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

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

University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections. 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



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.