Muir Woods National Monument
Muir Woods National Monument is a United States National Monument managed by the National Park Service. It is located in southwestern Marin County, California, it is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, is 12 miles north of San Francisco. It protects 554 acres, of which 240 acres are old growth coast redwood forests, one of a few such stands remaining in the San Francisco Bay Area; the Muir Woods National Monument is an old-growth coastal redwood forest. Due to its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, the forest is shrouded in a coastal marine layer fog, contributing to a wet environment that encourages vigorous plant growth; the fog is vital for the growth of the redwoods as they use moisture from the fog during droughty seasons, in particular the dry summer. The monument is cool and moist year round with average daytime temperatures between 40 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Rainfall is heavy during the winter and summers are completely dry with the exception of fog drip caused by the fog passing through the trees.
Annual precipitation in the park ranges from 39.4 inches in the lower valley to 47.2 inches higher up in the mountain slopes. The redwoods grow on brown humus-rich loam which may be stony or somewhat sandy; this soil has been assigned to the Centissima series, always found on sloping ground. It is well drained, moderately deep, to moderately acidic, it has developed from a mélange in the Franciscan Formation. More open areas of the park have shallow gravelly loam of the Barnabe series, or deep hard loam of the Cronkhite series. One hundred fifty million years ago ancestors of redwood and sequoia trees grew throughout the United States. Today, the Sequoia sempervirens can be found only in a narrow, cool coastal belt from Monterey County, California, in the south to Oregon in the north. Before the logging industry came to California, there were an estimated 2 million acres of old growth forest containing redwoods growing in a narrow strip along the coast. By the early 20th century, most of these forests had been cut down.
Just north of the San Francisco Bay, one valley named Redwood Canyon remained uncut due to its relative inaccessibility. This was noticed by William Kent, a rising California politician who would soon be elected to the U. S. Congress, he and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company for $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. The deal was facilitated by his activist wife, Laura Lyon White. In 1907, a water company in nearby Sausalito planned to dam Redwood Creek, thereby flooding the valley; when Kent objected to the plan, the water company threatened to use eminent domain and took him to court to attempt to force the project to move ahead. Kent sidestepped the water company's plot by donating 295 acres of the redwood forest to the federal government, thus bypassing the local courts. On January 9, 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt declared the land a National Monument, the first to be created from land donated by a private individual.
The original suggested name of the monument was the Kent Monument but Kent insisted the monument be named after naturalist John Muir, whose environmental campaigns helped to establish the National Park system. President Roosevelt agreed, writing back: My Dear Mr. Kent: By George you are right!and, responding to some photographs of Muir Woods that Mr. Kent had sent him, Those are awfully good photos. Kent and Muir had become friends over shared views of wilderness preservation, but Kent's support for the flooding of Hetch Hetchy caused Muir to end their friendship. In December 1928, the Kent Memorial was erected at the Kent Tree in Fern Canyon; this tree—a Douglas fir, not a redwood—was said to be Kent's favorite. Due to its height of 280 feet and location on a slope, the tree leaned towards the valley for more than 100 years. Storms in El Niño years of 1981 and 1982 caused the tree to tilt more and took out the top 40 feet of the tree. During the winter of 2002–03, many storms brought high winds to Muir Woods causing the tree to lean so much that a fissure developed in January 2003.
This fissure grew larger as the tree leaned more and more, forcing the closure of some trails. On March 18, 2003, at around 8:28 pm, the tree fell; the closed trails have since been reopened. In 1937, the Golden Gate Bridge was completed and park attendance tripled, reaching over 180,000. Muir Woods is one of the major tourist attractions of the San Francisco Bay Area, with 776,000 visitors in 2005. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945, shortly before he was to have opened the United Nations Conference on International Organization for which delegates from 50 countries met in San Francisco to draft and sign the United Nations Charter. On May 19, the delegates held a commemorative ceremony in tribute to his memory in Muir Woods' Cathedral Grove, where a dedication plaque was placed in his honor; the monument was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 9, 2008. The main attraction of Muir Woods are the coast redwood trees, they are known for their height, are related to the giant sequoia of the Sierra Nevada.
While redwoods can grow to nearly 380 feet, the tallest tree in the Muir Woods is 258 feet. The trees come from a seed no bigger than that of a tomato. Most of the redwoods in the monument are between 800 years old; the oldest is at least 1,200 years old. Other tree species grow in the understory of the redwood groves. Three of t
The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
California State Route 1
California State Route 1 is a major north–south state highway that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of the U. S. state of California. At a total of just over 659 miles, it is the longest state route in California. SR 1 has several portions designated as either Pacific Coast Highway, Cabrillo Highway, Shoreline Highway, or Coast Highway, its southern terminus is at Interstate 5 near Dana Point in Orange County and its northern terminus is at U. S. Route 101 near Leggett in Mendocino County. SR 1 at times runs concurrently with US 101, most notably through a 54-mile stretch in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, across the Golden Gate Bridge; the highway is designated as an All-American Road. In addition to providing a scenic route to numerous attractions along the coast, the route serves as a major thoroughfare in the Greater Los Angeles Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, several other coastal urban areas. SR 1 was built piecemeal in various stages, with the first section opening in the Big Sur region in the 1930s.
However, portions of the route had several numbers over the years as more segments opened. It was not until the 1964 state highway renumbering that the entire route was designated as SR 1. Although SR 1 is a popular route for its scenic beauty, frequent landslides and erosion along the coast have caused several segments to be either closed for lengthy periods for repairs, or re-routed inland. SR 1 is part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, through the Los Angeles metro area, Santa Cruz, San Francisco metro area, Leggett is part of the National Highway System, a network of highways that are considered essential to the country's economy and mobility by the Federal Highway Administration. SR 1 is eligible to be included in the State Scenic Highway System; the Big Sur section from San Luis Obispo to Carmel is an official National Scenic Byway. The entire route is designated as a Blue Star Memorial Highway to recognize those in the United States armed forces. In Southern California, the California State Legislature has designated the segment between Interstate 5 in Dana Point and US 101 near Oxnard as the Pacific Coast Highway.
Between US 101 at the Las Cruces junction and US 101 in Pismo Beach, between US 101 in San Luis Obispo and Interstate 280 in San Francisco, the legislature has designated SR 1 as the Cabrillo Highway, after the explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo who sailed along the coast line. The legislature has designated the route as the Shoreline Highway between the Manzanita Junction near Marin City and Leggett. Smaller segments of the highway have been assigned several other names by the state and municipal governments; the legislature has relinquished state control of segments within Dana Point, Newport Beach, Santa Monica, Oxnard. In addition to connecting the coastal cities and communities along its path, SR 1 provides access to beaches and other attractions along the coast, making it a popular route for tourists; the route annually helps bring several billion dollars to the state's tourism industry. The route runs right besides the coastline, or close to it, for the most part, it turns several miles inland to avoid several federally controlled or protected areas such as Vandenberg Air Force Base, Diablo Canyon Power Plant and Point Reyes National Seashore.
Segments of SR 1 range from a rural two-lane road to an urban freeway. Because of the former, long distance thru traffic traveling between the coastal metropolitan areas are instead advised to use faster routes such as US 101 or I-5. At its southernmost end in Orange County, SR 1 terminates at I-5 in Capistrano Beach in Dana Point, it travels west into the city center. After leaving Dana Point, Pacific Coast Highway becomes "Coast Highway" while at the same time continues northwest along the coast through Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove State Park. SR 1 enters Newport Beach and passes through several affluent neighborhoods, including Newport Coast and Corona Del Mar, spans the entrance to the Upper Newport Bay, which marks the boundary between East Coast Highway and West Coast Highway, crosses California State Route 55 near its southern terminus. Upon entering Huntington Beach, SR 1 regains the Pacific Coast Highway designation, it passes Huntington State Beach and the southern terminus of California State Route 39 before reaching Bolsa Chica State Beach and the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve.
PCH continues along the coast into Seal Beach, the final city on its journey in Orange County. PCH enters the city of Long Beach after crossing the San Gabriel River. SR 1 continues northwest through the city to its junction with Lakewood Boulevard and Los Coyotes Diagonal at the Los Alamitos Circle, more than 2 miles from the coast. From the traffic circle, it continues inland west through Long Beach, including one mile adjacent to the southern boundary of Signal Hill. PCH is marked as such in Long Beach, but bore the name of Hathaway Avenue east of the traffic circle and State Street west of there. PCH passes through the Los Angeles districts of Wilmington and Harbor City. While bypassing the immediate coastline of Palos Verdes, SR 1 continues to head west
Fort Baker is one of the components of California's Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Fort, which borders the City of Sausalito in Marin County and is connected to San Francisco by the Golden Gate Bridge, served as an Army post until the mid-1990s, when the headquarters of the 91st Division moved to Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, it is located opposite Fort Point at the entrance to the San Francisco Bay. Fort Baker was named the Lime Point Military Reservation, it was renamed in 1897. Fort Baker is named for Edward Dickinson Baker, a former U. S. Senator from Oregon. Active in California politics in the 1850s, Baker lost his life while leading a regiment of Union troops in the Civil War, he and his wife are buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. Fort Baker was included in a historic district listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, as part of Forts Baker and Cronkhite. Fort Baker features intact historic structures and landscapes, is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.
It is known for its views of the San Francisco Bay. The military history of the area, now Fort Baker began in 1850 when President Millard Fillmore created The Lime Point Military Reservation, for coastal defense positions and logistic support facilities, on the north side of the Golden Gate, across from Fort Point. However, due to lengthy litigation the land was not acquired by the Federal Government until 1866. Between 1872 and 1876, four barbette batteries were built: at Point Cavallo, on the ridge above Lime Point, on Gravelly Beach to the west; the only buildings on the reservation were barracks-like quarters for construction crews and offices, to the west of Horseshoe Bay. In 1890 plans were drawn up for modern "Endicott Type" coastal artillery batteries to be built from Point Cavallo to Point Bonita. Four batteries were completed by 1901: Batteries Spencer, Kirby and Orlando Wagner. In 1897 a tent camp was established where the present Main Post is today, the reservation was renamed "Fort Baker".
Construction of permanent structures began in 1901. Fort Baker is named for Edward Dickinson Baker, a former U. S. Senator from Oregon. Active in California politics in the 1850s, Baker lost his life while leading a regiment of Union troops, the California Regiment, during the Battle of Ball's Bluff in the Civil War, he and his wife are buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. The Baker–Barry Tunnel, a half-mile long tunnel connected Fort Barry and Fort Baker. In June 1937, the tunnel was widened to 20 feet wide. By December 1942, during World War II, there were 159 structures at Fort Baker, many of them temporary. For example, a temporary frame hospital, built near the beach at the foot of the parade ground, was completed in October 1941 and demolished in 1981. During the 1960s and 1970s the World War II wooden Army Hospital buildings were occupied by the Sixth U. S. Army Medical Laboratory; this medical Laboratory was the Reference Laboratory for all medical facilities in the Sixth Army area excluding Class II facilities such as Letterman General Hospital.
The Sixth Army Medical Laboratory performed testing for rabies, all virology tests, virology research. In 2000, the final uniformed elements of the US Army left the Presidio of San Francisco and Fort Baker, a subpost of the Presidio; the 91st Division, an Army Reserve unit, moved its headquarters from Fort Baker to Parks Reserve Forces Training Area, in Dublin, California. Many of the military-built buildings still stand, current institutions in the area include Coast Guard Station Golden Gate, a motor lifeboat station, the Travis Marina and Presidio Yacht Club and the Bay Area Discovery Museum. A sustainability and climate change focused think-tank, The Institute at the Golden Gate, has its offices at Fort Baker. In January 2005, an agreement was reached by the city of Sausalito and the National Park Service with developers for a retreat and conference center. Construction began in October 2006. Thirteen historic lodging buildings and seven historic commons buildings are being renovated, it is due to open in May 2008.
It will have 15,000 square feet of indoor space and 10,000 square feet of outdoor event space, for events of 10 to 250 guests, a restaurant seating 100 people, an 11,000-square-foot full-service spa. The 142-room resort will be run by Passport Resorts, which runs the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur; the property is undergoing LEED accreditation for its reuse of green designs. The resort at Cavallo Point hosts guests; the site is Starfleet Academy in the Star Trek universe. This is used as the Final Pitstop of The Amazing Race 2. Featured in the third Dirty Harry film, The Enforcer, for a scene featuring a demonstration of a LAWS rocket; this was used as the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon Finish Line from 1989 through 1993* Mission blue butterfly habitat conservation Fort Cronkhite Ft. Baker - Greening Case Study Final Environmental Impact Statement and Fort Baker Plan, EPA's Federal Register Environmental Documents, June 22, 2000. Fort Baker Official Brochure Fort Baker Parade Ground Walk: Innovations in Army Life self-guided tour Marin Headlands/Fort Baker Map National Park Service website for Fort Baker Website for Cavallo Point, "The Lodge at the Golden Gate" Bay Area Discovery Museum Institute at the Golden Gate non profit site
Bolinas Ridge is a north-south ridge in southwestern Marin County, California. Much of the western side of the ridge is protected parkland in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the eastern side is watershed lands of the Marin Municipal Water District; the ridge parallels a section of the San Andreas Fault, features panoramic vistas with trees, rounded hillsides, Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay, the Olema Valley and the Pacific Ocean. The base of the ridge at the south end includes the community of Stinson Beach, with the ridge rising abruptly from around 400 feet to over 1,900 feet at the highest point. West Ridgecrest Road, a two lane highway, runs along the southern portion of the ridge, has been the location for numerous automobile commercial video shoots; this roadway heads north along the ridge. Views to the east include lakes and undulating hills, with the ocean to the west, the source of dense fog that sometimes obscures all views and limits visibility to a few feet. Much of the original old-growth Coast redwoods were logged off in the late 1800s and shipped out by way of Bolinas Lagoon.
Today, a diverse community of plant life grows along the ridge. Along with the tall redwoods, sections include stands of Douglas fir, various mixed scrub and open grassland hillsides, hardwood woodlands and along the lower slopes, maritime chaparral that features rare Marin Manzanita and a federally designated'Species of Concern', Mason's ceanothus, listed by the state of California as rare. Bolinas, California Audubon Canyon Copper Mine Gulch McKinnan Gulch Morses Gulch Pike County Gulch Stinson Gulch Wilkins Gulch
Sweeney Ridge, is a 1,200-acre hilly hiking area of ridges and ravines between San Bruno and Pacifica, about a 25-minute drive south from San Francisco. The ridge’s 1,200-foot-high summit, covered with coastal scrub and grassland, slopes down to San Francisco Bay on the east and to the Pacific Ocean on the west; the ridge is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The ridge is the location of the San Francisco Bay Discovery Site, commemorating the first sighting of San Francisco Bay by the Portolá expedition on November 4, 1769. Hiking trail access to Sweeney Ridge is available, on the Pacifica side, from the Shelldance Nursery site, from the east end of Fassler Avenue. On the San Bruno side, access the area from parking lots #2 and #4 at Skyline College, via a paved trail from the end of Sneath Lane in San Bruno. Ecologically, Sweeney Ridge is an example of Northern coastal scrub habitat, the landscape dominated by Coyote Bush, Yellow Bush Lupine, California Yerba Santa—in some places up to 6 to 8 feet high.
Access from Sneath Lane provides a 2-mile walk up a fenced hardtop road through this shrubby habitat. The ridgetop itself has quite a bit of California coastal prairie native grasses with patches of Douglas iris; the ridgetop is considered one of the best Bay Area lookouts for spring northbound raptor migration, based on studies by the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory. The ridge trail leads to a series of abandoned buildings that were the site of the SF-51C Nike missile control facility. Media related to Sweeney Ridge at Wikimedia Commons National Park Service Sweeney Ridge fact sheet Jef Poskanzer's website of the SF-51C missile structures on Sweeney Ridge