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John Muir's California


  • Read about these California landmarks visited by John Muir.
  • Locate each place on the John Muir's California map ( downloads Adobe Acrobat file ) and label it with the number, name and date. Add the symbol from the map legend if there is one. Example: 1. Yosemite National Park, 1874
  • On the back, write journal entries John Muir may have written about how a problem was solved.
  1. Yosemite National Park
    Muir lived in Yosemite Valley, when he first came to California in 1868 for the better part of ten years. Years later, he visited the high country surrounding Yosemite Valley and saw sheep overgrazing the meadows and timber being cut. He wrote and spoke about his concerns, and Yosemite National Park was established in 1890.
  2. Mount Mitter (13,157 feet)
    In 1872 John Muir was the first to climb Mt. Ritter, northeast of Fresno. He was inspired to preserve wilderness areas as his life's work.
  3. Yuba River
    From the 1850s through the 1870s, many forests were being cut down. In 1874, during a strong wind storm, John Muir climbed a tall tree near the Yuba River, southeast of Chico, and swung in the storm. He decided to protect forests so others could enjoy nature's wild moods.
  4. Inyo Earthquake
    In 1872, when Muir was in Yosemite Valley, he was awakened by an earthquake centered northeast of Bakersfield. Muir watched rocks and trees tumble down the sides of Yosemite Valley and shouted, "A noble earthquake!" He believed that the Valley was formed by the scraping motion of glaciers, and that the earthquakes caused rockslides.
  5. Mount Shasta (14,162 feet)
    In 1875, John Muir and a friend were caught in a snowstorm on the volcano, Mount Shasta, north of Chico. Muir led many trips to encourage people to experience nature's wildness.
  6. Yosemite Valley

    In 1889, when he returned and saw the Valley being harmed by grazing and development, Muir led an effort which added Yosemite Valley to Yosemite National Park.
  7. Sequoia National Park
    The giant sequoia trees, largest trees on earth, were being cut down in the Sierra, southeast of Fresno. Muir helped establish Sequoia National Park in 1890 to protect the Giant Forest and other groves of big trees.
  8. Muir Woods National Monument
    A valley of coast redwoods was going to be logged. In 1905, Congressman William Kent bought the land just north of San Francisco and donated it to the U.S. Government. President Theodore Roosevelt made it a national monument in 1908, named after John Muir.
  9. Hetch Hetchy Valley
    The officials of San Francisco needed more water for their growing city and wanted to make the Hetch Hetchy Valley, located in the northern part of Yosemite National Park , into a reservoir. John Muir fought the plan in Congress, but lost. The dam was built in 1914.
  10. John Muir National Historic Site
    John Muir lived with his wife, Louie, and two daughters, Wanda and Helen, on a ranch in Martinez from 1880 to 1914. Up in his "scribble-den," he wrote many articles and books on conservation and natural history. The house was designated a National Historic Site in 1964.
  11. Kings Canyon National Park

    After Muir died, his followers wanted to preserve an area he wrote about. They wanted to name the area east of Fresno "John Muir National Park." The park was established as Kings Canyon National Park in 1940.

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