October and November have a spooky feel in California. We celebrate Halloween on October 31, and Dia de los Muertos (“The Day of the Dead”) through November 2, and of course the autumn season change darkens the skies earlier in the day.

So what better way to celebrate these spooky times then with a visit to Muir Woods?

Walking through Muir Woods, you are beneath a thick canopy of trees, so many trees and leaves in fact that only small rays of sun shine through, giving a mystical feel to this ancient forest.

And here’s something spooky to consider about Muir Woods. Did you know that the new “Planet of the Apes” movies take place in Muir Woods? Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this forest just 12 miles outside of San Francisco turns out to be the perfect place for apes to evolve to the point where they threaten humanity! Two movies from the film series both take place in Muir Woods: Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014).

So watch out for talking apes as you stroll through Muir Woods! You never know who or what may be lurking behind the trees!

But of course, spooky thoughts aside, Muir Woods is one of the most beautiful and incredible giant redwoods forests you can visit in the world. Some of the trees (such as Giant Sequoias) are a thousand years old (1,000!), can you believe it? And this variety of sequoia tree stretches up nearly 300 feet (that’s about the same as a 30-storey skyscraper!). If your travel plans allow you time to visit Muir Woods, then you are in for a truly special treat.

Well perhaps most spooky is this: This national park almost didn’t happen, and could have been forgotten to history. Back at the turn of the 20th century, a local company planned to to flood Muir Woods by building a dam. But luckily for all of us, a forward-thinking Congressman named William Kent purchased the 611-acre parcel of land, spending $45,000 of his own money to protect the trees. And instead of developing the land for his own profit, Kent immediately donated the land to the federal government, to be entrusted for future generations to what we know today at Muir Woods National Park.

So giddy up and go to Muir Woods to see this spooky cool place for yourself!

Extranomical Tours offers daily tours to Muir Woods from San Francisco, including the Muir Woods Tour, and Redwoods and Wine Country Escape which combines time in Muir Woods and Wine Country.

Posted by Helena Angsten 11/4/2014