Best Places to See Giant Redwoods from San Francisco
For many, seeing Giant Redwoods is the highlight of their trip to San Francisco. And we completely get it! The San Francisco Bay Area is the perfect starting point for visiting these giant trees because there are so many different options within proximity of the city, “but what are really the best places to see Giant Redwoods from San Francisco?
The U.S. west coast is home to two species of evergreen redwoods and my guests are always keen to learn about the different types. Now, pay attention! There are the Coastal redwoods and the Giant Sequoia redwoods. Their geographic ranges do not overlap so pick your favorite to visit (or visit both!).
Sequoia National Park
The Giant Sequoias grow inland on mountain ranges or close to them and on elevations of 5,000 to 7,000 feet. They need dry summer heat but also the water from the snowmelt in spring to survive. The Giant Sequoias differ in size and shape from their coastal brothers. They are the bigger one with huge trunks. The most well known in this family is probably the General Sherman tree in Sequoia National Park whose trunk has a circumference of 102 feet (it is only 275 feet tall). It’s estimated weight of 2.7 million pounds makes it the world’s largest living organism. How cool is that?
The Coastal redwoods, however, grow, as the name suggests, along the northern California coast. They need the moist, humid but cool climate that can so often be found here. These types of trees need elevations below 1,000 feet. The tallest coastal redwood tree is the Hyperion tree north of Eureka, CA with 379.7 feet in height. Also, did you know that this type of tree has way softer needles than the bigger brother? Feel them both!
Yosemite National Park
So, now that you know about the different types you can see from San Francisco, you probably wonder once again, “but what are really the best places” to see them? Well, in our opinion, the best place to see the Giant Sequoias from San Francisco is the Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite National Park. So awesome! Many people don’t know that you can visit Yosemite in just a day from San Francisco (hey, it’s just a 4 hour drive!) and it’s awesome and worth it to gaze up into the canopy of those Giants and don’t think of anything else. Just be aware that the Summer months are super busy in Yosemite and parking to see these wonders of nature might be really difficult. Also, if you are not used to driving that far and that long, including windy mountain roads, you can always join one of the guided tours that travel there few times a week! Visit the following link for more info https://www.taketours.com/san-francisco-ca/sf-to-yosemite-and-sequoia-1-day-tour-139-297.html
Muir Woods National Monument
But there is also Muir Woods National Monument, just about 1 hour north of San Francisco, which is home to the coastal redwoods. Be aware, parking is even more limited and they are starting to introduce a parking reservation system in 2018 to limit cars into the area even more. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, check one of the Muir Woods Expedition tours! Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride! Visit the following link for more info https://www.taketours.com/san-francisco-ca/bay-in-a-day-with-muir-woods-from-san-francisco-839-5878.html
Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
Another option to see Coastal Redwoods not too far away from the city, is the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve, very popular among locals and tourists and it’s just 2 hours north of San Francisco.
So what are you waiting for? Find out what makes these Redwood trees so special and unforgettable! Visit the following link for more information: https://www.taketours.com/san-francisco-ca/yosemite-and-sequoia-with-alcatraz-combo-tour-from-san-francisco-839-1119.html