Naturalist and conservationist John Muir wrote prolifically about his experiences in the Sierra Nevada, including time spent living in Yosemite Valley and tramping all around the region’s national parks. His vivid nature writing still rings just as true as it did when it was first published over a century ago. Here are a few recommendations for vacation reading during your Yosemite trip:
The Wild Muir: Twenty-two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures (2008)
A riveting collection of true-life stories told in John Muir’s own words was edited by Lee Stetson, a well-known historical reenactor, with beautiful woodcut illustrations by Fiona King. It’s an easy read, and the volume makes a beautiful keepsake of your Yosemite trip.
My First Summer in the Sierra Nevada (1911)
See the Yosemite Valley and the peaks and lakes of the Sierra Nevada high country through the young John Muir’s eyes in 1869, when he first fell in love with what he called “The Range of Light.”
Our National Parks (1901)
John Muir’s inspirational collection of essays describes not just Yosemite, but also nearby Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and the forests of the Sierra Nevada.
The Yosemite (1912)
Part naturalists’ handbook, part armchair travel guide, this is John Muir’s heartfelt paean to his mountain home.
More About John Muir
To find out more about John Muir’s life, read Donald Worster’s book A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir or check out our short online biography of John Muir