Muir Woods National Monument

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By: Gary-Alan Hopkins

The pictures in this blog post were taken during a summer-long trip to California. It was the first time I visited the State, and the people, landscape, and culture did not disappoint this novice traveler. Muir Woods National Monument was one of many places we visited on our trip.

It started the Spring of 2012 when I was accepted to a Summer internship with PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) as their social media and marketing intern. The position was in their new Los Angeles office in the LA neighborhood of Echo Park. During the Summer I lived in LA from June through August. Toward the end of my internship, my girlfriend (Michelle) flew out to stay with me, and we began to plan our more than a week trip around the beautiful West Coast State.

During this wonderful adventure, we saw many amazing places. We set off from Los Angeles with a rental car packed with our belongings and headed East on the 210 freeway. After stopping in Rancho Cucamonga to visit Viva La Vegan, an all vegan grocery store, to pick up some delicious vegan snacks for the road. Our first stop was Death Valley National Park; then we headed up to Mount Whitney. Next, we visited Mammoth Lake and stayed overnight to do some exploring the next day. After Mammoth Lake, we spent the night in Mono Lake, where we took some photography of the lake the next morning. Then we headed West through the East entrance of Yosemite National Park and exited through the South gate of the park and trekked West toward San Fransico to visit a friend of ours.

The giant redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument are truly awe-inspiring reaching more than 200 feet into the heavens. When you first enter the park

you pull into a gravel parking lot, and as you start walking toward the park gate the landscape looks pretty, but it doesn’t look like anything special there are restrooms and an information center before the park gate. Once you get past the gate and start walking down the path, the towering giants come into view. As you walk among these colossal ancient wonders, you start to realize how small we, as human-beings, are on this planet. I’m sure most of us have felt this sense of scale while walking down the street that’s lined with towering skyscrapers but there’s something different about being among natural objects that tower above you. Walking along the paths, you get the feeling that you are in a mystical land one found only in a fantasy novel. You almost expect gnomes to come out behind the bushes and fairies to be flying around inside the hollow tree bottoms.

The Muir Woods National Monument is one of my favorite places, and I will be back to visit soon. If you haven’t been to San Francisco or Muir Woods, I suggest you mark it down on your bucket list. I promise it will not disappoint. If you would like to learn more about this magnificent park, click HERE to be redirected to the National Park Service website for more information on the physical address of Muir Woods, hours of operation, history of the park, and much more.

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