Explore John Muir's Yosemite

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An Interactive Multimedia Installation by Nell Shaw Cohen
Featuring Excerpts from the Writings of John Muir (1838-1914)

Turn up your volume

Scottish-born naturalist John Muir (1838-1914) was instrumental in the conversation about preserving natural environments in the United States. He was also a prolific author and published accounts of his adventures trekking through the Sierra Nevada.
Whether he was publishing essays or teaching visitors in Yosemite Valley, John Muir helped people to understand and appreciate the scientific workings and spiritual power of the wild places around them. He placed human experience in the context of the larger natural world.
Photo by Francis M. Fritz, 1907. Source
With the help of Muir's advocacy, Yosemite National Park was established in 1890. In 1906, protection of Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove was moved from the state of California to the federal government: a decision influenced by a life-changing camping trip that President Theodore Roosevelt shared with John Muir.
Photo by Carleton Watkins, 1878-1881. Source
Yosemite National Park has since become a hugely popular tourist destination, with over 3.7 million annual visitors. On a visit to today's Yosemite Valley, you'll encounter all kinds of people, vehicles, parking lots, and buildings.
But the special qualities John Muir experienced in the diverse locales within the 747,956 acres of this park are still there, awaiting your discovery and contemplation.
Explore John Muir's Yosemite offers a chance to reflect on some of the beauty and history of these places as seen through the words of John Muir. Sit back, relax, and breathe in the fresh Sierra Nevada air.