John Muir


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14 Bright & cldls [cloudless] 15 “ “ The [Illilouette] is easily approached from top but is difficult of access from the valley into its canon, whi lies at a high angle & is choked with boulders of vast size smooth, stabbing, and angular & hard to scale. Canon is from 1 to 2 unmeasured mountain miles in length timbered almost exclusively by [Doug] Spruce, Black Currants, Kashaberries, Thimbleberries, Two Maples. Views of S Dome very striking. Fine view of Cah of Liberty & rockback, & N Dome. The water of Illilouette is the finest & most beautiful of all the bright snow waters of the valley, & is green like the snow brimmed lakes of the summit. The Fall most resembles Nevada, its waters being very much tossed & mixed by the rough steps & sharp side angles of narrow canon before making its leap: Thus it is very white but very distinct from all the falls. In the time of full spring however it is columnar, being partly separated at top by dividing rocks upon its lip. Still this division does not amount to anything more than a well marked grooving & fluting of the column which is pretty distinct among its tissues of cornets & coney masses of harder spray. It is so rich in all kinds of grandeur as Yosemite~ not so regular as the vernal not so nobly sinful as the Bridal Veil., not so overwhelming an outgush of snowy magnificences as Nevada but in the richness & exquisite loneliness of its complicated tissues it far surpasses them all. This richness & variety in the language & structure of the fall is due mostly to the peculiar irregularity in the granite and cleavages [ ] at the top & down the whole depth of the wall at this place of descent there is a large amount of glacial drift at the opening of the Illilouette & Nevada [ ] [ ] into the main valley. Which appears to be the washed & leveled remains of an [ ] moraine of the glaciers of the canons.

Of all the impressive scenes amid Yosemite waterfalls which I have been exposed to none has made for me a more vivid picture within me than the Illilouette.

[ ts ] long was low & its solid columns has waned to thin convolving domes of floating mist & broidered snowy & foldings of linked & arrowy lace.

Date Original



Original journal dimensions: 20 x 15 cm.

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Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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John Muir, journals, drawings, writings, travel, journaling, naturalist