The Dipsea Trail stretches 7.4 miles from Mill Valley, CA, to Stinson Beach, CA, winding along the Redwood Creek watershed that stretches from the slopes of Mount Tamalpais to the Pacific Ocean. As you step into this portion of the trail you almost forget that the area is struggling with draught.
My friend, Wendy, and I were there for our leisure and to enjoy the magic of the redwood forest. We were dropped off by car at the point where the trail crosses the Redwood Creek, the western section that begins in the Muir Woods, a portion of the Muir Woods National Monument. The trail rises and falls until it reaches the coastal scrub habitat over-looking the ocean and progresses downward until you reach the sand on the beach.
The Muir Woods Monument was set aside in 1908 by President Roosevelt when he signed legislation to save "an old growth redwood forest from destruction". How grateful I am and many others along with me! The forest is absolutely magical. You can tell somewhat from the images, but you must plan a visit to fully experience the richness of the redwood forest habitat--lush green understory thick with ferns, moisture that hovers under the canopy and drips despite drought, rich smells of damp earth and waterfalls, and the unique feeling of being dwarfed by towering stands of redwoods.
The coastal redwoods range from 400-800 years old, are known to live 2000 years, and can reach a height of 250 ft making them the tallest organisms on earth. Redwoods grow in moderate temperature and need significant amounts of water to survive. The coastal redwoods thrive because of the fog that is available year round. The fog condenses on the tree's needles, drips to the ground, and provides the moisture that the trees need even in dry seasons.
Below, Wendy waits, while I pause to take photos. We were equal in that department. Both avid photographers, we enjoyed the magic and depth of the moment, as well as, the opportunity to capture some of the beauty around us in images.
Next: Part II of the Dipsea Trail--the chaparral
Visit this link to see all my posts on Stinson Beach California.
Visit this link to see all my posts on the Dipsea Trail hike