• Photo: BGSmith / Shuttetstock
  • Photo: Jennifer Stone / Shutterstock

Muir Woods National Monument

Climbing hundreds of feet into the sky, Sequoia sempervirens are the tallest living things on Earth—some are more than 1,800 years old. One of the last remaining old-growth stands of these redwood behemoths, Muir Woods is nature's cathedral: imposing, awe-inspiring, reverence-inducing, and not to be missed.

Though much of California's 2 million acres of redwood forest were lost to the logging industry, this area was saved from destruction by William and Elizabeth Kent, who purchased the land in 1905 and later gifted it to the federal government. Theodore Roosevelt declared the space a national monument in 1908 and Kent named it after naturalist John Muir, whose environmental campaigns helped establish the national park system.

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