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John Muir National Historic Site
Description and Visitor Information

John Muir Home and John Muir Portrait John Muir National Historic Site
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Department of the Interior

Description of the Site

One of the best kept secrets of the National Park Service is located in Martinez, California: John Muir's beautiful 1882 Victorian home; the 1849 Martinez Adobe; nine acres of various grapes, fruit and nut trees; and the 325 acre Mount Wanda area with its oak forest and stunning views of the Carquinez straits.

It was here that Muir wrote his books and articles to preserve America's wilderness and helped to create the National Parks idea for the United States. The site is also a great place to learn the history of a man, his family, and why the continued struggle for conservation is just as important today as it was in Muir's time.

Visitor Services

The Muir site offers a variety of ways to help groups learn more about this man who said, "I might have become a millionaire, but I chose to become a tramp." Families or groups can choose from the following activities:

  • A 28 minute film on the life of Muir, "Earth, Planet, Universe."
  • Self-guided tour booklets of the Muir house and orchards.
  • A ranger-guided tour of the first floor of the Muir house is given at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.
  • Guided tours offered for groups of 10 or more, depending on staffing. Advance reservations required.
  • Special presentations, including slide programs and "living history" enactments are provided on many weekends.
  • Limited picnicking facilities behind the Martinez Adobe.
  • Muir's burial site is located approximately one mile from the Historic Site. Directions available at the Site.
  • An Environmental Living Program is offered to grades 3-5.
  • A Muir Ranger program for children ages 8 - 12 is provided several times a year.
  • Guided bird walks are given by volunteers throughout the year.
  • The Muir Nature Trail on Mt. Wanda is the park's newest attraction, and a self-guiding brochure is provided.
  • Special events are scheduled near Christmas and John Muir's birthday (April 21).
  • A sales area in the visitor center provides books, pamphlets, video tapes, cassettes, postcards, posters and other items.

Photos from the Site

Other Information from the Site

  • The Importance of John Muir
  • 26 Most Often Asked Questions
  • The Martinez Adobe - Fact Sheet about the 1849 Land Grant structure located near the Muir House, on the grounds of the Historic Site.
  • John Muir's Gravesite - Description and Photo.
  • Wildflower List
  • John Muir N.H.S. Self Guiding Tour Booklet - Detailed, step-by-step guide to the John Muir National Historic Site. Available for $1.00 from John Muir Bookstore.
  • Rubbisow, Ariel, John Muir National Historic Site (Tucson, AZ: Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 1990). 15 pp. $3.95. A brief, highly readable biographical sketch of Muir, with color photographs of his residence in Martinez, California, now a National Historic Site operated by the National Park Service. Available from John Muir Bookstore.
  • Maruca, Mary, A Kid's Guide to Exploring John Muir National Historic Site (Tucson, AZ, Southwest Parks and Monuments Association, 2000). 14 pp., illustrated, paperback, $3.95. Multiple color photographs and graphics on each page enhance this beautiful little booklet. Despite the book's title, the book is primarily a very brief biography about John Muir, with just the last one-third emphasizing his fruit ranch home in Martinez. The author and designers did a great job of making Muir a friendly, human person of interest to kids. Available from John Muir Bookstore.


John Muir National Historic Site
4202 Alhambra Avenue,
Martinez, California 94553
Telephone: (925) 228-8860

Park Hours : John Muir Historic Site is open during the summer of 2002 seven days a week from 10:00 - 5:00 p.m. daily through the Labor Day weekend. Winter hours: Wednesday - Sunday. Park is closed on Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1.

Admission Fee : $3.00 per adult. Children 16 and under are free.

Lodging and Camping : None at the park site; motels are within walking distance.

Airport : Oakland International (32 miles); San Francisco International (50 miles).

Amtrak : Daily rail service to Martinez from most areas of the U.S. (800) 872-7245.

Public Transportation : Check with County Connection for bus lines to the park. Bus Stop #116 located next to visitor center. (925) 676-7500. For connections from BART to Martinez, call (925) 465-2278.

Picnic : Picnic tables on site near Martinez Adobe. Nancy Boyd Park, off Pleasant Hill Road and Martinez Shoreline at the end of the Ferry Street in Martinez have additional facilities.

For more information:

4202 Alhambra Avenue
Martinez, California 94553
Telephone: (925) 228-8860

Source: National Park Service.
Originated: 1994 July 3
Updated: 2002 June 2

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