Muir Woods in Marin County is a place we have visited on a few occasions. While staying in Healdsburg, we decided to try somewhere that is supposed to be quite similar. This was Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. It was a bit off the beaten path but not terribly difficult to get to (unless you trust your GPS that decides the main road is far too simple and a single width road is somehow more appropriate).
I would say it surpasses Muir Woods. Not only is it a lovely area with some impressive woodlands but it felt like it was deserted. It wasn’t, of course, although the time we were there is probably not the busiest. However, everyone seemed to get lost in the place and you felt surprised when you met someone. Compare this to Muir Woods where the place seems to always be crowded with no feeling of tranquility.
I guess the climate for growing these trees is cool and damp since any of these woods seems to be that way. Armstrong was no different. Additionally, we were there in the early stages of winter so the sun wasn’t getting too high in the sky and the flow of the valley felt very shaded. Of course, you dress warmer for a place like this so, if well prepared, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll through the trees without feeling uncomfortable (although you do tend to be a bit damp by the end).
I do wonder whether the park is very busy at some times of year. I suspect we shall find out when we next go back. It was later in the day when we left with darkness not too far away so our experience may not prepare us for next time. However, there will be a next time!