes you realize how tiny you are compared to these giants. It was nice reading about John Muir . Definitely a place to visit if you are in that area.


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