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kjenn Jul 25th, 2006 02:12 PM

Muir Woods/other redwoods near Sonoma?
Hello- we are driving to Sonoma from SF, and my husband would like to see some of the giant redwoods. Is Muir Woods the most convienient stop on the way from SF to Sonoma? We will only be renting a car for one day. Thanks!

starrsville Jul 25th, 2006 02:18 PM

Yes. Great place to stop between SF and wine country.

FainaAgain Jul 25th, 2006 02:19 PM

Go to Muir Woods early, as those few parking spots fill up really fast.

SGBrou Jul 25th, 2006 02:30 PM

Another idea would be to go past Sonoma and go to Montgomery Woods State Reserve. It holds the largest Sierra Redwood (although they won't tell you which one) in the nation and is not very crowded and a beautiful little walk. The drive from Ukiah to the park is beautiful. You pass Orr's Mineral Hot Springs on the way which could be another stop.

Don't blink though because the park is discretely marked and you almost think it is not an official park. The trip doesn't take long but if you are trying to do a lot in Sonoma you may not be able to fit it all in for one day. Just take a look into it because if you have the time, I promise it is worth it.

dovima Jul 25th, 2006 02:34 PM

Muir Woods is not the only grove on the way between San Francisco and Sonoma, but it is the most accessible. Go on a week day. Early. Be prepared for commuter traffic coming in the opposite direction as you head west on Shoreline after leaving 101. Although Muir Woods does have extensive hiking trails looping up the flanks of Mount Tamalpais, the "main" trail is very easy (part of it is even paved) and will take you through the most representative parts of several groves. Allow about an hour.

dovima Jul 25th, 2006 02:37 PM

Note to SGBrou (and original poster)

I'm totally with you on the worthiness of Montgomery Redwoods. I've never been in a more sacred feeling place. It's as though the gods are whispering through those giant treetops when you are there. However, it IS hard to find, and is more than just a little detour from Sonoma. It would be a nice daytrip from a base in Sonoma, though (or on the way to the Mendocino coast).

SGBrou Jul 25th, 2006 02:48 PM

Dovima, you are probably right, it has been a while since we took that trip and we went from SF to Montgomery Woods but I guess we did not go back that night. Anyways, it is one of my all time favorite places that I have gone.

LLindaC Jul 25th, 2006 04:26 PM

I actually got car sick on the way to Montgomery Woods, but agree it was awesome.

USNR Jul 26th, 2006 04:48 AM

Just a botanical note: there are at least two kinds of redwoods, the coast redwoods (as you can see at Muir Woods) and the giant redwoods (otherwise popularly known as the Giant Sequoias). The latter are farther east than you have planned to drive.

syd Aug 6th, 2006 06:22 AM

How long of a drive is Montgomery Woods SP from Sonoma?

1JAR Aug 6th, 2006 07:50 AM

It depends on your route but another spot that is just wonderful is Armstrong Redwoods Stae reserve tescnically in Guernville. We usually do a day trip from Sonoma to the Ocean at Bodega bay and take picnics.
The turn off is sneaky too..but really worth it...

dovima Aug 7th, 2006 07:57 AM

Dear Syd,

You would need to leave the town of Sonoma and get onto 101 heading north. You will start seeing signs for various exits for the town of Ukiah shortly after crossing the county line into Mendocino County. There is an exit for Orr Springs Road - take this road, which heads west towards the coast through the hills above the Anderson Valley. At this very moment, I can't remember whether the redwood grove is before or after you drive by the hot springs resort. Anyway, it will be marked. Montgomery is an extremely basic site - there's a small parking lot, a toilet, a water spigot and that's all. There's probably a little booth with some flyers about the trails, but no "interpretive center", etc. Time in driving? I'd say about an hour and a half from the town of Sonoma. Keep in mind that you will be on a twisty, sometimes one-line road.

Here's a website that has some descriptions of the hot springs and the redwoods:

dovima Aug 7th, 2006 07:57 AM

Whoops. Make that a one LANE road. Gotta ingest more java.

syd Aug 7th, 2006 10:06 AM

Thanks so much dovima.

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