John Muir


[John Muir]


[Jeanne C. Carr]


[1] #27 Seven miles north from Snellings May 16th 69

Dear friend, The thoughts of again meeting with you & with the mountains - make me scarce able to hold my pen If you can let me know by the first of June when you will leave Stockton I will meet you in the very valley itself. When the grass of the plains is dead most owners of sheep drive their flocks to the pastures green' of the mountains, & as my soul is athirst for mountain [things?] I have engaged between the head waters of the Tuol[illegible] & Yo Semite, within a few hours walk of the valley. For the next two weeks I will be at Hopeton. Sometime in the first week of June I will start from this place (Patrick Delaney Ranch) for the mountains, by the middle of June or a little later we will have our flock settled in the new home, & having made special arrangements for a two weeks ramble, with you, I will ten be ready & free, any time between - say the 20th of June & 15th of July will suit me. I [intended?] to enjoy another hap[illegible] in the [illegible] of Yo-Semite whether with companions of like passions or alone, surely then

[in margin: I bid you goodbye thanking the Lord for the hopes of seeing you & for his goodness to you in [turning?] [Yours?] face towards his most holy mansion of the mountains.]


my cup will be full when blessed with such company. Last May I made the trip on horse-back going by Coulterville & returning by Mariposa, a passable carriage road reached about twelve miles beyond Coulterville, the rest of the distance to the valley was crossed only by a warrior trail. On the Mariposa route a point is reached twelve or fourteen miles beyond Mar- iposa by carriages, the rest of the journey- say forty miles must be made on horse- back. Tourists are generally advised to go one way & return the other that as much as possible may be seen, but I think that more is seen by going & return- ing by the same route because that all of the magnitudes of the mountains are so great, that unless seen & submitted to a good long time they are not seen or felt at all. I think that you had better take the Mariposa route, for the grandest grove of Sequoias ever discovered is upon it, & it is much the best route in many respects You can reach Mariposa direst from Stockton by stage. At


Mariposa you can procure Raddle horses & all necessary supplies, provisions, cooking untensils etc, Provisions can also be obtained at Clarks & in the valley "Clark's hotel is midway between the valley & Mariposa. It will be far more pleasant to "camp out" - to alight like birds in beaut- iful groves of your own choosing, than to fixed pints of common resort & common confusion. You will require a light tent made of cotton sheeting, also a strong dress, & a strong pair of shoes for rock service - You will of course bring a good supply of paper for plants, I suppose too that you will all bring a supply of drawing material, but I hardly think that drawing will be done. People admitted to heaven would most likely "wonder & adore" for at leas two weeks before sketching its scenery, & I don't think that you will sketch Yo Semite any sooner. Here is I think a fair estimate of the cost of the round trip from Stockton allowing - say ten days from time of departure from Mariosa, til arrival at [illegible] Trout Stage fare & way expenses to & from Mariposa - say $40.00 Saddle horse ---------------------------------------- " 20.00 Provisions Cooking utensils etc - 15.00 Total, direct expense for one person $75.00 Each additional day spent in the valley would cost about $.3.00


If you & all the members of your company are not riders & there is among you one or two men pactied travelers, & you could purchase, or hire horses at a reasonable rate you could cross the coast range via the Pecheco pass or Livermore valley, thence direct to the Yo Semite across the Joaquin & up the Merced passing through Hopeton & Snellings. This kind of a tour would be less costly & you would enjoy it but unless your company was all composed of the same kind of material it would not answer - I hope the Doctor will come too I want to see him & ask him a great many questions there is a kind of hotel in the valley but it is incomparably better to choose your own camp among the rocks & waterfalls The time of highest water in the valley varies very much in different seasons. Last year it was highest about the end of June. I think perhaps the falls would be seen [illegible] as good advantage towards the end of June as [do?] another time, & at any rate this will be a thousand times more of grandeur than any person can absorb - How then in a word is the plan which I propose, that you take the stage at Stockton for Mariposa At Mariposa you procure saddle horses, & one pack animal for your tent, blankets, previsions etc, (a guide will be furnished by the keeper of the livery stable to take charge of the horses) - and that I meet you in the valley which I can do without difficulty [illegible] you send me word by the first of June, what day you will set out from Stockton Address to Hopeton

[in margin: When you arrive in the valley please register your name at Mr. [Huchings?] hotel. I will do the same. If you should wish to reach me by letter after I have started with the [illegible] to the mountains you may perhaps do so by addressing to [Coulterville?] When you write, state whether you will visit the big trees on your way to the valley or whether you will do so on your return]



Seven miles north from Snellings, Calif.

Date Original

1869 May 16


Original letter dimensions: 25 x 39.5 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 02, Image 0091

Collection Identifier

Online finding aid for the microform version of the John Muir Correspondence

Copyright Statement

The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust. To purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish or exhibit them, see

Owning Institution

Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library. Please contact this institution directly to obtain copies of the images or permission to publish or use them beyond educational purposes.

Copyright Holder

Muir-Hanna Trust

Copyright Date



3 pages


Environmentalist, naturalist, travel, conservation, national parks, John Muir, Yosemite, California, history, correspondence, letters



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