John Muir Nature Quotes
“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.”
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”
"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean."
“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”
“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
"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."
“This 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 earth rolls.”
"The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark."
"Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life."
“Most people are on the world, not in it.”
“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties”
"Nature in her green, tranquil woods heals and soothes all afflictions."
“Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.”
“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”
"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt."
John Muir Mountain Quotes
“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
“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; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
“One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.”
"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 away from you like the leaves of Autumn."
“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.”
“Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.”
“Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer! Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing.”
“Going to the mountains is going home.”
"Wherever we go in the mountains, we find more than we seek."
"I’d rather be in the mountains thinking of God, than in church thinking about the mountains."
“I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”
John Muir Wilderness Quotes
“None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.”
“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”
“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.”
"Wilderness is a necessity... there must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls.”
John Muir (1838-1914) was a naturalist, writer, and advocate for protecting the some of the best U.S. landscapes. He was writing about the beauty of mountains, of deep green forests, and clean-running streams a long, long time ago. He was also a big advocate for the rejuvenating power of nature. It’s thanks to him that we have Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and the Sierra Club.
It’s also important to know that John Muir was definitely complicit in the racism in the early conservation movement. His writings of a pristine, Eden-like beauty in Yosemite Valley in 1968 was entirely because the Native Americans that had lived in the valley just a decade earlier had been forcibly removed so the U.S. could ’set aside and conserve’ the land. Muir made derogatory comments about both Black and Indigenous people.
Many outdoorists grow up idolizing John Muir, but we think it’s important to highlight and understand the ugly history behind him and the conservation movement. Muir did a lot of great things for the outdoors and the conserved landscapes we have today — which is why we still enjoy his quotes — but we all have a responsibility to acknowledge the dark past, too.