Below the cool redwood canopy a number of plant layers develop with a variety of niches. A diversity of plant communities also contributes to the variety of life within the small Monument area.
Muir Woods' nearness to cities has been detrimental, but it is buffered by surrounding undeveloped land. This has helped to maintain the integrity of the Redwook Creek watershed and its wildlife best seen during the early morning hours.
You may notice the relative silence in these woods. Animal life in a redwood forest is limited because the shaded conditions provide scarce food. Many animals that do live here feed at night, as owls and bats do, or in early morning and around dusk, as deer do. Mammals most often seen are the Sonoma chipmunk and blacktail deer. You may hear the scolding of Steller's jays or the raucous cawing of raven. Warblers, kinglets, and thrushes migrate through the woods in spring and fall. Reptiles and amphibians are represented by western garter snakes, rubber boas, several species of lizards, salamanders, and newts.