The Yosemite


The Yosemite


John Muir


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William and Maymie Kimes Annotation

As early as 1902 Muir's friend Robert Underwood Johnson, associate editor of The Century Publishing Company, had been urging him to write a guidebook for the ever-increasing Yosemite travelers, emphasizing the fact that no one was better qualified. For friendship ties and appreciation of Johnson's sucessful lobbying in the establishment of Yosemite National Park, Muir complied. By June of 1910, Muir had written to friends that he was hard at work on not only an animal book for boys (no. 315), but also a small Yosemite book, that would be a handbook for travelers, which he said should have been written a long time ago. Indeed, the time had passed to capture his enthusiasm for such a book, and Muir found it more and more of a task to assemble and rewrite material that had already been published, but which would necessarily have to go into a guidebook. Realizing, however, that the book would appeal to a wide audience, he welcomed the opportunity to include a long chapter on Hetch Hetchy Valley, there by hoping to gain added support for the onging campaign to preserve that "Tuolumne Yosemite." By the following summer (1911), Muir was in New York at the Henry Fairfield Osborn estate on the Hudson, rushing to finish The Yosemite and add the finishing touches to The Story of My Boyhood and Youth before his departure for his long-anticipated trip to South America. The Yosemite is fittingly dedicated to Robert Underwood Johnson, who had made the initial proposal to create Yosemite National Park, and whose inestimable assistance had been crucial to its establishment (see no. 393). The Yosemite is the least appealing of Muir's book since much of it is either a re-write or reprint of previously published material. When The Writings of John Muir were published (no. 341), six chapters of The Yosemite were omitted as having been included in either The Mountains of California or Our National Parks.


New York: The Century Co.


284 pp.


Illus., 21 cm. Black cloth with pictorial decoration in gilt, blue, and black on spine and front cover; gilt-stamped lettering on spine, black lettering on front cover, top edges gilt. Illus.: front, tipped in, 31 plates, 3 folded maps. Price $2.00.

Excerpt/Portion of

Contents (see numbers that follow chapter titles for sources and prior publication): I. The Approach to the Valley, no. 167-3, no. 181; II. Winter Storms and Spring Floods, no. 181; III. Snow Storm, no. 232; IV. Snow Banners, no. 189, pp. 41-47; V. The Trees of the Valley; VI. The Forest Trees in General, no. 189, pp. 146-179, 200-225; VII. The Big Tree, no. 189, pp. 179-200; VIII. The Flowers, no. 237, pp. 143-157; IX. The Birds, no. 167-3; X. The South Dome, no. 53; XI. The Ancient Yosemite Glaciers: How The Valley Was Formed, no. 109; XII. How Best To Spend Your Yosemite TIme, no. 182; XIII. Lamon, no. 59; XIV. Galen Clark, no. 291; XV. Hetch Hetchy Valley, no. 167-3, no. 182. Appendices; Index.

The Yosemite