John Muir


John Muir


Helen & [Annie] Wanda [Muir]




July 11 1896

My dear Helen & Wanda.

I began to write you a letter this morning but had to close it about as soon as I commenced, for Sargent & Gen. Abbott & Hugue & Brewer were watiing to start from the lake to the Falls. Well we had a grand ride, it rained last night & a little this mornig fine hearty big-dropped thunder showesr from big bossy cumulous clouds so everything - woods meadows & wild gardens are fresh & shining & of course the dust was laid. Only the geyers & boiling springs & sputtering mushy paint pots were unchange, winter & summer storms & calms are all




alike to them Nature seems desperately in earnest here in her big rocky mountain kitchen & keeps her pots boiling no matter what happens. The ride yesterday over the Continental Divide when the streams flow on one side to the Atlantic Ocean & on the other to the Pacific (look at your globe). was delightful & so was the sail across the Yellowstone Lake ground forests & mountains all around it & the blue pure water charms me. Get a map & find this lake. It is about 22 miles long & lies embosomed in dark close pine & spruce woods at a height of more than 8,000 feet above the sea The Yellowstone river flows out of it




a broad majestic steam on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, a journey of about 4000 miles. Here it makes two magnificent falls & then goes on through the famous many colored Yellowstone Canon. I hear the falls roaring now. & I have just got back from a walk to them. How they danced & sang & plunged in rainbow spray & how many flowers & trees grow about them some day you & Mamma must see them. though I thnk you would be afraid of the geysers. The Missouri is said to be the main Mississippi & the Yellowstone the main branch of the Missouri so the Yellowstone Lake must be the main or most influential source of the Missisippi. But look




at the map & judge for yourselves. Tomorrow we mean to climb Mt Washinburn for grand wide general views, & for the trees that grow on it. I wish I could get time to prepare & send you a sest of the flowers. a kind of huckleberry bush very low & pretty makes about the finest forest carpet I ever saw for miles hereabouts & so does Linnea
With love
Goodbye with prayers for blessings

Your father John Muir


Yellowstone National Park

Date Original

1896 Jul 11


Original letter dimensions: 21.5 x 14 cm.

Resource Identifier


File Identifier

Reel 09, Image 0304

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The unpublished works of John Muir are copyrighted by the Muir-Hanna Trust.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.