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Magnificent Muir Woods National Monument: Thank You, John Muir

Audrey's passion for connecting with nature is magnified in her articles about mother earth."Going to nature is like going home."

Lovely Muir Woods.

Lovely Muir Woods.

Memories Visiting John Muir Woods

I made my home in the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years. It was in the year 1998 that I first toured the beautiful Muir Woods. It left me spellbound. And little did I know that just a few years later my youngest son, Randy, would be married in Muir Woods. The marriage vows were exchanged inside the hollow of a huge redwood tree. It was incredibly romantic and spiritual.

The magnificent redwoods that make up Muir Woods are a huge attraction for visitors and locals alike. Honestly, you just can't believe your eyes. Many folks come back again and again. The tallest tree is 258 feet although redwoods can grow to nearly 380 feet.

I remember being about 10 yrs old when I saw my first redwood. My family and I drove from Los Angeles to Sequoia National Park. I still remember how I felt when I first gazed with wonder at the "General Sherman Tree". I couldn't stop staring at it. I have been a tree lover ever since and feel a special connection with these offspring of mother nature.

If you were to ask me the question, " Of all the beautiful places you've ever visited, which place is your favorite?", it would be Muir Woods. Muir Woods is a magical, almost mystical place of giant redwood trees and luscious ferns. Its peaceful and quiet refuge provides a place where one can escape for the day, offering a feeling of being removed from the rest of the world. I am transformed as I gaze at the historical, lingering of the magnificence of mother earth.

As I inhale the endless beauty that seems to go on forever, I silently whisper to myself, "Thank you, Mr. John Muir."

“Most people are on the world, not in it.”

— John Muir

John Muir, Preservationist

John Muir, creator of several national parks.

John Muir, creator of several national parks.

Who is John Muir?

John Muir was a Naturalist, Author, Environmental Philosopher, Glaciologist and Preserver of Wilderness.

He was born April 21, 1838, and was to become well known as "Father of the National Parks" and "John of the Mountains" and would live to become this country's most famous and dedicated naturalist.

Because of Muir, Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were established. He helped to draw up its proposed boundaries in 1889.

His books are filled with adventure...a treat for the mind, body, and spirit.

“I never saw a discontented tree.”

— John Muir

Tall, majestic, Redwood trees.

Tall, majestic, Redwood trees.

John Muir: Co-Founder of the Sierra Club

Muir came to America with his family from Scotland at age 11. The Wisconsin woodlands inspired him greatly as would the writings of Emerson and Thoreau. He began his exploration of Nature by walking 1000 miles from Kentucky to Florida. He wrote an account of this walk in his book, A Thousand Mile Walk to The Gulf.

The Sierra Club was founded on May 28, 1892. Their purpose - to preserve national parks and forest reserves. John Muir was elected the first president with just a handful of members. Today membership is in the hundreds of thousands.

I was fortunate enough to visit the John Muir home located in Martinez, California, Contra Costa County. My home was in Walnut Creek, only a 25-minute drive depending on freeway traffic. The Italianate Victorian mansion includes 14 rooms and a nearby 325-acre tract of native oak trees and grasslands historically owned by the Muir family.

John Muir National Historic Site in Martinez, California

This is the Victorian residence of scientist, philosopher and conservationist John Muir from 1890 till his death 1914

This is the Victorian residence of scientist, philosopher and conservationist John Muir from 1890 till his death 1914

Oh Mr. Kent, Thank You Too

Who is William Kent?

I was surprised to learn that Muir Woods was actually the very first national park established on private land on January 9, 1906. That's right. The land was donated by William Kent (a former congressman). It was Kent and his wife who named the park after famous conservationist, John Muir.

I wonder if William Kent and John Muir had any idea this magnificent national park would become so famous. What a treasure these men left for generations to come.

A Quick History About Muir Woods

Redwood Grove

Redwood Grove

Directions to John Muir Woods National Monument

Magnificent Hiking Trails: The Interpretive and Hillside Trail

Several hiking trails are available and absolutely breathtaking. I have taken the Interpretive and Hillside Trail which is an easy 2-mile hike to Muir Beach. Thankfully, it is open year-round and is even wheelchair accessible. For hikers more endurable than I, the hiking trail to Stinson Beach is more challenging and duly rewarding.

If you are staying in San Francisco, Muir Woods is just a 30-minute drive away. So along with taking a cable car ride or crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, be sure to treat yourself to a day at Muir Woods. Oh, and bring your best walking shoes and a bottle of water.

An Interesting Foot Note

Muir Woods’ Cathedral Grove hosted the first United Nations conference May 19, 1945. Present were delegates from 48 nations to establish a lasting peace following the Second World War.

I'd like to know -

“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”

— John Muir


© 2011 Audrey Hunt


Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on January 09, 2020:

Hi Vicki

I hope you're enjoying your day. Thanks for your visit and information about Planet of the Apes, reboot, being filmed here. I'll have to watch this again and take note.

Vicki Wood from Eldon, Missouri on January 09, 2020:

cool place, If i remember correctly, the reboot of Planet of the Apes was filmed here.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 28, 2013:

Mike Robbers - How very nice to see you here. Thanks for appreciating the beauty and wonder of magnificent Muir Woods. Have a lovely day Mike. ~ Audrey

Peggy - Hello my friend and a big thank you for linking my hub to yours. I, too, would love to be hiking in the Muir Woods beauty of Redwoods and natures' best work. - Enjoy your day Peggy.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 26, 2013:

pinto2011 - Thanks my new friend. Muir Woods is one of my favorite places. I'm a total nature lover. My present home is nestled high in the mountains surrounded by tall pine trees and clean, clear skies. I hug a tree daily :) ~ Audrey

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on July 25, 2013:

Denise - Thanks for being here and giving a thumbs up and more! Would be lovely to hike through these beautiful wooded areas with you!

Appreciate the votes so much. ~ Audrey

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 25, 2013:

I will return the favor by linking your excellent hub to mine. Thanks! I wish I could be walking through that natural cathedral like setting right now. It is so magnificent.

Mike Robbers from London on July 25, 2013:

Beautiful hub and photos. Seems as a great place. Thanks for the tour!

Subhas from New Delhi, India on July 25, 2013:

Hi vocalcoach! You have really lit up my day by giving hope that there are places in earth one can live up to visit and rejuvenate. This place is absolutely one of them, completely mesmerizing.

Denise Handlon from North Carolina on July 24, 2013:

I can't believe I missed this one, Audrey. I love the Muir Woods. You've done a marvelous job presenting this beautiful and special place here. I hope many are encouraged to follow the road to this wonderful wooded area. Thanks! UP/A/I and sharing.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

rcrumple -'re in to Rattlesnakes are you? Yikes! Well, every creature has it's own kind of beauty. I do hope you get the chance to visit Muir Woods.

It is luscious - one of mother nature;s masterpieces. Thanks so much!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

Docmo - I hope you come to the west coast soon. You will just love Muir Woods. It sounds like you have been to many nature trails. How splendid! Our back yard here in Idyllwild begins a wonderful nature trail, winding through pine scented trees, wild grasses, rocks and streams. I hike 4-5 times a week and feel as though I am re-born each time:)

Thanks for reading this hub and the vote and sharing!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

bdegiulio - I would love to complete a tour of each NP before my journey here comes to an end. I sure hope you have the opportunity to visit Muir Woods. So glad to see you here. Thanks so much!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 07, 2013:

mary615 - You would love this gorgeous forest of giant redwood trees, sprawling green ferns and beautiful walking trails. Thank you so much for voting up, etc., sharing and for pinning!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 06, 2013:

vip3r - Thanks for finding my hub amazing and for voting. I appreciate it so much!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on April 06, 2013:

SilverGenes - Thanks for enjoying this. I hope you have the pleasure of visiting Muir Woods. Glad it's on your bucket list!

Rich from Kentucky on September 26, 2012:

Extremely beautiful place and well done story. Would love to visit. Actually, looks like a great place to find the Pacific Rattlesnake (old habits die hard, lol). Well done! Up & Interesting

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 26, 2012:

Hi billy - I would LOVE to read Muirs' biography.

Is there any particular book that you can suggest? Gee, thanks for the suggestion. Why didn't I think of that? Move over HP, gonna take a break:)

SilverGenes - I think "Heaven" must be something like Muir Woods. I hope you have a chance to see it. Thank you for your kind and positive comments. Take care.

Hello Bobbi - You put a big smile on my face with your signature "your fan". How cute is that! I'd love to be there when you take your trip to Muir Woods. Someone like you would appreciate it all so much. You'd never want to leave. Thank you dear friend for being here and for the ratings and all the sharing.

Mohan Kumar from UK on September 26, 2012:

I've done most of my US trips to the East Coast and am planning a West coast holiday in the near future. audrey. I love the nature trails - I did do a driving holiday through Vermont, Maine , Massachusetts into Canada via the NAtional Forest routes. I would love to visit this marvellous place and your hub just sealed the deal. This will be on my must visit list when I'm over to the West coast. Thank you for the rich detailed info, Audrey. voted up/ shared.

v1p3r on September 26, 2012:

amazing hub


Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on September 26, 2012:

Audrey. Great Hub. Never been to Muir Woods but have always been a fan of the Sierra Club and the National Park system. Have visited numerous NP's and they are all amazing. Thanks for sharing.

Mary Hyatt from Florida on September 26, 2012:

I've never seen Muir Woods, but you make me want to visit this beautiful place.

I voted this Hub UP, etc. shared and Pinned.

SilverGenes on September 26, 2012:

What a beautiful place! I've never been there but have put it on my bucket list for sure. Your history of the place and the photos really brought it to life - I enjoyed the videos, too!

Barbara Purvis Hunter from Florida on September 25, 2012:


Muir Woods is so beautiful---I hope one day to visit. Your hub has made my days with all the natural beauty of the trees, plants,animals and outdoors---what else could a person want to see?

Thanks I voted everything and sent it to my FB and tweeted.

How did I miss this the first time?

Your Fan,

Bobbi Purvis

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 25, 2012:

Muir was a fascinating character; if you ever get a chance to read his biography or autobiography, it is interesting reading. Great hub Audrey!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 25, 2012:

Thanks Curiad for your support. We are lucky to have been able to see this amazing. magnificent forest. Your vote up and sharing means so much!

Ruchira - You have said it all and that's exactly how I felt each time I walked among the trees, ferns and splendor of it all. So very grateful. What an experience as well as memories that I return to again and again. Thank you dear friend for voting up, across and sharing!

Ruchira from United States on September 25, 2012:

Love this place. Nature has its own ways to make us feel grateful :)

beautiful hub, Audrey :)

voted up and sharing it across

Curiad on September 24, 2012:

Been there a few times, love that place! Voted up and shared!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 24, 2012:

I really feel fortunate to have lived so close to this magnificent setting. I think of it often now that I am in Tennessee. When I move back to Southern Ca. - I plant to visit here again. Thanks Peggy for letting me link to your outstanding hub of the same.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 24, 2012:

You were so fortunate to live close enough to Muir Woods to visit it often. To have your son being married in that cathedral like setting must have been magnificent! Up votes from another Muir Woods nature lover.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on June 15, 2012:

tillsontitan - Isn't this just the most magical place? I was fortunate to live a mear 40 minutes away. I couldn't get enough of Muir Woods. My own Mother and Father used to drive from Los Angeles all the way to Northern Ca. to visit this beautiful spot. I'm glad you were able to go and get your tree hugging in. I did the same. Thanks my friend for the vote up and ratings.

Mary Craig from New York on June 15, 2012:

On a wedding trip to San Francisco years back we were able to visit Muir Woods. I have great photos and even greater memories. I would have to say it was a day I was an actual tree hugger! It is indescribable. The sheer size is unbelievable.

Your hub points out a lot of good facts about Muir Woods and you've included some nice photos. (I'd love to see the wedding ones too!!!)

Voted up, interesting, and useful for anyone headed that way.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on November 15, 2011:

acc12 - Sure hope you are able to take this breath taking walk through Muir Woods. Thank you for liking my hub. Have a beautiful day!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on October 27, 2011:

mcbirdbks - Hope your day is magical. Thanks for leaving a nice comment. :)

acc12 on October 27, 2011:

Beautiful photos! Muir Woods is definitely on my list of places to see. Hope to visit someday. Very nice hub.

QudsiaP1 on September 12, 2011:

Such a lovely place, I would love to visit. :)

Movie Master from United Kingdom on September 10, 2011:

I would just love to go to Muir Woods, seeing Redwwods is on my 'to do' list.

It looks and sounds like a magical place, getting married in a tree, wow, now that I am really envious of, how wonderful!

Fabulous hub, thank you.

Truckstop Sally on September 09, 2011:

What a beautiful hub. Have you seen Planet of the Apes? Not really my first movie choice, but it was good. Anyway, the apes escape in the end -- and it might be to Muir Woods (or someplace equally wonderful).

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 08, 2011:

Tamarajo - Wonderful to get your endorsement on Muir Woods. I really miss this serene, beautiful place. So glad you enjoyed my hub and the video. Thank you!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 08, 2011:

SuzieQ - Bugs? I never noticed any. But yes...those trees are something else, along with the streams, little bridges and luscious ferns. Thanks Suzie!

Natasha L Polak from Indianapolis, IN on September 08, 2011:

I absolutely love Muir Woods! My hubby and I went there while on a tour, when we were honeymooning in San Francisco. Occasionally I find myself still going through the photos we took of that day! Thanks for posting this hub! :-)

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 08, 2011:

always exploring - I wish you could see the magnificence of the glorious redwoods. I can picture you there. You haven't missed one of my hubs. What support you give me!

I am determined to finish this hub challenge, after which I will sleep for a week :)

David Guion from North Carolina on September 08, 2011:

Your hub, and especially your beautiful photos, brought back pleasant memories. I haven't been out that direction since high school, but I lived in Berkeley for a year and we must have gone to Muir Wood half a dozen times.

I'd like to see you try to hug one of those redwoods!

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on September 08, 2011:

I lived in San Mateo in the 60's, but somehow never visited Muir Woods. I have seen Sequoia National Park several times.

Nice Hub.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 08, 2011:

chatkath - You are one lucky gal to be living in one of the most beautiful areas in the world. You've got to go back and partake of the most beautiful forest of trees on the planet. Maybe next time I visit your area, we can hook up and go together! Thanks, my dear friend.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 07, 2011:

Cloverleaf - Just look at you! Following every single hub. How can I not go all the way with the 30 day challenge. You have no idea how grea this makes me feel.

I don't think I have been to "Avenue of the Giants", but I will make sure I go there on my next trip to S.F. Would I love to see those photos of his!

Gotta run - almost midnight here and trying to finish #7.

Sending you a big hug!

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on September 07, 2011:

I would love to visit Muir Woods, the beautiful Red Wood trees are magnificent. Thank you...... You're on a roll!!

Kathy from California on September 07, 2011:

Yaah! The Bay Area!! I did visit Muir Woods so long ago and now I would like to go again after reading your hub Audrey! Very well done, the trees are magnificent! Up and useful!

SusieQ42 on September 07, 2011:

Beautiful forest and beautiful video! You can have the bugs and I'll take the trees. lol Thanks for the pretty scenic tour.

tamron on September 07, 2011:

I love all the photos! I love the enormous red wood trees!

I would love to travel to those kinds of places. Great Hub vote up!

Louise from Calgary, AB, Canada on September 07, 2011:

Hi Audrey,

A friend of mine just got back from a wonderful trip to San Fransisco and so I was eager to show him your hub to see if he had been to Muir Woods. In fact he had been to "Avenue of the Giants" which I believe is nearby? He also has some remarkable photos of the redwood trees - I'm completely fascinated!! I can't wait for a trip to San Fransisco one day (hopefully soon).

#6 Voted UP


Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 07, 2011:

writer20 - You're a lucky person. Once you have lived in the San Francisco area, it is easy to forever hold such an area close to your heart. Thank you, writer, for your constant support.

writer20 on September 07, 2011:

I too lived in S.F. and loved to visit Muirs Woods.

Hillary from Atlanta, GA on September 07, 2011:

Beautiful! and I love the photos. This is the first I heard of Muir woods. What a serene romantic spot for a wedding! Was it difficult logistically? Thanks for sharing the info.

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 07, 2011:

RTalloni - How interesting that you would mention the wedding pictures. I spent a long time searching for them last night. And I'm not giving up. As soon as I find the one I want, I will edit and include the photo. Thanks so much!

Audrey Hunt (author) from Pahrump NV on September 07, 2011:

Indigital - well, I would love to visit England. Perhaps one day we could do a "trade" :) Muir Woods is a "must see" when you make your trip to America...and I know you will!

Tamarajo on September 07, 2011:

I visited Muir woods last year. It was as enchanting as you have described. Great hikes and views.

Mentalist acer from A Voice in your Mind! on September 07, 2011:

Muir Reminds Me Of Robin Hood's Forest...Thanks For The Tour Vocalcoach.;)

Charlotte B Plum on September 07, 2011:

How lovely, it's such a beautiful place and I love how your son got married too - so special!

breakfastpop on September 07, 2011:

Your photos brought me back to my trip to Muir Woods. There is no way to explain how breathtaking it is. You did a fine job doing just that. Up and interesting and awesome.

b. Malin on September 07, 2011:

I believe my Sister were there a few years back and just Raved and Raved about Muir Woods...It sounded Beautiful. I so enjoyed your Words of description and Scenic Videos Vocalcoach...Simply "Candy" for the Eyes. Maybe Lover Man & I will travel there someday!

Cindy Murdoch from Texas on September 07, 2011:

I love the Muir Woods. I have been to California twice and have gone to the Muir Woods both times! After the second time, as we were leaving, I took in a deep breath of the aroma of the place. It has such a wonderful invigorating aroma! and I told my husband that I wish I could bottle that smell, and then be able to open the jar every now and then.

Years later, when I was cooking, I opened one of my berb/spice bottles and that magical smell leaped out of the bottle. It was bay leaves! Now when I want to close my eyes and think of the Muir Woods, I have the wonderful aroma to make the experience all the better.

theseus from philippines on September 07, 2011:

One word,coach.Wow.

The pictures are great.Scenic. And you are right, it indeed is a splendor to behold.Hopefully I get to see those in person and experience for myself such beauty. Thank's for sharing.God bless you.

Your friend, Mae

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on September 07, 2011:

Great hub! I am fascinated by those giant trees - I have ever been closer than a photo tho. I know I will someday but I always wonder when I see pictures of these trees how it would look standing under one.

You are on a roll with this 30 day challenge and I love your hub topics! I'm watching and learning and it's been all that AND a day in the park now:)

mckbirdbks from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas on September 07, 2011:

Beautiful Hub. 6/30 you are on a roll

Indigital on September 06, 2011:

Damn! Why does America have much better and larger National Parks then England! Wish I could go, hoping to when I reach a good age - maybe a tour around America. I will definitely stop here!

RTalloni on September 06, 2011:

Interesting and lovely place. Your photos are beautiful--no wedding pics? :)

Thanks for sharing!