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Steep Trails

by John Muir

Sierra Club Books
The John Muir Library Series

( from the publisher's press release )

Steep Trails
by John Muir
Foreword by Edward Hoagland

To read this book (Steep Trails) is like going on a joyous holiday through the most picturesque parts of America with a man to whom nature is as close and vivid a presence as it is to a great poet."
-- New York Times, December 30, 1917

This latest addition to the John Muir Library -- our ongoing program to reissue the complete works of the first great conservationist author -- is a collection of twenty-nine remarkable magazine articles and letters celebrating some of the most beautiful and awesome landscapes in the American West.

Gathered shortly after Muir's death by his literary executor, William Frederick Bade, these two dozen articles and letters span nearly thirty years of writing and combine dramatic descriptions of the western landscape with accounts of Muir's own inimitable adventures and social commentary.

Here are Muir's accounts of "a perilous night" caught in a snowstorm on the summit of Mount Shasta , interviewing the one remaining miner in a Nevada ghost town, his rapture at sailing through Puget Sound and seeing the forests of Washington (as well as his ire, describing the proliferating lumber mills, at "this fierce storm of steel that is devouring the forest"); "A Geologist's Winter Walk" in Yosemite , where he found a "living glacier" with which to prove his controversial theory that glacial erosion had formed Yosemite Valley; the "feathered people" -- golden eagles, ospreys, hawks, jays, hummingbirds, and others -- "sailing the sky and enlivening the rocks and bushes through all the [ Grand Canyon ] wilderness"; and much more.

About the Author

John Muir (1838-1914), founder of the Sierra Club, did more than any other individual to shape the twentieth-century conservation movement. Edward Hoagland is the author of numerous works of travel literature, fiction, and nature writing, including African Calliope: A Journey to the Sudan, an American Book Award nominee, and Walking the Dead Diamond River, a National Book Award nominee. He lives in Vermont.

The John Muir Library

The John Muir Library gathers the works of the founder of the Sierra Club in elegant, uniform editions. These handsome volumes feature specially commissioned woodcuts by award-winning designer and illustrator Michael McCurdy and introductions by distinguished writers, scholars, conservationists, and naturalists such as David Brower, Frederick Turner, and Colin Fletcher, among others.

Titles available:

  • The Cruise of the Corwin
  • The Story of My Boyhood and Youth
  • The Mountains of California
  • A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf
  • My First Summer in the Sierra
  • Travels in Alaska
  • Our National Parks
  • The Yosemite
  • Steep Trails

  • Steep Trails
    by John Muir
    Foreword by Edward Hoagland
    $10.00 paper.
    5-1/2 X 8-1/4
    304 pages
    2 wood engravings by Michael McCurdy
    ISBN: 0-87156-535-8
    LC: 93-25661
    Publication Date: March 31, 1994

    Available at bookstores or by direct mail from Sierra Club Books:

    Distributed to the trade by Random House, Inc.

    Source: Sierra Club Books
    Received: 1994 June

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