Muir Woods National Monument is just a short hop over the Golden Gate Bridge. Muir Woods is on the tour bus circuit, and is often a redwood Disneyland. But on a rainy season weekday between rainstorms, you almost have the place to yourself.
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The Bohemian Grove is at the south end of the park. The Bohemian Club camped here in the summer of 1892, and built a 70 foot Buddha for the occasion. That's long gone but the trees remain.
Moss and Ferns
Ferns thrive in the shady under-story, and moss carpets many of the trees (but never the redwoods).
Old Growth Redwood
Fire Scarred Redwoods
This fire on the Ben Johnson trail occurred many years ago, but the scars are still evident. Periodic fires benefit the redwoods at the expense of less fire tolerant trees. Fires used to be natural; now the park service has to set them from time to time
Douglas Firs share the forest with the redwoods, especially higher up the slopes.
Redwoods effectively block 90% of the light falling on them; in large groves they cast a dark spell. They also muffle noise, adding to the ambiance.
The giants that fall usually succumb to windthrow. Fallen redwoods can take decades just to decompose -- it takes longer for a redwood to rot than many trees live!
The slender but sturdy proportions of redwoods make them look as big and tall as they are. The redwoods in Muir Woods top out at 250 feet. This is quite tall but falls shorts of the largest redwoods, which exceed 350 feet.