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Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

New Yosemite Conservancy Book Spotlights John Muir’s ‘Grand Yosemite’

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — With the reopening of Yosemite National Park hopefully imminent, Yosemite Conservancy announces a new book to help visitors have their own “John Muir Experience.”

Every day, Yosemite National Park welcomes people from around the world who seek a deeper connection to nature. A good many of these visitors are inspired by the example set by the renowned environmentalist John Muir, who had some of his most transformational experiences in the very same place.

Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir in Yosemite – NPS archival photo

The busyness of modern life plagued Muir as it does people today. The antidote? Escape to the mountains “and get their good tidings”—as Muir did throughout his life. What he saw in Yosemite’s diverse landscapes, he put to paper, conveying grand vistas and intimate details in myriad journals, sketchbooks, and later articles and books that helped ignite the global national parks movement.

Now visitors to the majestic park can more easily have their own Muir-inspired experience by visiting twenty-five sublimely scenic locations detailed in a new book from Yosemite Conservancy, John Muir’s Grand Yosemite: Musings & Sketches, curated by Mike Wurtz, archivist for The John Muir Papers at the University of the Pacific, the largest collection of “Muiriana” in the world. Wurtz is an assistant professor and head of the University of the Pacific Libraries’ Holt-Atherton Special Collections and Archives, home of the largest collection of unpublished materials by John Muir. Each year he guides visitors to and through Muir’s Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada.

The featured views are accompanied by directions and coordinates, and are accessible by trail, making it easy to go where Muir went and see what he saw, often from the same enduring spot!

Part treasure hunt, part artful gift, this slender book is designed to be taken along when enjoying Yosemite’s celebrated scenery. Wurtz’s engaging commentary complements selected passages in Muir’s own words to enliven the tour, which prominently features Yosemite Valley as well as scenic spots in the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, in Hetch Hetchy Valley, and along Tioga Road.

Whether referencing this handy volume while hiking in Muir’s footsteps or delighting in the sketches and observations from a comfortable chair, readers of John Muir’s Grand Yosemite will get to see one of the world’s greatest natural treasures as Muir himself saw it—and will find inspiration in a place that will remain breathtakingly beautiful for years to come, thanks to America’s longstanding commitment to protecting public lands.

John Muir’s Grand Yosemite
Musings & Sketches
Curation & Commentary by Mike Wurtz
Yosemite Conservancy | On-sale June 2, 2020
Hardcover | $12.99 | 64 pages
Includes 25 pencil illustrations + map | printed on sustainably sourced paper

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