Muir Woods is a short drive (12 miles) north from San Francisco and is a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This National Monument is known for its forests filled with coastal redwood trees, some of the biggest trees in the world. The area is often blanketed in fog which adds a mysterious atmosphere to any visit, and also helps the redwoods survive in the drier summer months. In May 1945, Muir Woods was host to a very special international event. United Nations delegates meeting in San Francisco traveled to Muir Woods to honor the late President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a special memorial in a grove of redwood trees. Please visit the United Nations Memorial Service for President Roosevelt at Muir Woods page for more information. Muir Woods has a rich and varied history, from its use by the Coast Miwok people, to its early days of tourism and the Mount Tamalpais Mill Valley Scenic Railway, to an era of conservation, to modern preservation. In each era, the forest has been affected by the actions of humans, for better or for worse.
Did this hike today but started up Ben Johnson and came back down Dipsea. Part of the Dipsea was detoured onto Deer Park Fire Road (looked like surveying and land reconstruction was going on). Deer Park runs parallel to Dipsea, so it was about the same length but less trail-like for that portion (more like a small access road that's bike friendly). It didn't detour for very long, and I didn't feel as though it took anything away from the hike.
I guess we did the "Double Dipsea" though it was unclear where the true trailhead was so we started from the Muir Woods Visitor Center extended parking lot (free for hikers). We hiked down to Stinson beach and back. Took lots of photos along the trail and even enjoyed our packed lunches at the park. Overall time about 6:30hrs, and AllTrails clocked us with just under 12 miles. The first 3hrs of the trail was a bit muddy and rainy, we were both soaked! Come prepared. It was so beautiful though, especially with the mist! Can't wait to do it again. Tip: Pay attention to the trail markers! The Dipsea crossed with several other trails along the way.
DOG OWNERS - Please be aware that the fox trail in fact does not allow dogs. While this was an absolutely amazing hike we were stopped and told that dogs were not allowed. We found a different way back on miwok which does allow dogs but does not loop back to Muir Beach parking in an efficient way. We ended up risking it and taking some dog prohibited trails in order to get back to the car.
We took the Dipsea Trail out of Stinson Beach to Muir Woods then to Muir Beach. All those steps definitely woke me up first thing in the morning. It was a steep hike for the first hour or two going in this direction. It was absolutely beautiful. I felt like once we were at the top of the ridge we were winding up through a magical redwood forest before we saw other hikers. We hooked up with the Ben Johnson trial to get further in to Muir woods. We came upon a lot of other people at that point. It's an amazing trail.
The most serene of the trails I visited while two days in Muir Woods National Monument. I highly recommend for those who want an easy hike with a focus on the beauty surrounding them! Many others trails were beautiful, but this, to me, was the most beautiful...and not too many people were on it both times I hiked it.