Famous John Muir Quotes about Nature, Mountains, and More!

by | Feb 9, 2022 | Quotes

John Muir is a Scottish-American naturalist that lived 1838-1914 and is known for being a forward-thinking author, environmental philosopher, explorer, conservationist, and so many other titles. If it weren’t for him, we probably wouldn’t have Yosemite National Park as we know it today, as well as several other national parks that he was involved in creating.  In these times, he’s most popular for his writings, which have become a personal guide into nature and the mountains for many people. 

Here we’ve assembled a list of our favorite John Muir quotes, which range from his musings on nature and the mountains to his thoughts on hiking and Yosemite in particular. 

john muir quotes about nature

John Muir Quotes About Nature

1. “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

2. “As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can”.”

3. “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 quotes about nature

4. Earth hath no sorrows that earth cannot heal…for the earth as seen in the clean wilds of the mountains is about as divine as anything the heart of man can conceive!

5. “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.”

6. “Beetles and butterflies are sometimes restricted to small areas. Each mountain in a range, and even the different zones of a mountain, may have its own peculiar species. But the house-fly seems to be everywhere. I wonder if any island in mid-ocean is flyless.”

John Muir Quotes About Trees

7. “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

john muir quotes about trees

8. “Allow nature’s peace to flow through you as sunshine flows into trees.”

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

10. “And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

11. “Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.”

12. “I never saw a discontented tree.”

13. “Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts.”

John Muir Quotes About Mountains

14. “Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen.”

15. “Doubly happy, however, is the man to whom lofty mountain tops are within reach.”

16. “What a glorious greeting the sun gives the mountains.”

17. “The mountains are calling and I must go.”

18. “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 quotes about mountains

19. “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.”

20. “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.”

21. “Going to the mountains is going home.”

22. “There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream.”

John Muir Quotes on Hiking

23. “In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

john muir quotes on hiking

24. “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

25. “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”

John Muir Quotes About Yosemite

26. “Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”

27. “No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life…as if into this one mountain mansion Nature had gathered her choicest treasures.”

28. “Of all the mountain ranges I have climbed, I like the Sierra Nevada the best.”

29. “It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitudes of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden.”

30. “When California was wild, it was the floweriest part of the continent.”

31. “Yosemite Park is a place of rest… None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.”

32. “I must return to the mountains-to Yosemite. I am told that the winter storms there will not be easily borne, but I am bewitched, enchanted, and tomorrow I must start for the great temple to listen to the winter songs and sermons preached and sung only there.”

33. “I cannot tell the glow that lights me at this moment in turning to the mountains. I feel strong [enough] to leap Yosemite walls at a bound.”


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