John Muir

26 John Muir Quotes to Ignite Your Adventurous Spirit

John Muir – a true mountain man, naturalist, and a key player in the preservation of wilderness in the United States. Born in Scotland, the writing of the American environmental philosopher, are an inspiration to millions of outdoor enthusiasts worldwide. Biographer Donald Worster believes that his mission was “…saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism.” And you only need to acquaint yourself with a handful of his wise and poet words to understand where Worster was coming from.

Such was his influence on the future and preservation of some of the most beautiful and wild areas of the United States, he now has a number of famous trails and landmarks named in his honour:

And in 1892 he also founded The Sierra Club, which is now the nation’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organisation. A bit of a legend in the outdoor world, posing as a wonderful reminder of what really matters.

So if you are yearning to “get home to the mountains” and have “the winds blow their own freshness into you”, then take a read of our favourite John Muir quotes to get you inspired for your next encounter with nature:

The world is big and I’d like to have a good look at it before it gets dark - John Muir
Attributed to Muir by Linnie Marsh Wolfe – Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir (1945)

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.”

John Muir – The Mountains of California (1894)

“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 – John Muir: The Scotsman who saved America’s wild places (2014)

I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.”

John Muir – The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924)
The mountains are calling and I must go - John Muir
John Muir – The Life and Letters of John Muir (1924)

The sun shines not on us but in us. The rivers flow not past, but through us. Thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing. The trees wave and the flowers bloom in our bodies as well as our souls, and every bird song, wind song, and tremendous storm song of the rocks in the heart of the mountains is our song, our very own, and sings our love.”

John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

“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.”

John Muir – The Mountains of California (1894)

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.”

John Muir – My First Summer in the Sierra (1911)
In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks - John Muir
John Muir – “Mormon Lilies”, San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (19th July 1877)

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.”

John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

“Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer! Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing.”

John Muir – My First Summer in the Sierra (Part III) (March 1911)

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 Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)
I never saw a discontented tree – John Muir
John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”

John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

“At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.”

John Muir – John Muir, The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures (1994)

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”

John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)
One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books – John Muir
John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.”

John Muir – Travels in Alaska (1915)

“Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.”

John Muir – “The Yellowstone National Park”, The Atlantic Monthly, volume LXXXI, number 486 (April 1898)

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin – john Muir

John Muir – The Cruise of the Corwin (1917)

None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.”

John Muir – Our National Parks (1901)

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised 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.”

John Muir – Our National Parks (1901)
Going to the mountains is going home – John Muir
John Muir – “In the Sierra Forests”, San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin (3rd August 1875)

Most people are on the world, not in it.”

John Muir – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir (1938)

“I ran home in the moonlight with long, firm strides; for the sun-love made me strong.”

John Muir – “A Geologist’s Winter Walk”, Overland Monthly, volume 10, number 4 (April 1873)

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