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.
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!