My favorite 15 quotes about the outdoors

  1. “Storms are fine speakers, and tell all they know, but their voices of lightning, torrent, and rushing wind are much less numerous than the nameless still, small voices too low for human ears; and because we are poor listeners we fail to catch much that is fairly within reach.” –The Mountains of California, (1894) Quote
  2. “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on seas and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.”
    – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938), page 438.
  3. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” —Our National Parks, 1901, page 56.
  4. Going to the mountains is going home.
    – Our National Parks, (1901), chapter 1, page 1.
  5. “One day’s exposure to mountains is better than cartloads of books. See how willingly Nature poses herself upon photographers’ plates. No earthly chemicals are so sensitive as those of the human soul.”
    – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938) page 95.
  6. “As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.”
    – Quoted from Muir Journals (undated fragment, c. 1871) by Linnie Marsh Wolfe, Son of the Wilderness: The Life of John Muir(1945) page 144.
  7. “I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”
    – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938), edited by Linnie Marsh Wolfe, (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1938, republished 1979, page 439.
  8. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.”
    – Our National Parks, (1901), chapter 1, page 1.
  9. “The snow is melting into music.”
    – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938), page 107.
  10. “Another glorious Sierra day in which one seems to be dissolved and absorbed and sent pulsing onward we know not where. Life seems neither long nor short, and we take no more heed to save time or make haste than do the trees and stars. This is true freedom, a good practical sort of immortality.”
    – My First Summer in the Sierra(1911) chapter 2.
  11. “Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue.”
    My First Summer in the Sierra , 1911, page 231.
  12. “No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains with glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening – still all is Beauty!”
    – John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, (1938), page 208.
  13. “The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, studying incessantly.” –Letter written to his sister, Sarah Muir Galloway, Yosemite Valley, September 3rd, 1873
  14. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.”
    – Muir quoted by Samuel Hall Young in Alaska Days with John Muir(1915) chapter 7
  15. “God never made an ugly landscape. All that the sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.” –Source for this version of this quote is: “The Scenery of California,” California Early History: Commercial Position: Climate: Scenery. San Francisco: California State Board of Trade, 1897, 16.