John Muir was born in Scotland on April 21, 1838. His family moved to the United States when he was 11 years old and settled in Wisconsin.
Muir was an inventor, farmer, sheepherder, logger and naturalist. He entered the Yosemite Valley for the first time in 1868, and his writings about the area encouraged support for preservation of land in California and America.
Muir published six collections of writings while alive (four more were published posthumously).
He was the co-founder and first president of the Sierra Club. He is credited as “The Father of the National Park System” after his efforts got the federal government to protect Yosemite Valley.
Muir was married, had two daughters and ran an orchard in Martinez, where his mansion is maintained by the National Park Service.
In 1914, Muir died in a Los Angeles hospital on Christmas Eve.
“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 alike.” – John Muir in 1912
More Muir info
- You can read the Sierra Clubs John Muir biography
- The Department of the Interior has an article titled, “Remembering John Muirs Legacy on his Birthday“
- You can see the John Muir National Historic Sites web page
The John Muir Trail
From north to south the trail starts in Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and winds to Mount Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. The 221-mile trail ends at the Whitney Portal near Lone Pine. Most of the John Muir Trail lies above 8,000 feet in designated wilderness. It took 46 years to complete construction in 1938.
Approximate elevations and miles
Most of the trail is above 8,000 feet and some of the trail is above the tree line, which is about 10,500 feet.
If you are thinking of hiking the John Muir Trail, you will need to plan in advance. Wilderness permits in the Sierra Nevada are under a quota system that prevents crowding on the trail and protects the environment. John Muir Trail permits go quickly. Yosemite wilderness permit reservations are available 24 weeks (168 days) in advance. Read the John Muir Trail permit page on the National Park Services Yosemite website.
Free admission days
The National Park Service will have four fee-free days at national parks, including Yosemite, in 2018.
The federal agency offered 10 free days in 2017 and 16 in 2016. The remaining dates in 2018 when entrance fees will be waived at Yosemite and other national parks are:
- Today, April 21, the first day of National Park Week
- Sept. 22, National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11, Veterans Day
The National Park Service announced on April 13 that it is raising entrance fees to Yosemite beginning June 1.
- Automobile from $30 to $35
- Motorcycle from $25 to $30
- Annual passes will increase from $60 to $70.
You can see a full list of prices at the National Park Service website.
Sources: National Park Service, Pacific Crest Trail Association, The Sierra Club, Mulemuseum.org
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