The Muir Woods Lookout: An Intimate View of Coastal California

Between Muir Woods and Wine Country we stopped for a quick minute at the Muir Woods Lookout.

"The setting of wind, waves, and rocks inspires us to appreciate the watery world's relationship to the continent's edge. On clear days you can view and expanse of forty miles up and down the coast, and look inland toward the crest of 2,640 ft high Mr. Tamalpais. Other times, enshrouded in fog, you can only imagine the coastal edge while you smell the briny air and listen to the rhythmic waves rolling against cliffs far below.

The California coast includes a puzzle-like collage of natural habitats: rocky coastline, sandy beaches, coastal scrub, coastal prairie grassland, willow-lined streams, rocky outcrops, a scattering of native oak and pine trees, tide pools along the water's edge, and a variety of marine habitats. Each habitat has its own particular, best suited, plants and animals."

A Collage of Habitats

Hidden Life in the Bush and Rocks

"Listen to the white-crowned sparrow as it sings for a miniature forest of coyote brush, while the scrub jay sounds an alarm at our intrusion. Brown pelicans glide above the water. Swallows swoop after insects. Coyotes prowl for mice. A bobcat hunts where the sky brush rabbit hides. "

Natures Colours

"In spring and summertime, a tapestry of flowers blanket these rugged bluffs and rolling hills: pink seaside daisies, gum plant in gaudy yellow, pastel tints of Wight's paintbrush, golden sticky monkey flower, and purple bush lupine - names as colourful as the hardy plants themselves."

Words by: Golden Gate National Recreation Area

A Geologic Tale: Reading the Landscape

This in-and-out, scalloped coastline holds clues to both ancient and ongoing stories. The landscape around you contains coastal bluffs, rocky coastling, sandy beaches, mountain ridges, valleys, and peninsulas extending out into the sea. Each part tells a geologicla tale.