John Muir



Download Full Text (6.3 MB)

Kimes Entry Number


Original Date


William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

"The tendency nowadays to wander in wilderness is delightful to see. 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. Awakening from the stupefying effects of the vice of over industry and the deadly apathy of luxury, they are trying as best they can to mix and enrich their own little ongoings with those of nature .... This is fine and natural and full of promise. And so also is the growing interest in the care and preservation of forests and wild places in general. ... When, like a merchant taking a list of his goods, we take stock of wildness, we are glad to see how much of even the most destructible kind is still unspoiled." Muir describes the unique features of several of the recently created forest reservations. Of one of them he writes: "Wander here a whole summer, if you can. Thousands of God's wild blessings will search you and soak you as if you were a sponge, and the big days will go by uncounted." Muir closes his long essay with a strong proposal that the Mount Rainier Forest Reserve and the Grand Canyon Reserve of Arizona be made into national parks.


The Atlantic Monthly, v. 81, no. 483


pp. 15-28

Wild Parks and Forest Reservations of the West.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.