John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



Mt Hoffmann is the highest part [point] of a ridge or spur [short] [or range trending east & west, the eastern extremity of which is] about [11] [or 12] miles from the axis of the main [high] Range [Sierra] perhaps a remnant brought into relief & isolated by uneven denudation the southern slopes shed their waters into Yosemite Valley by Tenaya & Dome Creeks [and] the northern in part into the Tuolumne River but mostly into the Merced by Yosemite Creek [from pgs 38 & 46] [forming the famous [Yosemite] falls][which in entering the Valley forms] the rock is [mostly] granite rising here & there in picturesque pillars & castellated piles & crests with some small [masses] remnants of red metamorphic slates & both the granite & slates are divided by joints making them separable [separating the rocks] into blocks like the stones of artificial [ordinary] masonry, Suggesting the scripture “He hath builded the mountains” [for one would almost be led at first sight to believe that this immense pile had been built up stone by stone in regular tiers [like the pyramids . How these joints were developed I don’t know] [instead of being deposited as mud at the bottom of a sea & then elevated & cut into (masons) blocks.] Great banks of snow & ice are piled [up] in [the deep] hollows on the cool precipitous north side [of the range] forming the highest perennial sources of [for the streams that unite to make] Yosemite Creek [These lie in deep cool shadows & have worn themselves]


[good chambers to rest in with sheer precipices above them.] The southern slopes are much more gradual & accessible. Deep narrow slot-like gorges extend [cut the range] across the summit at right angles which [this] look like lanes [& have been formed [sketch cut out] evidently by the erosion of less resisting beds [softer veins of rock with hard sheer walls on either side standing erect & smooth.] They are unusually called “Devil’s Slides” though they lie far above the region usually haunted by the devil. For though we read that he once climbed “an exceeding high mountain he cannot be much of a mountaineer for his tracks are seldom seen above the timber-line. [No tracks of the devil have I have seen in this wilderness. He probably never goes] [X The range as a whole seen in a general view after one has gained] the broad gray summit is barren & desolate looking in general views [as if] wasted by ages of gnawing storms, but looking at [all] the surface in detail one finds it covered by thousands

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel31 Notebook07 Img062.jpg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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