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Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:08 pm
by RudyS
I'm posting this because there have been several threads asking about places to visit on trips, and the coast redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument near San Francisco have been mentioned. Effective Jan 16, 2018, you need reservations to either park there or ride the shuttle. Planning ahead is essential. Details here:
https://www.savetheredwoods.org/blog/wa ... oodroundup

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:36 pm
by SGM
Wow. Muir Woods is a beautiful place that I visited many times when I lived close by. Often I would walk down to park from near Mount Tamalpais in the early hours of the morning. A visitor from Texas called the park "almost a religious experience."

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:58 pm
by jabberwockOG
First visit to Muir Woods was in 1973. Small parking lot and maybe 3-4 cars there midweek. My friend and I walked most of the paths mostly not seeing or hearing another soul. People there were quiet and respectful of what was around them. Incredibly stillness and beauty just sounds of birds and bugs buzzing. Amazing beautiful place at the time.

Been there maybe 10 times since on various trips over the years, last visit was apprx 2015 - tour bus heaven - cars fighting for parking, stroller people with kids running loose, yelling at them - what a mess.

Maybe the reservation system will help preserve and bring back a little of what once was.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:53 am
by Grasshopper
If you have the time hike in from Muir Beach, we did this in September, lots of parking, walking makes you appreciate the local area.

Today’s walk combines open trails with sweeping panoramas
and wooded paths as you leave the Golden Gate National
Recreation Area and enter Mount Tamalpais State Park. You
leave the inn with a short transfer to the trailhead and start a
leisurely 15-minute walk to a stunning hilltop view before
descending toward the Muir Woods. At the Muir Woods National
Monument, you enter the cathedral-like setting of this ancient
and magical redwood forest. The Muir Woods is the only old growth
coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area, and one of the
last on the planet. John Muir described this area as “the best
tree-lover’s monument that could possibly be found in all the
forests of the world.” The trail snakes through fern and redwood
canyons, following gullies and streams before reaching the
canyon floor.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 9:06 am
by Broken Man 1999
Been there, done that. If I lived close enough I would spend as much time as I could there, as it is a magnificent slice of earth.

Not surprised there is a reservation requirement. Last time I visited was in 1999, even then the parking took some effort.

Broken Man 1999

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:16 am
by letsgobobby
Understandable but sad.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:41 am
by Pajamas
It's a shame, but many natural areas are crowded and hard to enjoy. Decades of underfunding of the agencies that manage them doesn't help, either. The underlying problem, as with so many other issues we are facing, is overpopulation: there are simply too many humans.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 am
by tibbitts
Pajamas wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:41 am
It's a shame, but many natural areas are crowded and hard to enjoy. Decades of underfunding of the agencies that manage them doesn't help, either. The underlying problem, as with so many other issues we are facing, is overpopulation: there are simply too many humans.
And yet not enough humans - declining population - is an economic problem.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:12 am
by Pajamas
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 am
And yet not enough humans - declining population - is an economic problem.
Only if you see total economic growth as the ultimate goal. Which is more important, quality of life or economic growth?

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:31 am
by Rob5TCP
I was in San Francisco about 6 weeks ago. I no longer go to Muir Woods (as magnificent as it is).
Instead, I prefer Big Basin.

Big Basin has a 1/2 hour short walk through an incredible grove of old growth redwoods as well as longer walks through both old growth and second generation redwoods. About 20 minutes away is Henry Coswell Redwoods; which also has a short walk through an old growth redwoods. Both of these, though a 90 minute ride from the city, are much less crowded. I did not have a problem parking there during the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you only have time for one of the two; I would opt for Big Basin.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ornia.html
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/BigBasin/BigBasin.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ornia.html
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Cowell/SanLorenzo.html

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:17 pm
by tibbitts
Pajamas wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:12 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 am
And yet not enough humans - declining population - is an economic problem.
Only if you see total economic growth as the ultimate goal. Which is more important, quality of life or economic growth?
No, I don't believe that's true. For example, insufficient replacement participants for social security is an ecomonic problem without regard for there being some other ultimate goal.

Now, you can get into an entirely different discussion regarding quality vs. quantity of people...

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 3:49 pm
by hoppy08520
I went to Muir Woods 20 years ago and loved it. I went back on a Saturday in July and, sadly, it was hard to enjoy because it was so overrun with people and tour buses. Loud people who were just babbling even in the sections that are supposed to be quiet. They might as well just have gone through a stroll in the mall. If you want to see the redwoods, I recommend going somewhere else.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:25 am
by RudyS
Rob5TCP wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:31 am
I was in San Francisco about 6 weeks ago. I no longer go to Muir Woods (as magnificent as it is).
Instead, I prefer Big Basin.

Big Basin has a 1/2 hour short walk through an incredible grove of old growth redwoods as well as longer walks through both old growth and second generation redwoods. About 20 minutes away is Henry Coswell Redwoods; which also has a short walk through an old growth redwoods. Both of these, though a 90 minute ride from the city, are much less crowded. I did not have a problem parking there during the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you only have time for one of the two; I would opt for Big Basin.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ornia.html
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/BigBasin/BigBasin.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ornia.html
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Cowell/SanLorenzo.html
Absolutely agree about Big Basin. Haven't been there for ages, but it's good to get your current report.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:02 am
by alpenglow
Grasshopper wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:53 am
If you have the time hike in from Muir Beach, we did this in September, lots of parking, walking makes you appreciate the local area.
Great suggestion. I loved Muir Beach.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:16 am
by oldcomputerguy
Pajamas wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:12 am
tibbitts wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:10 am
And yet not enough humans - declining population - is an economic problem.
Only if you see total economic growth as the ultimate goal. Which is more important, quality of life or economic growth?
Pajamas, you may have just put your finger on the over-riding question behind a large portion of posts here on Bogleheads.
:beer

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:02 am
by Raybo
For those willing to hike down and then up the hills, you can access Muir Woods from a trail that starts (way) above it where parking is a bit more accessible. The hike is maybe 2 miles down. You also have to walk back up to your car. The flat hike through Muir Woods adds another 1.5 miles or so.

PM for more details.

Re: Muir Woods (California) requires reservations.

Posted: Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:06 pm
by galectin
RudyS wrote:
Mon Jan 08, 2018 9:25 am
Rob5TCP wrote:
Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:31 am
I was in San Francisco about 6 weeks ago. I no longer go to Muir Woods (as magnificent as it is).
Instead, I prefer Big Basin.

Big Basin has a 1/2 hour short walk through an incredible grove of old growth redwoods as well as longer walks through both old growth and second generation redwoods. About 20 minutes away is Henry Coswell Redwoods; which also has a short walk through an old growth redwoods. Both of these, though a 90 minute ride from the city, are much less crowded. I did not have a problem parking there during the Thanksgiving Holiday. If you only have time for one of the two; I would opt for Big Basin.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ornia.html
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/BigBasin/BigBasin.html

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_ ... ornia.html
http://www.redwoodhikes.com/Cowell/SanLorenzo.html
Absolutely agree about Big Basin. Haven't been there for ages, but it's good to get your current report.
You can also get trail info on the Big Basin trails through the free app from AllTrails if you want to have it accessible on your phone while you hike the trails.