Nestled below Muir Woods National Monument, Muir Beach offers one of the best spots to observe tide pools.
Muir Beach is a small beach that isn’t as crowded as other beaches. There is a small parking lot and basic restrooms on site. There is a pretty nice path that goes over a bridge and leads to small make shift boardwalk that extends onto the beach.
Check out these online resources from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to help identify creatures in the tide pool.
|The size of the many jelly fish that washed up on the beach are impressive!|
|Rocks encrusted with mussels.|
Something no one seemed to be able to identify on the beach was the “By-the-wind Sailor” (Velella velella [size: to 3 in.]). There were hundreds of them all washed up on the shore.
A few people that I chatted with on the beach said they resemble the bottom of a coke bottle. “By-the-wind sailors live far out to sea, but many get blown ashore in the spring. The angle of the sail may determine where they land. Those whose sails angle to the left are blown to our coast, while right-angled ones sail toward Japan. These jellyfish relatives use their tentacles to catch passing plankton.” -Monterey Bay Aquarium
You’ll find huge rocks that offer excellent climbing opportunities and nice trails. Be aware that there are no life guards at this beach.
Muir Beach is not a typical “sunny” California beach.
|We brought our own sunshine.|
Definitely bring a long sleeve shirt or sweater as it gets cooler. As we made our way back to our car in the evening, we passed by many bonfires on the beach where people were roasting s’mores.
|The fog moving in.|
To learn more about what happens in a tide pool, Scholastica offers a great free “read and learn” book for young children.