Top 12 John Muir Quotes

On a recent trip to California it was imperative I visit Muir Woods. Lost in a cathedral of redwood trees, wisdom whispered to me through the silence.

John Muir, “Father of our National Park System” was a naturalist, author and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States.

Unplug to plug in.  


“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” –John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir 1938

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” –My First Summer in the Sierra 1911

“When one is alone at night in the depths of these woods, the stillness is at once awful and sublime. Every leaf seems to speak.” John of the Mountains 1938

 “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” –Our National Parks 1901

 “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” –Yosemite 1912 

“Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” Alaska Days with John Muir

“God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild." –The Scenery of California 1897


“When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” –Travels in Alaska 1915


“I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found.” –John of the Mountains 1938


“Everything is flowing -- going somewhere, animals and so-called lifeless rocks as well as water. Thus the snow flows fast or slow in grand beauty-making glaciers and avalanches; the air in majestic floods carrying minerals, plant leaves, seeds, spores, with streams of music and fragrance; water streams carrying rocks... While the stars go streaming through space pulsed on and on forever like Nature's warm heart.” –My First Summer in the Sierra 1911


“Most people are on the world, not in it -- have no conscious sympathy or relationship to anything about them -- undiffused, separate, and rigidly alone like marbles of polished stone, touching but separate.” –John of the Mountains 1938


“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” –John of the Mountains 1938