• Visitors from all over the world come to explore the tranquility, beauty, and nature sounds of Muir Woods National Monument.

    Muir Woods

    National Monument California

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  • All Trails at Muir Woods are Open. Green Gulch Trail at Muir Beach to Close

    The Green Gulch Trail from Kaasi Road will be closed for restoration construction on the weekdays from 7 AM - 4:30 PM beginning early August through October 2014. Full trail access will be available during evening hours and weekends. Signs will be posted. More »

  • 7 Ranger's Tips on How to Experience Muir Woods Safely This Summer or How to Find Parking

    Summer is the busiest for Muir Woods. Parking is limited. Often visitors find shoulder parking and walk on the narrow road to the Visitor Center. Read the ranger's tips on the Best Times to Visit Muir Woods. On weekends & holidays, take Muir Woods Shuttle More »

  • Ride the Muir Woods Shuttle. Summer is the busiest time for Muir Woods. Parking limited.

    Muir Woods is experiencing high numbers of visitors. Summer traffic and unsafe parking behaviors are adding stress to visitors and residents. Expect delays on Hwy 1 as people drive to and from Muir Woods and local beaches. Read 7 Ranger's Tips on Parking. More »

  • Muir Beach is OPEN but Muir Beach Overlook closed until August 1, 2014.

    Muir Beach is open but the Muir Beach Overlook is closed for construction until August 1, 2014. Muir Beach is open to the public every day, including holidays at 9 AM and closes one hour after sunset.

Mammals

Big brown bat

The Big brown bat is just one of ten species that finds refuge in Muir Woods National Monument.

Dr. Lloyd Glenn Ingles © California Academy of Sciences

Ten species of bats have been observed by researchers in Muir Woods National Monument. That is nearly two thirds of the bat species found in the central coast of California. Five of the bats are Federal Species of Concern.

Bats find refuge in the cavities of the giant redwood trees within the monument. They use these cavities as day roost for sleeping, night roosts for resting in between foraging, and for maternity roosts. These tiny but long-lived mammals are probably some of the least understood animals around. Getting to know bats is like getting to know a whole new world. Often called “mice with wings,” bats are actually more closely related to primates than to rodents. Other than humans, bats are the longest lived mammals for their size in North America. Bats have the night-time shift, resting in the daytime and hunting over large tracts of land through the night. Most bats use echolocation and bounce sound waves off of insects and objects in order to locate and hunt their prey, keeping many pest insect populations under control. They are also important pollinators and seed dispersers. Bats live on all continents except Antarctica and unfortunately their populations are on the decline worldwide. These often maligned creatures are actually an integral part of any ecosystem, and perhaps a reason to explore the parks at sunset. Listen for the gentle flap of wings and look for that classic silhouette as the sun sinks.

Although developed areas can support more common bats that you may have heard of, such as the Mexican free-tailed bat and the big brown bat, the high diversity associated with Muir Woods is unique to protected and ecologically intact areas.

Bat Species in Muir Woods National Monument

Yuma myotis (Myotis yumanensis)

Fringed myotis (Myotis thysanodes)

California myotis (Myotis californicus)

Long-legged myotis (Myotis volans)

Silver-haired bat (Lasionycteris noctivagans)

Big brown bat (Eptesicus fuscus)

Western red bat (Lasiurus blossevillii)

Hoary bat (Lasiurus cinereus)

Townsend's big-eared bat (Corynorhinus (=Plecotus) townsendii)

Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis)

Did You Know?

United Nations in Muir Woods National Monument in 1945

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. More...