John Muir (1838–1914) ranks among America’s most important and influential environmentalists and nature writers. Devoted to the preservation of wilderness areas, Muir founded the Sierra Club and was active in the establishment of Yosemite National Park. Our National Parks, originally published in 1901, includes ten articles that previously appeared in The Atlantic Monthly. Muir wrote them in hopes of exciting interest in the parks, certain that visitors would fall in love with the scenic grandeur as he had—and that their enthusiasm would ensure the parks’ preservation.
Six of this volume’s ten chapters are devoted to Muir’s beloved Yosemite, exploring the forests, fountains, streams, and animals of the Sierra Nevada. The great naturalist also visits the meadows, geysers, waterfalls, and lakes of other parks, including Yellowstone, Sequoia, and General Grant. Muir’s warmth and humor brighten every page, and vintage photographs provide atmospheric accompaniment to his words. These essays are essential reading for anyone wishing to visit (or revisit) the national parks of the Western United States as well as those who want to help protect America’s wilderness areas.