This image was one of my first of John Muir Woods. Hard to believe it is only just a few short miles from downtown San Francisco.
Had it not been that this little grove of Coastal Redwoods was in a steep valley it would have surely been cut down for lumber by early settlers. Fortunately it was purchased a by Congressman William Kent who wanted to wanted to protect it rather than exploit it. Much of California's old growth redwoods were gone. These trees are 2000+ years old so efforts by logging companies to replant would not be realized for generations to come. This is why what is left of our Old Growth forests must be preserved. You might think the monument would be named after Congressman Kent but he insisted it be named after famous naturalist John Muir who was instrumental in saving much of our state's natural wonders for future generations to enjoy. I wish there was some way to thank these people for their generosity and foresight. I hope that though my photography I convey that thanks to some small degree.
You can visit Muir Woods year round. Now you might think from this image that the park is relatively uncrowned. That is NOT the case. Even on stormy wintery days, the park is full of people and getting a shot like this is near impossible due to the crowds. You must have a lot of patience or a few photographic tricks up your sleeve.
When the first rains come and the creek overflows the sand bar at Muir Beach, the Salmon make their yearly run up the stream to lay eggs. You can see the fry (baby salmon) in the creek most of the year.
One nice thing about this park is that it is fully accessible to the handicap and I was able to bring my aging grandmother here for a visit and take her over the 1.2 mile trail though the redwoods. It was a special day for all of us as she had never seen the redwoods.
If you wish to shoot Muir Woods the best advice I can give is that you bring a tripod. Especially if you plan to stay till twilight.
© Darvin Atkeson