John Muir


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Circa Date

circa 1887



2d [second] June Camp for the night at the mouth of the main Upper Tuolumne valley. Grand beveled walls sublime masonry

Frogs singing, Purple sunshine on the walls & on the snow making the landscape rosy. A rare camp 100 yards from the river rushing of small stream singing within 20 feet. A grand arch of cloud bounding the valley How profound the calm. The afternoon sky (most) exquisite blue. Trees in clumps on their patches of moraine, their tops in the sky.

One daisy, abundance of buttercups in the meadows in the upper end of valley. The dwarf thistle in this meadow. Buds swelling on the purple-barked willows meadows dingy gray & yellow brown as if never more to be green.

The river is about as low as in October

The snow not yet melting fast, About 25 ft. [feet] wide

5am a Coyote, 2 species of woodpeckers the Clark Crow, blue bird & robin Ouzel & chickadee & several others.

Great mumbles of cascades coming down


the Canon walls. Had a jolly job fording the ice-cold river. Stinging bath. Snowy mountains all around

The view down the valley bounded by snowy mountains, also up, the sides mostly bare, snow in patches. In front gray dead meadow still benumbed dozing in winter sleep. valley walls covered with pinus half of them fire killed

In the middle distance grand swelling bosses of granite with fringing lines of dark forest marking their lower curves, but smoothly snow-clad above, gray spotted by bald knobs & vertical precipices where snow cannot lie

In the background yet near apparently above them swelling bosses rise in most reposeful sublimity the intensely white unbroken unsullied glaciers bounded by black & gray precipices too steep for snow to rest on

As I lay by the river bank not a cloud in the sky, a noble mass of cumuli suddenly gathered & swelled over Mt McClure [Mount Maclure] making a most telling addition to the glacial scenery [of the glaciers] casting sharply outlined shadows across the Lyell glacier

Tuolumne Meadows

At distance of one mile from the head the Upper Tuolumne valley is about 150 yds [yards] wide at bottom with gently curved margins of about 50 yds [yards] on each side, then the simple massive walls rising at an angle of 33° [degrees] with the horizon.

Date Occurred


Resource Identifier

MuirReel32 Notebook01 Img046.Jpeg

Contributing Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library

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