• Visitors appear very small amongst the redwood trees.

    Muir Woods

    National Monument California

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  • Ranger's tips on how to find parking

    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. Take the Muir Woods Shuttle weekends & holidays through October. More »

  • Trail closures: Middle Green Gulch Trail and Hillside Trails access limited.

    Hillside Trail closed 10/6-8 and after 10/14 for construction and rehab. Middle Green Gulch trail is accessible from the farm, starting at the office end of the farm. Access to Middle Green Gulch is closed from the Kaasai direction during the week. More »

Plants

What is an old-growth forest and how is it different from other forests ?

Muir Woods is the only old-growth coastal redwood forest in the Bay Area and one of the last on the planet. It is estimated that nearly 2 million acres of forest just like Muir Woods once covered a narrow strip along the coasts of California and Oregon. Today, 97% of this has been impaired or altered and most coastal redwoods now grow on protected second and third growth forests or managed timber plantations. Thanks to William Kent's preservation efforts, Muir Woods was spared this fate and remains as a very accessible yet prime example of an old-growth forest.

The term old-growth is difficult to define. Old-growth cannot solely be determined by size or age of the trees within a forest because these qualities vary widely with species. However, there are four characteristics that slowly develop through time, and together define an old-growth forest.

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Did You Know?

A burl can grow high up on the side of a Redwood tree.

A burl is a mass of dormant buds grown on the redwood’s trunk. In the event of a fire or flood disturbance a burl will vigorously sprout shoots each with the potential to become a mature tree.