photo of John MuirPhoto Credit: WikiMedia Commons

Quotes by John Muir

Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by John Muir. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.

Wikipedia Summary for John Muir

John Muir ( MEWR; April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) also known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks", was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, botanist, zoologist, glaciologist, and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States of America.

His letters, essays, and books describing his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada, have been read by millions. His activism helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley and Sequoia National Park, and his example has served as an inspiration for the preservation of many other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he co-founded, is a prominent American conservation organization.

In his later life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests. As part of the campaign to make Yosemite a national park, Muir published two landmark articles on wilderness preservation in The Century Magazine, "The Treasures of the Yosemite" and "Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park"; this helped support the push for U.S. Congress to pass a bill in 1890 establishing Yosemite National Park. The spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings has inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas.

John Muir has been considered "an inspiration to both Scots and Americans". Muir's biographer, Steven J. Holmes, believes that Muir has become "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity", both political and recreational. As a result, his writings are commonly discussed in books and journals, and he has often been quoted by nature photographers such as Ansel Adams. "Muir has profoundly shaped the very categories through which Americans understand and envision their relationships with the natural world", writes Holmes.

Muir was noted for being an ecological thinker, political spokesman, and religious prophet, whose writings became a personal guide into nature for many people, making his name "almost ubiquitous" in the modern environmental consciousness. According to author William Anderson, Muir exemplified "the archetype of our oneness with the earth", while biographer Donald Worster says he believed his mission was "saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism". On April 21, 2013, the first John Muir Day was celebrated in Scotland, which marked the 175th anniversary of his birth, paying homage to the conservationist.

Quote: The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of silhouette photo of aurora borealis
Photo Credit: Vincent Guth

The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.


Quote: The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of selective-focus photograph of gray bird on tree branch
Photo Credit: Yannick Menard

The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.


Quote: I never saw a discontented tree. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of green trees on forest during daytime
Photo Credit: Adam Bixby

I never saw a discontented tree.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.


Quote: Who has not felt the urge to throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence? by author John Muir overlaid on photo of person standing on rock beside body of water between green trees
Photo Credit: Steve Carter

Who has not felt the urge to throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence?


Quote: Divine love is the sublime boss of the universe. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of purple heart shaped ornament on black and white textile
Photo Credit: Tim Mossholder

Divine love is the sublime boss of the universe.


Quote: Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of desert grassland
Photo Credit: DiscoverQuotes Staff

Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.


Quote: Most people are on the world, not in it. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of aerial photography of pine trees
Photo Credit: Federico Bottos

Most people are on the world, not in it.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Most people are on the world, not in it-- having no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them-- undiffused seporate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but seporate.


Quote: I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of black and white bird on seashore
Photo Credit: Albert Amor

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.




Quote: There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation's braggart lords. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of iris flower blue wallpaper
Photo Credit: Dim Gunger

There is that in the glance of a flower which may at times control the greatest of creation's braggart lords.


Quote: Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.


Quote: One can make a day of any size. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

One can make a day of any size.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

One can make a day of any size and regulate the rising and setting of his own sun and the brightness of its shining.


Quote: How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation! by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation!


Quote: Every purely natural object is a conductor of divinity, and we have but to expose ourselves in a clean condition to any of these conductors, to be fed and nourished by them. Only in this way can we procure our daily spirit bread. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Every purely natural object is a conductor of divinity, and we have but to expose ourselves in a clean condition to any of these conductors, to be fed and nourished by them. Only in this way can we procure our daily spirit bread.


Quote: So also there are tides and floods in the affairs of men, which in some are slight and may be kept within bounds, but in others they overmaster everything. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

So also there are tides and floods in the affairs of men, which in some are slight and may be kept within bounds, but in others they overmaster everything.


Quote: This time it is real -- all must die, and where could mountaineer find a more glorious death! by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

This time it is real -- all must die, and where could mountaineer find a more glorious death!


Quote: Look! Nature is overflowing with the grandeur of God! by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Look! Nature is overflowing with the grandeur of God!


Quote: Listen to them! How wholly infused with God is this one big word of love that we call the world! by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Listen to them! How wholly infused with God is this one big word of love that we call the world!


Quote: I suppose we need not go mourning the buffaloes. In the nature of things, they had to give place to better cattle, though the change might have been made without barbarous wickedness. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I suppose we need not go mourning the buffaloes. In the nature of things, they had to give place to better cattle, though the change might have been made without barbarous wickedness.


Quote: I wish I knew where I was going. Doomed to be carried of the spirit into the wilderness, I suppose. I wish I could be more moderate in my desires, but I cannot, and so there is no rest. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I wish I knew where I was going. Doomed to be carried of the spirit into the wilderness, I suppose. I wish I could be more moderate in my desires, but I cannot, and so there is no rest.


Quote: A little pure wildness is the one great present want, both of men and sheep. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

A little pure wildness is the one great present want, both of men and sheep.


Quote: Wildness was ever sounding in our ears, and Nature saw to it that besides school lessons some of her own lessons should be learned, perhaps with a view to the time when we should be called to wander in wildness to our heart's content. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Wildness was ever sounding in our ears, and Nature saw to it that besides school lessons some of her own lessons should be learned, perhaps with a view to the time when we should be called to wander in wildness to our heart's content.


Quote: If people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

If people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.


Quote: Better to toil blindly, beating every stone in turn for grains of gold, whether they contain any or not, than lie down in apathetic decay. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Better to toil blindly, beating every stone in turn for grains of gold, whether they contain any or not, than lie down in apathetic decay.


Quote: The body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one's flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one's flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable.


Quote: Quench love, and what is left of a man's life but the folding of a few jointed bones and square inches of flesh? Who would call that life? by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Quench love, and what is left of a man's life but the folding of a few jointed bones and square inches of flesh? Who would call that life?


Quote: When I was a child in Scotland, I was fond of everything that was wild, and all my life I've been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures. Fortunately, around my native town of Dunbar, by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When I was a child in Scotland, I was fond of everything that was wild, and all my life I've been growing fonder and fonder of wild places and wild creatures. Fortunately, around my native town of Dunbar, by the stormy North Sea, there was no lack of wildness.


Quote: The finest of the glacier meadow gardens lie ...imbedded in the upper pine forests like lakes of light. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The finest of the glacier meadow gardens lie ...imbedded in the upper pine forests like lakes of light.


Quote: No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening - still all is Beauty!


Quote: Writing is like the life of a glacier; one eternal grind. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Writing is like the life of a glacier; one eternal grind.


Quote: Winds are advertisements of all they touch, however much or little we may be able to read them; telling their wanderings even by their scents alone. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Winds are advertisements of all they touch, however much or little we may be able to read them; telling their wanderings even by their scents alone.


Quote: If the Creator were to bestow a new set of senses upon us, or slightly remodel the present ones, leaving all the rest of nature unchanged, we should never doubt we were in another world, and so in strict reality we should be, just as if all the world besides our senses were changed. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of John Muir quote: If the Creator were to bestow a new set of senses upon us, or slightly remodel the present ones, leaving all the rest of nature unchanged, we should never doubt we were in another world, and so in strict reality we should be, just as if all the world besides our senses were changed.- black text on quotes background

If the Creator were to bestow a new set of senses upon us, or slightly remodel the present ones, leaving all the rest of nature unchanged, we should never doubt we were in another world, and so in strict reality we should be, just as if all the world besides our senses were changed.


Quote: My meals were easily made, for they were all alike and simple, only a cupful of tea and bread. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

My meals were easily made, for they were all alike and simple, only a cupful of tea and bread.


Quote: When I discovered a new plant, I sat down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and hear what it had to tell... I asked the boulders I met, whence they came and whither they were going. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When I discovered a new plant, I sat down beside it for a minute or a day, to make its acquaintance and hear what it had to tell... I asked the boulders I met, whence they came and whither they were going.


Quote: Men use care in purchasing a horse, and are neglectful in choosing friends. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Men use care in purchasing a horse, and are neglectful in choosing friends.


Quote: We all flow from one fountain. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

We all flow from one fountain.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

We all flow from one fountain- Soul. All are expressions of one love.


Quote: Nothing can be done well at a speed of forty miles a day. The multitude of mixed, novel impressions rapidly piled on one another make only a dreamy, bewildering, swirling blur, most of which is unrememberable. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Nothing can be done well at a speed of forty miles a day. The multitude of mixed, novel impressions rapidly piled on one another make only a dreamy, bewildering, swirling blur, most of which is unrememberable.


Quote: It may not be easy, life isn't easy, but dreams keep you alive. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

It may not be easy, life isn't easy, but dreams keep you alive.


Quote: The mountains are fountains not only of rivers and fertile soil, but of men. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The mountains are fountains not only of rivers and fertile soil, but of men.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains - mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature's workshops.


Quote: Strange the faithless fuss made about taking a walk in the safest and pleasantest of all places, a wilderness. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Strange the faithless fuss made about taking a walk in the safest and pleasantest of all places, a wilderness.


Quote: Wilderness is a necessity ... They will see what I meant in time. There must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls. Food and drink is not all. There is the spiritual. In some it is only a germ, of course, but the germ will grow. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Wilderness is a necessity ... They will see what I meant in time. There must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls. Food and drink is not all. There is the spiritual. In some it is only a germ, of course, but the germ will grow.


Quote: Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Surely all God's people, however serious or savage, great or small, like to play. Whales and elephants, dancing, humming gnats, and invisibly small mischievous microbes- all are warm with divine radium and must have lots of fun in them.


Quote: Galen Clark was the best mountaineer I ever met, and one of the kindest and most amiable of all my mountain friends. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Galen Clark was the best mountaineer I ever met, and one of the kindest and most amiable of all my mountain friends.


Quote: The last days of this glacial winter are not yet past; we live in 'creation's dawn.' The morning stars still sing together, and the world, though made, is still being made and becoming more beautiful every day. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The last days of this glacial winter are not yet past; we live in 'creation's dawn.' The morning stars still sing together, and the world, though made, is still being made and becoming more beautiful every day.


Quote: I don't agree with you in saying that in all human minds there is poetry. Man as he came from the hand of his Maker was poetic in both mind and body, but the gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I don't agree with you in saying that in all human minds there is poetry. Man as he came from the hand of his Maker was poetic in both mind and body, but the gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.


Quote: I...am always glad to touch the living rock again and dip my hand in the high mountain air. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I...am always glad to touch the living rock again and dip my hand in the high mountain air.




Quote: No words will ever describe the exquisite beauty and charm of this mountain park -- Nature's landscape garden at once tenderly beautiful and sublime. No wonder it draws nature-lovers from all over the world. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

No words will ever describe the exquisite beauty and charm of this mountain park -- Nature's landscape garden at once tenderly beautiful and sublime. No wonder it draws nature-lovers from all over the world.


Quote: It is a vast wilderness of rocks in a sea of light, colored and glowing like oak and maple in autumn, when the sun gold is richest. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

It is a vast wilderness of rocks in a sea of light, colored and glowing like oak and maple in autumn, when the sun gold is richest.


Quote: In our best times everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains altars. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

In our best times everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains altars.


Quote: Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Of all the paths you take in life,
make sure a few of them are dirt.


Quote: The power of imagination is infinite. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The power of imagination is infinite.


Quote: Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds or the music of water written in river-lines? by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Who publishes the sheet-music of the winds or the music of water written in river-lines?


Quote: I always enjoyed the hearty society of a snowstorm. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I always enjoyed the hearty society of a snowstorm.


Quote: Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.


Quote: C. albus...I think the very loveliest of all the lily family -- a spotless soul, plant saint, that every one must love and so be made better. It puts the wildest mountaineer on his good behavior. With this plant the whole world would seem rich though non other existed. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of John Muir quote; white text on black background

C. albus...I think the very loveliest of all the lily family -- a spotless soul, plant saint, that every one must love and so be made better. It puts the wildest mountaineer on his good behavior. With this plant the whole world would seem rich though non other existed.


Quote: I have precious little sympathy for the selfish propriety of civilized man, and if aware of races should occur between the wild beasts and Lord Man, I would be tempted to sympathise with the bears. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I have precious little sympathy for the selfish propriety of civilized man, and if aware of races should occur between the wild beasts and Lord Man, I would be tempted to sympathise with the bears.


Quote: There is no estimating the wit and wisdom concealed and latent in our lower fellow mortals until made manifest by profound experiences; for it is through suffering that dogs as well as saints are developed and made perfect. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

There is no estimating the wit and wisdom concealed and latent in our lower fellow mortals until made manifest by profound experiences; for it is through suffering that dogs as well as saints are developed and made perfect.


Quote: Go quietly alone, no harm will befall you. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Go quietly alone, no harm will befall you.


Quote: In the eternal youth of Nature, you may renew your own. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

In the eternal youth of Nature, you may renew your own.


Quote: Plants, animals, and stars are all kept in place, bridled along appointed ways, with one another, and through the midst of one another -- killing and being killed, eating and being eaten, in harmonious proportions and quantities. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Plants, animals, and stars are all kept in place, bridled along appointed ways, with one another, and through the midst of one another -- killing and being killed, eating and being eaten, in harmonious proportions and quantities.


Quote: Hiking. I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains...the se mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Hiking. I don't like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains...the se mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not 'hike' through them.




Quote: In every country the mountains are fountains, not only of rivers but of men. Therefore we all are born mountaineers, the offspring of rock and sunshine. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

In every country the mountains are fountains, not only of rivers but of men. Therefore we all are born mountaineers, the offspring of rock and sunshine.


Quote: Imagination is usually regarded as a synonym for the unreal. Yet is true imagination healthful and real, no more likely to mislead than the coarse senses. Indeed, the power of imagination makes us infinite. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Imagination is usually regarded as a synonym for the unreal. Yet is true imagination healthful and real, no more likely to mislead than the coarse senses. Indeed, the power of imagination makes us infinite.


Quote: By forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive Nature accomplishes her beneficent designs -- now a flood of fire, now a flood of ice, now a flood of water; and again in the fullness of time an outburst of organic life. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

By forces seemingly antagonistic and destructive Nature accomplishes her beneficent designs -- now a flood of fire, now a flood of ice, now a flood of water; and again in the fullness of time an outburst of organic life.


Quote: The making of the far-famed New York Central Park was opposed by even good men, with misguided pluck, perseverance, and ingenuity, but straight right won its way, and now that park is appreciated. So we confidently believe it will be with our great national parks and forest reservations. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of John Muir quote: The making of the far-famed New York Central Park was opposed by even good men, with misguided pluck, perseverance, and ingenuity, but straight right won its way, and now that park is appreciated. So we confidently believe it will be with our great national parks and forest reservations.- black text on quotes background

The making of the far-famed New York Central Park was opposed by even good men, with misguided pluck, perseverance, and ingenuity, but straight right won its way, and now that park is appreciated. So we confidently believe it will be with our great national parks and forest reservations.


Quote: I have heard of Texas pioneers living without bread or anything made from the cereals for months without suffering, using the breast-meat of wild turkeys for bread. Of this kind, they had plenty in the good old days when life, though considered less safe, was fussed over the less. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of John Muir quote: I have heard of Texas pioneers living without bread or anything made from the cereals for months without suffering, using the breast-meat of wild turkeys for bread. Of this kind, they had plenty in the good old days when life, though considered less safe, was fussed over the less.- black text on quotes background

I have heard of Texas pioneers living without bread or anything made from the cereals for months without suffering, using the breast-meat of wild turkeys for bread. Of this kind, they had plenty in the good old days when life, though considered less safe, was fussed over the less.


Quote: Gigantic second and third growth trees are found in the redwoods, forming magnificent temple-like circles around charred ruins more than a thousand years old. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Gigantic second and third growth trees are found in the redwoods, forming magnificent temple-like circles around charred ruins more than a thousand years old.


Quote: The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling... every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling... every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.


Quote: None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

None of Nature's landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.


Quote: The blessings of one mountain day, whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The blessings of one mountain day, whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.


Quote: What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm! by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!


Quote: Memories may escape the action of the will, may sleep a long time, but when stirred by the right influence, though that influence be light as a shadow, they flash into full stature and life with everything in place. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Memories may escape the action of the will, may sleep a long time, but when stirred by the right influence, though that influence be light as a shadow, they flash into full stature and life with everything in place.


Quote: But to gain a perfect view, one must go yet further, over a curving brow to a slight shelf on the extreme brink. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

But to gain a perfect view, one must go yet further, over a curving brow to a slight shelf on the extreme brink.




Quote: Under the Timber and Stone Act of 1878, which might well have been called the 'Dust and Ashes Act,' any citizen of the United States could take up one hundred and sixty acres of timber land and, by paying two dollars and a half an acre for it, obtain title. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Under the Timber and Stone Act of 1878, which might well have been called the 'Dust and Ashes Act,' any citizen of the United States could take up one hundred and sixty acres of timber land and, by paying two dollars and a half an acre for it, obtain title.


Quote: See how God writes history. No technical knowledge is required; only a calm day and a calm mind. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

See how God writes history. No technical knowledge is required; only a calm day and a calm mind.






Quote: Ink cannot tell the glow that lights me at this moment in turning to the mountains. I feel strong enough to leap Yosemite walls at a bound. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Ink cannot tell the glow that lights me at this moment in turning to the mountains. I feel strong enough to leap Yosemite walls at a bound.


Quote: God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.


Quote: In God's wildness lies the hope of the world. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

In God's wildness lies the hope of the world.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

In God's wildness lies the hope of the world - the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.


Quote: All Nature's wildness tells the same story: the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush of sap in plants, storms of every sort, each and all, are the orderly, beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of John Muir quote; white text on black background

All Nature's wildness tells the same story: the shocks and outbursts of earthquakes, volcanoes, geysers, roaring, thundering waves and floods, the silent uprush of sap in plants, storms of every sort, each and all, are the orderly, beauty-making love-beats of Nature's heart.


Quote: The battle we have fought, and are still fighting, for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The battle we have fought, and are still fighting, for the forests is a part of the eternal conflict between right and wrong.


Quote: No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life...Awful in stern, immovable majesty, how softly these rocks are adorned, and how fine and reassuring the company they keep: Their feet among beautiful groves and meadows, their brows in the sky, a thousand flowers leaning confidingly against their feet, bathed in floods of water, floods of light.


Quote: But no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life...as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

But no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life...as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures.


Quote: Yosemite Park... None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Yosemite Park... None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.


Quote: A queer fellow and a jolly fellow is the grasshopper. Up the mountains he comes on excursions, how high I don't know, but at least as far and high as Yosemite tourists. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

A queer fellow and a jolly fellow is the grasshopper. Up the mountains he comes on excursions, how high I don't know, but at least as far and high as Yosemite tourists.


Quote: How terribly downright must be the utterances of storms and earthquakes to those accustomed to the soft hypocrisies of society. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

How terribly downright must be the utterances of storms and earthquakes to those accustomed to the soft hypocrisies of society.




Quote: Keep in view the common good of the people for all time. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Keep in view the common good of the people for all time.


Quote: I might have become a millionaire, but I chose to become a tramp. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I might have become a millionaire, but I chose to become a tramp.


Quote: I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains.


Quote: Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen.


Quote: Tug on anything in nature and you will find it connected to everything else. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Tug on anything in nature and you will find it connected to everything else.


Quote: The world, we are told, was made especially for man -- a presumption not supported by all the facts. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The world, we are told, was made especially for man -- a presumption not supported by all the facts.


Quote: I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature's loveliness. Heaven knows that John the Baptist was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God's mountains.


Quote: Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.


Quote: How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!


Quote: One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

One day's exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

One day's exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers' plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul.




Quote: Raindrops blossom brilliantly in the rainbow, and change to flowers in the sod, but snow comes in full flower direct from the dark, frozen sky. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Raindrops blossom brilliantly in the rainbow, and change to flowers in the sod, but snow comes in full flower direct from the dark, frozen sky.


Quote: Nothing truly wild is unclean. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Nothing truly wild is unclean.


Quote: When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.


Quote: Come to the woods, for here is rest. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Come to the woods, for here is rest.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.


Quote: Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.


Quote: The grand show is eternal
It is always sunrise somewhere. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The grand show is eternal
It is always sunrise somewhere.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

The grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round.


Quote: Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains -- beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Nature as a poet, an enthusiastic workingman, becomes more and more visible the farther and higher we go; for the mountains are fountains -- beginning places, however related to sources beyond mortal ken.


Quote: Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts; and if people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish.


Quote: Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Camp out among the grasses and gentians of glacial meadows, in craggy garden nooks full of nature's darlings.


Quote: Man seems to be the only animal whose food soils him, making necessary much washing and shield-like bibs and napkins. Moles living in the earth and eating slimy worms are yet as clean as seals or fishes, whose lives are one perpetual wash. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Man seems to be the only animal whose food soils him, making necessary much washing and shield-like bibs and napkins. Moles living in the earth and eating slimy worms are yet as clean as seals or fishes, whose lives are one perpetual wash.


Quote: A lifetime is so little a time that we die before we get ready to live. I should like to study at a college, but then I have to say to myself: You will die before you can do anything else. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

A lifetime is so little a time that we die before we get ready to live. I should like to study at a college, but then I have to say to myself: You will die before you can do anything else.


Quote: As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

As long as I live, I'll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.


Quote: Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings.


Quote: When a man plants a tree, he plants himself. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When a man plants a tree, he plants himself.


Quote: I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling? by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I wonder if leaves feel lonely when they see their neighbors falling?


Quote: One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else.


Quote: We live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

We live with our heels as well as head and most of our pleasure comes in that way.




Quote: Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.


Quote: Many of Nature's finest lessons are to be found in her storms, and if careful to keep in right relations with them, we may go safely abroad with them, rejoicing in the grandeur and beauty of their works and ways. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Many of Nature's finest lessons are to be found in her storms, and if careful to keep in right relations with them, we may go safely abroad with them, rejoicing in the grandeur and beauty of their works and ways.


Quote: What wonders lie in every mountain day! by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

What wonders lie in every mountain day!


Quote: The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes, their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The substance of the winds is too thin for human eyes, their written language is too difficult for human minds, and their spoken language mostly too faint for the ears.


Quote: Hidden in the glorious wildness like unmined gold. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Hidden in the glorious wildness like unmined gold.


Quote: So extraordinary is Nature with her choicest treasures, spending plant beauty as she spends sunshine, pouring it forth into land and sea, garden and desert. And so the beauty of lilies falls on angels and men, bears and squirrels, wolves and sheep, birds and bees. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

So extraordinary is Nature with her choicest treasures, spending plant beauty as she spends sunshine, pouring it forth into land and sea, garden and desert. And so the beauty of lilies falls on angels and men, bears and squirrels, wolves and sheep, birds and bees.


Quote: Heaven knows that John the Baptist was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God's mountains. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Heaven knows that John the Baptist was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God's mountains.


Quote: The water in music the oar forsakes. The air in music the wing forsakes. All things in move in music and write it. The mouse, lizard, and grasshopper sing together on the Turlock sands, sing with the morning stars. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The water in music the oar forsakes. The air in music the wing forsakes. All things in move in music and write it. The mouse, lizard, and grasshopper sing together on the Turlock sands, sing with the morning stars.


Quote: Lizards of every temper, style, and color dwell here, seemingly as happy and companionable as the birds and squirrels. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Lizards of every temper, style, and color dwell here, seemingly as happy and companionable as the birds and squirrels.


Quote: When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When I first caught sight of Mount Shasta over the braided folds of the Sacramento Valley I was fifty miles away and afoot, alone and weary. Yet all my blood turned to wine, and I have not been weary since.




Quote: In this silent, serene wilderness the weary can gain a heart-bath in perfect peace. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

In this silent, serene wilderness the weary can gain a heart-bath in perfect peace.


Quote: Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Let children walk with Nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life.


Quote: Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions.


Quote: Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Nature is always lovely, invincible, glad, whatever is done and suffered by her creatures. All scars she heals, whether in rocks or water or sky or hearts.


Quote: The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The world's big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.


Quote: Only spread a fern-frond over a man's head and worldly cares are cast out, and freedom and beauty and peace come in. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Only spread a fern-frond over a man's head and worldly cares are cast out, and freedom and beauty and peace come in.


Quote: Everybody needs beauty as well as bread. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike.


Quote: You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you.


Quote: Of all the mountain ranges I have climbed, I like the Sierra Nevada the best. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Of all the mountain ranges I have climbed, I like the Sierra Nevada the best.




Quote: The practical importance of the preservation of our forests is augmented by their relations to climate, soil and streams. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The practical importance of the preservation of our forests is augmented by their relations to climate, soil and streams.


Quote: Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.


Quote: I bade adieu to mechanical inventions, determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

I bade adieu to mechanical inventions, determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God.


Quote: When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.

Longer Version/[Notes]:

When we try to pick out anything by itself we find it hitched to everything else in the universe ... The whole wilderness is unity and interrelation, is alive and familiar, full of humanity. The very stones seem talkative, sympathetic, brotherly.


Quote: As soon as a redwood is cut down or burned, it sends up a crowd of eager, hopeful shoots, which, if allowed to grow, would in a few decades attain a height of a hundred feet, and the strongest of them would finally become giants as great as the original tree. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

As soon as a redwood is cut down or burned, it sends up a crowd of eager, hopeful shoots, which, if allowed to grow, would in a few decades attain a height of a hundred feet, and the strongest of them would finally become giants as great as the original tree.


Quote: When California was wild, it was the floweriest part of the continent. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

When California was wild, it was the floweriest part of the continent.


Quote: Beetles and butterflies are sometimes restricted to small areas. Each mountain in a range, and even the different zones of a mountain, may have its own peculiar species. But the house-fly seems to be everywhere. I wonder if any island in mid-ocean is flyless. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Beetles and butterflies are sometimes restricted to small areas. Each mountain in a range, and even the different zones of a mountain, may have its own peculiar species. But the house-fly seems to be everywhere. I wonder if any island in mid-ocean is flyless.


Quote: In most mills, only the best portions of the best trees are used, while the ruins are left on the ground to feed great fires which kill much of what is left of the less desirable timber, together with the seedlings on which the permanence of the forest depends. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

In most mills, only the best portions of the best trees are used, while the ruins are left on the ground to feed great fires which kill much of what is left of the less desirable timber, together with the seedlings on which the permanence of the forest depends.


Quote: Sequoia seeds have flat wings, and glint and glance in their flight like a boy's kite. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Sequoia seeds have flat wings, and glint and glance in their flight like a boy's kite.


Quote: One may as well dam for water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

One may as well dam for water tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man.


Quote: The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

The gross heathenism of civilization has generally destroyed nature, and poetry, and all that is spiritual.




Quote: The wild Indian power of escaping observation, even where there is little or no cover to hide in, was probably slowly acquired in hard hunting and fighting lessons while trying to approach game, take enemies by surprise, or get safely away when compelled to retreat. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of John Muir quote; white text on black background

The wild Indian power of escaping observation, even where there is little or no cover to hide in, was probably slowly acquired in hard hunting and fighting lessons while trying to approach game, take enemies by surprise, or get safely away when compelled to retreat.


Quote: Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, 'convulsions of nature,' etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God's love. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, 'convulsions of nature,' etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God's love.


Quote: It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitudes of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitudes of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden.




Quote: Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another. by author John Muir overlaid on photo of photo of author John Muir with quote

Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.


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