Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Muir Woods Hike

The Bay Area was hit by a few big storms in the past couple of weeks, with some areas receiving upwards of seven inches of rain.  Last Saturday, despite the rain at home, the weather channel was predicting several hours of dry skies in Marin, so we took our chances and hit the road for a hike in Muir Woods.

Beginning in early December, coho salmon are known to swim up the streams in Muir Woods, and they can often be seen after heavy rains, when the water washes out the sandbar at the beach.  So we were hoping to see some salmon on our hike.

{We were probably 2 days too early.  The water was still so muddy and turbulent.}
We knew before arriving at the parking lot near the Muir Woods Visitor Center that the footbridge to cross Redwood Creek was out due to high waters.  So we carved our own path through the fern forest to catch up with the Deer Park Fire Road and eventually the Dipsea Trail.  From Dipsea to T.C.C. Trail, and then to Bootjack Trail, which ends in the breathtaking Cathedral Grove of Redwood trees, for a total of 6.4 miles.
Click for Full Map

Muir Woods was a little soggy from so many days of rain, but the water made for extra mushrooms and the brighter greens we saw.

The only wildlife we saw that day were four deer, including a buck, and one banana slug.


Not a lot of rain fell on us, but it was definitely hazy.  This is as far ahead as we could see during some parts of the hike:

A new stream cutting its way down the side of the trail.
It must have been windy before we got there, too.

Unfortunately, we didn't see any salmon, but the rains had certainly filled the streams and creeks, and we saw waterfalls around every corner, it seemed.

The buck (through the fog):

Parts of the trail were so dark due to the cloudy skies and fog.

The end of the hike parallels Redwood Creek, and it was flowing fast.

Very full creeks.  I can't imagine salmon having to swim upstream against this!

The last half-mile of the hike winded through the beautiful Cathedral Grove, with the incredibly tall redwood trees.  Several of those trees would have required three people's wingspans to reach all the way around them.

We hope to return to Redwood Creek to see the salmon later this season!


  1. Great photos of a great hike! Maybe next time we'll see some salmon: http://www.despair.com/ambition.html

    1. THAT LINK IS AWESOME. Maybe that's why we didn't see any salmon that weekend...
      I bet those bears sleep in the hollowed out Redwood trees :)

  2. Another great adventure in your part of the world, and more great photos. Thanks for sharing!


  3. GORGEOUS! Makes me feel refreshed just looking at those pics! I miss the fog!

    1. That's funny you say that you miss the fog; most people would think that's crazy. But I missed the fog while living outside of NorCal, too!


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