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

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



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.