After an indulgent Christmas dinner it was good to get outside into the fresh air today to see some sights. Leilani came and picked me up for our planned day out at Muir Woods. The park service were not kidding about the limited parking available, and it seems many other people had similar ideas to us as our first attempt at getting in was not successful. Undeterred we continued down the road and went to Muir Beach instead. It was a beautiful and clear winter's day on the beach and great to listen to the waves crashing in. We then decided to hit the trails and started hiking up the Pirates Cove Trail, stopping along the way to rest and enjoy the view. The push to the top of the steep hill was well rewarded with an amazing panoramic view that stretched all the way to San Francisco as well as back to Muir Beach. Thankfully going down was much easier and quicker than going up.
After finishing at Muir Beach we tried getting into Muir Woods again on the way back, but the parking lots and roadside were still full. As we were hungry we decided to head into Mill Valley for a late lunch at The Depot Cafe. It was nice to sit outside in the afternoon sun and enjoy our sandwiches after the big hike.
Never ones to give up we gave it one last try to get into Muir Woods. Although both parking lots were still full, we managed to find some roadside parking and finally got in a bit over an hour before the park was due to close at sunset. The redwood forest is amazing to walk through along the boardwalk paths they have built in the park. The trees are very tall and majestic, and some have their own character due to being hollowed out by fire or having burls on the base or sides that can sprout if the tree is injured. The creek is flowing pretty well due to all the recent rain and we were able to cover the whole walking loop before it got too dark. If we had more time we could have added some trail hikes to the mix- maybe for a future visit.