John Muir known as "John of the Mountains" and "Father of the National Parks", was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, environmental philosopher and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States of America. His letters and books describing his adventures in nature in the Sierra Nevada, have been read by millions, his activism has helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and many other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he co-founded, is a prominent American conservation organization. In his life, Muir devoted most of his time to the preservation of the Western forests; as part of the campaign to make Yosemite a national park, Muir published two landmark articles on wilderness preservation in The Century Magazine, "The Treasures of the Yosemite" and "Features of the Proposed Yosemite National Park". S. Congress to pass a bill in 1890 establishing Yosemite National Park; the spiritual quality and enthusiasm toward nature expressed in his writings has inspired readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve large nature areas.
John Muir has been considered "an inspiration to both Scots and Americans". Muir's biographer, Steven J. Holmes, believes that Muir has become "one of the patron saints of twentieth-century American environmental activity," both political and recreational; as a result, his writings are discussed in books and journals, he is quoted by nature photographers such as Ansel Adams. "Muir has profoundly shaped the categories through which Americans understand and envision their relationships with the natural world," writes Holmes. Muir was noted for being an ecological thinker, political spokesman, religious prophet, whose writings became a personal guide into nature for countless individuals, making his name "almost ubiquitous" in the modern environmental consciousness. According to author William Anderson, Muir exemplified "the archetype of our oneness with the earth", while biographer Donald Worster says he believed his mission was "saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism." On April 21, 2013, the first John Muir Day was celebrated in Scotland, which marked the 175th anniversary of his birth, paying homage to the conservationist.
John Muir's Birthplace is a four-story stone house in East Lothian, Scotland. His parents were Ann Gilrye, he was the third of eight children: Margaret, David, Daniel and Mary, the American-born Joanna. His earliest recollections were of taking short walks with his grandfather. In his autobiography, he described his boyhood pursuits, which included fighting, either by re-enacting romantic battles from the Wars of Scottish Independence or just scrapping on the playground, hunting for birds' nests. Author Amy Marquis notes that he began his "love affair" with nature while young, implies that it may have been in reaction to his strict religious upbringing. "His father believed that anything that distracted from Bible studies was frivolous and punishable." But the young Muir was a "restless spirit" and "prone to lashings." As a young boy, Muir became fascinated with the East Lothian landscape, spent a lot of time wandering the local coastline and countryside. It was during this time that he became interested in natural history and the works of Scottish naturalist Alexander Wilson.
Although he spent the majority of his life in America, Muir never forgot his roots in Scotland. He held a strong connection with his birthplace and Scottish identity throughout his life and was heard talking about his childhood spent amid the East Lothian countryside, he admired the works of Thomas Carlyle and poetry of Robert Burns. He returned to Scotland on a trip in 1893, where he met one of his Dunbar schoolmates and visited the places of his youth that were etched in his memory, he never lost his strong Scottish accent despite having lived in America for many years. In 1849, Muir's family immigrated to the United States, starting a farm near Portage, called Fountain Lake Farm, it has been designated a National Historic Landmark. Stephen Fox recounts that Muir's father found the Church of Scotland insufficiently strict in faith and practice, leading to their immigration and joining a congregation of the Campbellite Restoration Movement, called the Disciples of Christ. By the age of 11, the young Muir had learned to recite "by heart and by sore flesh" all of the New Testament and most of the Old Testament.
In maturity, while remaining a spiritual man, Muir may have changed his orthodox beliefs. He wrote, "I never tried to abandon creeds or code of civilization. Elsewhere in his writings, he described the conventional image of a Creator, "as purely a manufactured article as any puppet of a half-penny theater." When he was 22 years old, Muir enrolled at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, paying his own way for several years. There, under a towering black locust tree beside North Hall, Muir took his first botany lesson. A fellow student plucked a flower from the tree and used it to explain how the grand locust is a member of the pea family, related to the straggling pea plant. Fifty years the naturalist Muir described the day in his autobiography. "This fine lesson charmed me and sent me flying to the woods and meadows in wild enthusiasm." As a freshman, Muir studied chemistry with Profes
John Muir Trail
The John Muir Trail is a long-distance trail in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of California, passing through Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. From the northern terminus at Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley and the southern terminus located on the summit of Mount Whitney, the Trail's length is 213.7 miles, with an elevation gain of 47,000 feet. For all of its length, the trail is in the High Sierra backcountry and wilderness areas. For about 160 miles, the trail follows the same footpath as the longer Pacific Crest Trail, it is named after a naturalist. The vast majority of the trail is situated within designated wilderness; the trail passes through large swaths of alpine and high mountain scenery, lies entirely at or above 8,000 feet in elevation. The trail has been described as "America's most famous trail"; the idea of the trail along the backbone of the High Sierra originated with Theodore Solomons. Solomons recalled that the concept originated in his adolescence. "The idea of a crest-parallel trail came to me one day while herding my uncle's cattle in an immense unfenced alfalfa field near Fresno.
It was 1884 and I was 14." He began advocating construction of the trail shortly after the Sierra Club was founded in 1892. John Muir was first president of the Sierra Club. Solomons explored the area now known as the Evolution Basin, traveled extensively throughout the High Sierra, exploring possible trail routes. Joseph Nisbet LeConte took up the cause in 1898 and the proposed trail was called the "High Sierra Trail", although that name was given to a different trail, running in the east-west direction. LeConte spent years exploring the canyons and passes of the Kings River and Kern River, climbing peaks along the proposed trail. Along with James S. Hutchinson and Duncan McDuffie, he pioneered a high mountain route in 1908 from Yosemite National Park to Kings Canyon along the route of the modern JMT. In 28 days, they completed a trip of 228 miles through the high mountains, including several unexplored sections. In 1914, the Sierra Club appointed a committee to cooperate with the State of California to begin construction of the trail.
John Muir died that year, the proposed trail was renamed in his honor. Construction of the JMT began in 1915, a year after Muir's death, with a $10,000 appropriation from the California legislature. State Engineer Wilbur F. McClure was responsible for selecting the final route, he secured the cooperation of the United States Forest Service, which managed and supervised much of the actual construction. The California state legislature made additional appropriations of $10,000 each in 1917, 1925, 1927 and 1929. After the Depression began, assistance from the California state government came to an end, so the remainder of the trail had to be funded by a joint effort between the Forest Service and the National Park Service. At this time, there were still two difficult sections yet to be completed; the first section, the connection from the Kings River to the Kern River over Forester Pass, at an elevation of 13,153 feet, was completed in 1932. The Forest Service completed the final section at Palisade Creek in 1938.
This section passes by the headwaters of the Middle Fork of the Kings River and over Mather Pass by the "Golden Staircase" to the headwaters of the South Fork of the Kings River. Shortly after, this section was incorporated into newly created Kings Canyon National Park; the entire project had taken 46 years to complete. William Edward Colby, the first secretary of the Sierra Club, called the finished trail "a most appropriate memorial to John Muir, who spent many of the best years of his life exploring the region which it will make accessible." The JMT is 211 miles long. From its northern terminus in Yosemite Valley, the trail runs southeast, passing south of Half Dome and on to Tuolumne Meadows. From Tuolumne Meadows the trail turns south, running parallel to the main range of the Sierra Nevada, through Yosemite National Park and Sierra national forests, passing through Devils Postpile National Monument, Kings Canyon National Park, ending on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park. From the southern terminus of the JMT at the summit of Mount Whitney, an additional 10.6-mile hike on the Mount Whitney Trail is required to reach the nearest trailhead at Whitney Portal, thus making an end-to-end traverse of the JMT 221 miles.
The trail begins at the Happy Isle bridge near the Happy Isles Nature Center. The trail ascends steeply up a paved incline before crossing another bridge meeting with the junction with the Mist Trail; the trail continues along a cut into Panorama Cliff, called the "Ice Cut". Although broad and well-traveled, hazardous winter conditions and close proximity to civilization make this one of the most dangerous parts of the trail. After some elevation gain via long switchbacks, the trail reaches the top of Nevada Falls; the trail continues into Little Yosemite Valley, past the trail junctions to Half Dome and Cloud's Rest, into a subalpine basin and passing the Sunrise High Sierra Camp. The trail crosses the Cathedral Range at Cathedral Pass before dropping steeply into Tuolumne Meadows, a
Nevada Fall is a 594-foot high waterfall on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California. It is located below Liberty Cap, at the west end of Little Yosemite Valley; the waterfall is recognized by its "bent" shape, in which the water free-falls for the first third of its length to a steep slick-rock slope. This mid-fall impact of the water on the cliff face creates a turbulent, whitewater appearance in the falls and produces a great deal of mist which covers a wide radius, which led to its current name; the Indian name was Yo-wy-we, signifying the squirm of the falling water. Lafayette Bunnell suggested the name "Nevada" for the waterfall, he wrote, "The Nevada Fall was so called because it was the nearest to the Sierra Nevada, because the name was sufficiently indicative of a wintry companion for our spring... The white, foaming water, as it dashed down Yo-wy-we from the snowy mountains, represented to my mind a vast avalanche of snow."The Emerald Pool forms on the "step" between Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall downstream.
The 317-foot high Vernal Fall is a short hike from the bottom of Nevada Fall. They form a cascade; this cascade is sometimes called the giant staircase, evident when viewed from above, at Glacier Point. The hike to the top of Nevada Fall, along the Mist Trail, is 3 miles from the trailhead in Yosemite Valley. One must first hike to Vernal Fall and trek another 2 miles to reach the top; the John Muir Trail, which starts near the trail to Happy Isles, goes to the top of Nevada Fall. In spite of the dangers and deaths as as June 2013, the pool above Nevada Fall remains a popular swimming location, with no park restrictions. In June 2018, an 18-year-old man fell from the edge of the fall. Media related to Nevada Fall at Wikimedia Commons "Nevada Fall". World Waterfall Database
Glacier Point is a viewpoint above Yosemite Valley, in California, United States. It is located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley at an elevation of 7,214 feet, 3,200 feet above Half Dome Village; the point offers a superb view of several of Yosemite National Park's well-known landmarks including Yosemite Valley, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Clouds Rest. The extreme point of the promontory of Glacier Point is wholly bare, but on the slopes below, in the hollow to the west, on the wooded slope above, glacial material is abundant, its glacial origin is proved by the presence in it of rocks derived from Little Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra There are three types of glacially-deposited rock at Glacier Point: Most plentiful are rounded boulders and cobbles and angular fragments, all weathered, of Half Dome quartz monzonite, the light-colored granite of which not only Half Dome, but all of the Little Yosemite and its surrounding heights are composed. There are a few boulders of a coarse-grained siliceous granite, light buff in general tone when fresh but vivid rose when weathered.
There is only one place in the High Sierra above the Yosemite from which they can be derived: Mount Clark, the sharp-profiled peak which stands on the east side of the Illilouette Basin, 8 miles from Glacier Point. There are fragments of yellowish quartzite and gray schist whose places of origin have been located on the long northern spur of Mount Clark. Glacier Point can be reached from the Valley via Glacier Point Road. During the summer, Glacier Point is crowded with tourists. Tours by bus are available and take about four hours; the road is open from June through October. In winter, Glacier Point Road closes due to snow, access to Glacier Point from the Badger Pass Ski Area is only by ski or snowshoe. Glacier Point can be reached via the Four Mile Trail, which ascends the 3,200 feet in 4.6 miles. This moderate to strenuous trail can provide access to Glacier Point when the Glacier Point Road is closed. Note, that the trail can be hazardous when covered with snow or ice, so it is closed by the Park Service from December through May.
Another 8.2 miles trail runs from Glacier Point down to the Valley, via the Panorama Trail, past Nevada and Vernal Falls. Hikers may access trailheads to the Panorama trail and the Pohono trail. Glacier Point Hotel Four Mile Trail Yosemite Firefall Yosemite Valley Yosemite National Park Yosemite National Park: Glacier Point - U. S. National Park Service Yosemite National Park travel guide from Wikivoyage Photos from Glacier Point QTVR of Yosemite Valley, including good view of Glacier Point
The Wawona Tree known as the Wawona Tunnel Tree, was a famous giant sequoia that stood in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park, California, USA, until February 1969. It was 26 feet in diameter at the base; the origin of the word Wawona is not known. A popular story claims Wawō'na was the Miwok word for "big tree", or for "hoot of the owl". Birds are considered the sequoia trees' spiritual guardian. A tunnel was cut through the tree in 1881. Two men, the Scribner brothers, were paid $75 for the job; the tree had a slight lean. Created by the Yosemite Stage and Turnpike Company as a tourist attraction, this human-made tunnel became immensely popular. Visitors were photographed driving through or standing in the tunnel. Construction of the Wawona Tree was part of an effort by the Park Service to increase tourism in the age of the automobile. Stephen Mather, the first Director of the National Park Service, was a main supporter of building a tourist clientele for the parks, which would in turn attract increasing appropriations from Congress and establish the Park Service as a legitimate and noteworthy bureaucratic agency.
Mather and his chief aide, Horace Albright, who would be his successor, worked to make the parks as accessible as possible and, with drive-through attractions such as the Tunnel Tree, as memorable as possible. Mather and Albright had worked on the "See America First" campaign, trying to connect with western railroads to increase visitation to the parks. In the 1920s, the Park Service promoted automobile tourism. Roads and roadside attractions bloomed on the sites of Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite. Roads, they believed, would increase accessibility for "those who are not as strong and agile as you and I, for they too are entitled to their inspiration and enjoyment," as Albright stated in a 1931 letter about roads in the Smokies. Around this time, the term'scenic drive' became introduced into the national vocabulary; the Wawona Tree may have served as the inspiration for the 1946 children's book, Big Tree, by Mary and Conrad Buff. The Wawona Tree fell in February 1969 under a heavy load of snow on its crown.
The giant sequoia is estimated to have been 2,300 years old. When the giant tree fell, there was much debate over, it has remained where it fell for ecological reasons, but still serves as a popular tourist destination. Because of their size, giant sequoias can create vast new ecosystems when they fall, providing habitat for insects and animals and allowing new plant growth, it is now known as the Fallen Tunnel Tree. Visitors to nearby Sequoia National Park sometimes confuse Yosemite's Fallen Tunnel Tree with Sequoia National Park's Tunnel Log. A modest notice of both the Wawona Tree and another tunnel tree appears in the May 28, 1899 issue of a Sacramento Daily Union article: "In the lower grove there is another tree through which the wagon road runs, it is named California and is twenty-one feet in diameter at the base and 248 feet in height." A number of big trees in California had tunnels dug through them in the late early 1900s. The tunnel walk through the tree; the tunneling inflicted severe damage to the strength of the trees.
The tunnels were cut to stimulate automobile tourism. Because of the damaging effects of carving through trees, the practice of creating tunnel trees has long passed; the other giant sequoia drive-through tree has fallen: Pioneer Cabin Tree fell in 2017 in Calaveras Big Trees State ParkBut two walk-through tunnel trees still stand: California Tunnel Tree in Mariposa Grove, Yosemite National Park. The California Tunnel Tree's passageway was dug in 1895 to allow horse-drawn stagecoaches to pass through the tree. Today, people can bike through it. A dead tunnel tree in Tuolumne Grove, Yosemite National Park; the dead tunnel tree in Tuolumne Grove was the first standing sequoia to be tunneled. Chandelier Tree – another tunnel tree, but a coast redwood, not a giant sequoia Two other drive-through coast redwood trees still stand; these are along US 101 in Klamath and Myers Flat. Hewes, Jeremy Joan. Redwoods: The World's Largest Trees. New York: Gallery Books. ISBN 978-0831773816
Yosemite Valley Chapel
The Yosemite Valley Chapel was built in the Yosemite Valley of California in 1879. The wooden chapel was designed by San Francisco architect Charles Geddes in the Carpenter Gothic style, it was built by Geddes' son-in-law, Samuel Thompson of San Francisco, for the California State Sunday School Association, at a cost of between three or four thousand dollars. The chapel was built in the "Lower Village" as called its site at the present day trailhead of the Four Mile Trail; the chapel was moved to its present location in 1901. As stipulated in the organization's application for permission, the chapel is an interdenominational facility; the L-shaped frame chapel covers an area of about 1,470 square feet. It is clad in batten siding with a prominent steeple, it seats about 250 people. PreservationThe chapel was restored in 1965, when its foundations were raised in response to a 1964 flood, but was damaged in the 1997 Yosemite Valley floods and required repair; the chapel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1973.
NPS — the Yosemite Valley Chapel — History of Yosemite National Park webpage. Yosemite Valley Chapel website
North Dome is a granite dome in Yosemite National Park, California. It is the southernmost summit of Indian Ridge, 0.6 miles north of Washington Column and the Royal Arches on the northeastern wall of Yosemite Valley. It can be reached by trail from the Tioga Pass Road, or by going up the Yosemite Falls trail and heading east, it can be reached from Mirror Lakes by the Snow Creek Falls trail going north around Indian Rock and south again on the Tioga Pass Road trail. The South Face is precipitous