Our National Parks

By John Muir,

Book cover of Our National Parks

Book description

For every person who has experienced the beauty of the mountains and felt humbled by comparison.

John Muir’s Our National Parks—reissued to encourage, and inspire travelers, campers, and contemporary naturalists—is as profound for readers today as it was in 1901.

Take in John Muir’s detailed observations of the sights, scents,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Our National Parks as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

We love this book for its breadth and its moral and environmental urgency. Muir writes eloquently [in an admittedly heightened and romantic prose] about the beauties of Yosemite, Yellowstone, and Sequoia National Parks, the only ones in existence at the time. Muir is of interest to Roosevelt because of his understanding of how important it is for wilderness to be preserved for all time not by state governments—as was the case in his time—but by the federal government. This of course was one of TR’s central personal beliefs and was to be, especially after his two-night camping trip in Yosemite…

A classic of nature writing thick with patriotic romanticism, Muir’s book is a collection of essays originally published in Atlantic Monthly in 1901. Muir was the dominant voice advocating for wilderness preservation in the Gilded Age, and his book came out on the cusp of a surge in national park creation. After an introduction to the nation’s parks and forest reserves in the West (there were only a handful at that time), Muir takes readers to Yellowstone—“where the air is electric and...the scenery is wild enough to waken the dead”—and then on to Yosemite and Sequoia. You may find yourself…

From Megan's list on America’s National Parks.

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