Nowadays Primary Forests and ancient trees are rare. There are still spectacular forests with a huge biodiversity or ancient trees to discover.
Opening Hours from 7 am to 5 pm
Avoiding Crowds in Xitou is almost impossible. On weekdays it is a very popular place for the retired Taiwanese people, and they come here by bus for hiking. The first buses arrive around 8 am and from 9 onwards the park fills up soon. Around 3 pm the first buses leave the area and from 4 onwards the park, and for example, the skywalk is less busy. We arrived midweek, and there were round about several hundred busses. We got told by a hotel manager that it's always crowded like that. On weekends it's very popular for families especially in summer people come here to escape the heat.
In our opinion, the best option to enjoy this incredible beautiful nature is this loop trail which ends on the highest level of Xitou Nature Education Area. It took us 4 hours due to the long descent through the whole Xitou Park. The trail is 12 to 14 km long depending on the paths you chose on the way back through the park.
Start the hike early morning; often clouds roll in around midday and spoil the incredible view of the mountains and the sea of clouds.
Due to the higher elevation, the air is cooler and it often gets foggy. The wettest months are April/May until August.
The trail is open all year around, but it's not recommended from November to April. Avoid hiking the trail on windy days.
Starting the Beautiful Bay Trail in the afternoon gives you an incredible experience. The sun will find its way occasionally through the old grown forest, you will find plenty of moss coped branches, walk over tree trunks, fallen trees, and find different kinds of mushrooms.
The campground is serviced during summer only.
The magical times to be there are early morning and late day. The light filtering down into the valley through the enormous trees is utterly delightful.
It’s a magical place, but it’s also heavily crowded. Due to the close location of the urban area, only 12 miles from the Golden Gate Bridge the park is overrun from spring to fall. First of all, avoid weekends and go mid-week if possible. Rainy, foggy or cold days are less crowded as well. To avoid the crowds during the day get there very early. The park is open from 8 a.m. until sunset. Be there at about 7:30. The visitor center opens at 9 a.m. You could also park on Muir Woods Road in the early morning. If you go in summer, we recommend taking the Muir Woods Shuttle. Quote from a Park Ranger: "It takes away all the worries and headaches of driving and parking." Shuttle information
In September and October, many school classes visit the National Monument. Winter is less busy but consider it’s the wet season with most of the annual 40 inch / 1016 mm precipitation.
It’s a popular State Park close to San Francisco and less busy than Muir Woods. Somehow crowded at weekends and popular for camping under the amazing trees. It’s a park you should not miss. Anyhow, during winter it gets wet and trails slippery and muddy. Nevertheless, hikes can be done all year but ask for trail conditions first.
The wet season starts in November and lasts until February with most precipitation in January. It receives three times the rainfall of the Bay Area. This rain is much needed by the redwoods after the dry summer. The average night temp is around 41°F / 5°C and day temp under 60°F / 15°C
Summer from June to September is mostly dry with dense summer fog in the morning. The fog provides the trees with moisture. Nights temps are much cooler than in the Bay Area with around 49°F / 9°C and day temps around 74°F / 23°C. Anyhow, in the hot summer months it can reach up to 86°F /30°C and more.
You can walk this 3.2 km long trail almost the whole year as long as the area does not get destroyed by logging. If it is too rainy, it might be difficult to get there by car. The last part of the gravel road is a bit rough.
In April (autumn) it might be very nice with different species of fungi along the trail.
Still a hidden gem. Very view visitors every day. We had the whole forest and walk for yourselves.
This area is often cloudy or overcast. Summer brings pleasant temperatures mostly around 20 degrees. In the winter, most days with single-digit temperatures. Frost can occur. The most rainfall in winter with a peak in August. Driest months are December to March. However, it is Tasmania; rain can always occur.
It’s Thailand’s wettest region with an annual rainfall of 3.500 mm. The reason is the limestone mountain range from north to south. It gets hit by the monsoons from the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand between late April and end of November.
The dry season last from December to late April. Anyway, showers can also occur in the dry season and especially in the rainforest. The hottest months are March and April with temperatures up to 34 degrees and even more and high humidity. The rainy season starts late April until the end of November. Most rainfall from May to July and from October to November.
Seasons in the Khao Sok rainforest
- To experience the vivid rainforest May is the best month.
- For birding, the monsoon season is the best time when they spread out and the very best month is May when the mating season starts. The dry season is not recommended for birding.
- For hiking, the dry season might be the best time. The trails are slippery after heavy rainfall and some parts are closed during the rainy season.
- Rafflesia Kerrii is in bloom between January and March for about 5 days only.
- More mosquito during the rainy season and leeches are on the soil at least until November.
The beginning of the trail to Ton Gloy Waterfall is more crowded. When you get deeper into the jungle, fewer people are along the trail.