Friday, December 18, 2015

Fun day trip Part 1: Muir Woods National Monument & Muir Beach Overlook

With no plans on Saturday and knowing the weather was supposed to be decent, we headed out for a day trip to Muir Woods. Our only plan was to check the park out and go on a hike (we weren't even sure which hike yet). We ended up going there and also checking out Mt. Tamalpais and later the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a fun day of exploring! We saw so much in one day that I am going to divide the day in parts. This post will be part 1: Muir Woods National Monument & Muir Beach Overlook. 

The drive to Muir Woods from our home was about an hour and a half, so it wasn't bad. We did a few errands on the way, ate a quick lunch and and got to the Muir Woods National Monument around 12:30pm. We managed to get a parking spot fairly quickly, I guess you can say we were lucky because the parking there looks like it can be crazy. The lot isn't huge and with the amount of people that visit, it is probably wise to go early or if possible on a weekday. We didn't realize how bad it could be until we saw cars lined along the road that went further and further away from the visitor center when we left to visit the Muir Beach Overlook. 

There are bathrooms near the visitor center both before the center and not too far into Muir Woods National Monument. In the visitor center is a gift shop. 

There are fees to enter the National Monument. We actually bought the National Parks Interagency Pass for $80 since we figured we would be going to a bunch of National Parks this year. :) Tip: if you buy the Annual pass you can bypass the line and pay for it in the gift shop.
There was a nice Ranger out front that Hubby asked about possible hikes. I told him I wanted to see big trees and the Ranger said that Muir Woods National Monument was the hike to do. We overhead the Ranger mentioning that the Muir Beach Overlook was a nice short hike with a great view of the ocean when he was talking to someone else, so we added that to our list for the day. This is the entrance to Muir Woods National Monument.
From the map, you can hike as far as you want and loop back. We went to bridge 3 (only because we had plans to do more) and then turned around. To bridge 4, I believe it's 1.8 miles roundtrip, so not that far. 
Muir Woods National Monument Map
The hike is pretty amazing. The redwoods are awesome. They are huge trees!
It is nice because there are informative boards along the way.
I got so many great pics but I will only share my favorites.
I definitely recommend Muir Woods National Monument as a place to check out. It is such a beautiful hike. 

Next up was Muir Beach Overlook. From Muir Woods National Monument it was about a 15 minute drive to Muir Beach Overlook. It is a viewing area, with awesome views of the Pacific. It is a short walk to the overlook and by the short trail are some neat bunkers where soldiers watched out for enemies during WWII.
Here is an idea of the stairs you take at the Overlook.
Checking out the views from the Overlook.
Views from the Overlook.
Definitely some awesome views from the Muir Beach Overlook that it is worth checking out. It is such a short walk but fun with the steps. It was a bit chilly with the wind at the overlook so make sure you have a coat or windbreaker. It is so easy to get to, that it is something you wouldn't want to skip out on if you are already in the area.

That was Part 1 of our fun day trip. Look out for Part 2 with Mt. Tamalpais and the Golden Gate Bridge coming soon!

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