Come walk the Redwoods of Muir Woods
Tom Martell's Muir Woods Walking Tours
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   | For Information or Reservations Phone: (415) 264-6235 Call (415) 264-6235 for Reservations | Click Here To Send An Email
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Frequently Asked Questions

Tom loves questions. He's answered some hum-dingers over years. See if your question is answered adequately below.

Where exactly is Muir Woods National Monument?
Monument? I thought we were talking about a Redwood forest.
Is this tour suitable for children under 12? No is the short answer.
How do we get to Avenue of the Giants?
What's included in the $50.00 price?
What time does the walking tour of the Redwoods begin?
Does your Tour operate Rain or Shine?
How long is the Humboldt Redwoods walking tour?
How do I book a Redwoods walking tour?
How tall is the tallest tree in the Muir Woods?
How wide is the widest tree in Muir Woods?
How old is the oldest tree in the Muir Woods?
Will we see any wildlife in the Muir Woods?
Are there any dangerous plants or animals in Muir Woods?
Are there many bugs, insects or mosquitoes in the Muir Woods?
What about bears? Will I be eaten by a bear in Muir Woods?
Can we bring our pet to the Muir Woods?
I have mobility issues. Is the Muir Woods Tour wheelchair accessible?
I have a big family. Can you accommodate more than 6 people?
Which is cooler? The Muir Woods or Garberville?
Do we need special footwear to walk in the Woods?
Are the dirt trails that we walk on in the Woods muddy?
Who was John Muir?
Can we just meet you at Humboldt Redwoods State Park?
How many times has Tom guided tourists into the Muir Woods?

Where exactly is Muir Woods National Monument?
The Muir Wood National Monument is located West of Mill Valley across the Golden Gate Bridge. But Tom has begun leading tours on the Avenue of the Giants.

Monument? I thought we were talking about a Redwood Forest.
We are. The United States Government refers to sites of National Historic Interest as Monuments. Here is the official Definition:
national monument n. A natural landmark or a structure or site of historic interest set aside by a national government and maintained for public use.
So, in this case, a forest is a monument - a monument to one heck of a swell guy! No, not Tom, John. John Muir. Who was he? Scroll down...

Is this tour suitable for children under 12?
Not really, no. The tour is no longer suitable for anyone who likes tranquility and being able to park within 2 miles of where they are going without fear of being towed away.

How do we get to Avenue of the Giants?
You can drive up (or down for you Oregonians & Washingtonians) Oregoniashingtonians? See details here.

What's included in the $50.00 Redwoods Tour price?
The $50.00 Muir Woods tour price includes a 4 hour walking tour.

How does your Redwoods Walking Tour differ from others?
We're glad you asked! Tom, your guide, will first and foremost give you a view into the life of a Redwood forest. You will get to walk on the natural dirt trails, away from crowds, for three full hours. Tom shares his combined knowledge, garnered from 30 years of leading hikes and researching Muir Woods and area history. Tom walks with you all the way through the park, at your pace, pointing out every fascinating facet and aspect of the park, its inhabitants and the magnificent Redwood trees that have survived here for hundreds of years. AND, it's a very small group tour. Simply put, Tom is the most qualified person on earth to lead you through the Woods. He is committed to your enjoyment of the area and the ecology of the trees.

What time does the walking tour of the Redwoods begin?
Tom likes to start a 9a.m. Pretty decent eh? Time for a good breakfast. He's open to other start times depending on the needs of the other guests.

Does your tour operate rain or shine?
The walking tour of the Avenue of the Giants will proceed rain or shine. Tom won't shrink in the wet, although sometimes he wishes he might!

How long is the Redwoods walking tour?
The walking tour will last about 3 hours. You will be back in Garberville by 1:00PM.

How do I book a walking tour?
We're not as high tech as we look! Please call us at (415) 264-6235 and a real person will be pleased to make arrangements for your booking and luxury transportation.

How tall is the tallest tree in the Muir Woods?
The tallest tree in Muir Woods is over 260 feet high and can be found in the Bohemian Grove if you don't mind clawing your way over crowds to get to see it. On the Avenue of the Giants, the much larger trees are over 300 years old.

How wide is the widest tree in Muir Woods?
The widest tree is about 14 feet in diameter. It is near Bohemian Grove but that's nothing compared to some of the behemoths you will see in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

How old is the oldest tree in the Muir Woods?
See if you can find the tree that's over 1,000 years old. In Northern California, there is a 2,200 year old Redwood that is the oldest Redwood we know of. Many coastal redwoods are over 1,000 years old, but generally, trees in the Muir Woods range between 400 and 800 years of age.

Now, for a really dazzling experience, come visit me on the Avenue of the Giants. Humboldt Redwoods State Park has 4 of the top 10 trees in the world. Just 200 miles north!

Will we see any wildlife in the Muir Woods?
Nope, it's all been freightened away. For wildlife you need to come North to Humboldt Redwoods State Park.

Are there any dangerous plants or animals in the Muir Woods?
Yes there are. We can't know all the dangers that lurk in the Muir Woods, but here are some that YOU should be are aware of. (And now you are! - and Tom would protect you anyway - unless you can't outrun him.)

There are stinging nettles and poison oak. You know, "...leaves of three, let them be." As for animals, always be aware that, even domesticated, animals could be dangerous if they are sick, injured, frightened or hungry. Don't spook wildlife, don't feed wildlife, don't try to pet the wildlife, no matter how tiny and cute. If you see an animal, tell Tom. He won't let you get any closer than you should.

Sure, there have been reports of mountain lions nearby, but they haven't been sighted in Muir Woods. The most dangerous animal you're likely to encounter in any outdoor setting is the Yellow Jacket. And yes, rodent droppings may contain Hantavirus and Ticks sometimes carry Lyme disease... It's the outdoors people, use common sense. (Bring allergy medication if you need it in case of a sting.)

Are there many bugs, insects or mosquitoes in the Muir Woods?
There are lots of crowds. Is that interesting?

What about bears? Will I be eaten by a bear in Muir Woods?
There is no chance that you will be harmed by or even see a bear in the Muir Woods.

Can we bring our pet to the Muir Woods?
Pets are not permitted according to the National Park Service. (NPS) The only exception is for service dogs. The rules are in place to protect the wildlife, the other visitors, and your pet.

I have mobility issues. Is the Muir Woods Tour wheelchair accessible?
The park does have a few loaner wheelchairs that will allow you to visit part of the park independently and enjoy the park's paved paths if you wish to visit on your own.

I have a big family. Can you accommodate more than 6?
No, I'm sorry.

Which is cooler? Muir Woods or San Francisco?
Muir Woods by far... oh, you meant temperature... The forest is slightly cooler in the morning than the city and very serene if you get there early. (By coming with me) Getting there early improves our chances of seeing wildlife but no promises.

Do we need special footwear in the woods?
Nope, just comfortable walking shoes.

Are the dirt trails that we walk on in the Muir Woods muddy?
Some of the more adventurous trails in the woods can get muddy after a rain but the main trails rarely become unpassable.

Who was John Muir?
See that photo on the right? (No, not the NO SMOKING sign, above it.) Ask Tom to tell you more when you arrive at the Muir Woods!

Can we just meet you at Humboldt Redwoods State Park?
Sure, Tom will meet you at the park but try not to be late as there may be others joining us.

How many times has Tom guided tourists into the Muir Woods?
Seriously? oh, gee... I don't really know. It's in the thousands. Afterall, Tom is the original Muir Woods tour guide and he's been doing it for over a quarter century! And yet, he never tires of it. It must be all the nice people he get's to meet... No, it's the trees.

 
 
The Only Muir Woods Walking Tour
 

Map to Muir Woods National Monument
Click on the image above to see the big picture...

 

 

 

 

 

 

redwoods go a long way up
Bring your wide angle lens for this walk through the redwoods - Photograph by Mark Gilchrist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo by Mark Gilchrist - websavvyit.com
What a magical, primeval place - Photograph by Mark Gilchrist

 

 

 

 

 

 

the trunks of the redwoods seem to extend up forever
Redwoods trunks seem to go up forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

the trunks of the redwoods seem to extend up forever
Morning light shining through the trees in the Muir Woods - Photo by Karen Force

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spot an owl in the Muir Woods (Pun intended)
This Spotted Owl was... well... spotted by John & Rosemary D. who were kind enough to send in the photo. Another of their Owl photos appears elsewhere on our site. Can you, you know, spot it? Okay, that's enough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

the trunks of the redwoods seem to extend up forever
An otter swims through the stream looking for scarce fish- Photo by Sara Runesten

 

 

 

 

 

 

the trunks of the redwoods seem to extend up forever
Caught in the shadows! Visitor Petra took this photo of a coyote while on her Muir Woods tour.
- Thanks Petra!

 

 

 

 

 

 

the trunks of the redwoods seem to extend up forever
The tall slender trunks reach up to the sky.
- Photo by Sara Runesten.

 

 

 

 

 

 

very old trees in Muir Woods National Monument
John Muir
One of the first modern preservationists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We'd let ya smoke, if it weren't against the law.
NPS Rules

CPUC# 34752 - expires 01-05-2018

 
 
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