Connect with us

Best John Muir Quotes on the Mountains of Life

Our latest collection of John Muir quotes one Everyday Power.


John Muir was an influential Scottish-American naturalist, inventor, explorer, writer, and an advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States.

Through his writings, he has inspired millions of readers, including presidents and congressmen, to take action to help preserve and restore the natural environment.

Born on April 21, 1838, in Dunbar, Scotland, Muir had a strict religious upbringing and began his “love affair” with nature while still young.

His family immigrated to the United States in 1849 and started a farm near Portage, Wisconsin, which has since been designated a National Historic Landmark.

In 1876, through articles published in popular periodicals, Muir encouraged the federal government to adopt a forest conservation.

He is also remembered for his role in the establishment of Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks, founding the Sierra Club, and many other achievements.

More than a century since his passing, Muir still continues to inspire people to explore and conserve the outdoors.

Below are some great John Muir quotes that will make you appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of protecting it.

Born: 21 April 1838, Dunbar, United Kingdom

Died: 24 December 1914, Los Angeles, California, United States

We also have a beautiful collection of quotes about nature to inspire your love for Mother Earth.

Be sure to check that as well.

If you like this article, we suggest you explore our most popular quotes article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily encouragement. 

Read more related content on our inspirational quotes category page.

Best John Muir quotes on the mountains of life

1. “Earth has no sorrow that earth can not heal.” ― John Muir

John Muir Quotes about earth

2. “How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!” – John Muir

John Muir Quotes about the mountains

3. “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

John Muir Quotes about nature

4. “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.” – – John Muir

John Muir Quotes that will inspire to climb the mountains

5. “The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” – John Muir

John Muir Quotes and sayings

6. “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” – John Muir

7. “Handle a book as a bee does a flower, extract its sweetness but do not damage it.” ― John Muir

8. “The morning stars still sing together, and the world, not yet half made, becomes more beautiful every day.” – John Muir

9. “Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us God.” –  John Muir

10. “I am learning to live close to the lives of my friends without ever seeing them. No miles of any measurement can separate your soul from mine.” ― John Muir

John Muir quotes about nature and national parks

11. “The rivers flow not past, but through us, thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell of the substance of our bodies, making them glide and sing.” – John Muir

12. “None of Nature’s landscapes are ugly so long as they are wild.” ― John Muir

13. “Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul.” – John Muir

14. “There is a love of wild Nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” ― John Muir

15. “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” ― John Muir

16. “Yosemite Park is a place of rest… None can escape its charms. Its natural beauty cleans and warms like a fire, and you will be willing to stay forever in one place like a tree.” ― John Muir

17. “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.” ― John Muir

18. “Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.” – John Muir

19. “There is not a fragment in all nature, for every relative fragment of one thing is a full harmonious unit in itself.”
John Muir

20. “Beauty beyond thought everywhere, beneath, above, made and being made forever.” ― John Muir

Also, check out these inspirational farmer quotes that will make you love the land.

John Muir quotes that will inspire you to get out into the wilderness

21. “The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.” ― John Muir

22. “Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” – John Muir

23. “Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods.” – John Muir

24. “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 Muir

25. “To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.” – John Muir

26. “We all travel the Milky Way together, trees and men.” ― John Muir

27. “One should go to the woods for safety, if for nothing else.” ― John Muir

If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of safety quotes about the power of paying attention.

28. “Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.” ― John Muir

29. “Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill.” ― John Muir

30. “All the world was before me and every day was a holiday, so it did not seem important to which one of the world’s wildernesses I first should wander.” ― John Muir
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of Into the Wild Quotes to inspire you.

John Muir quotes about the mountains

31. “Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill. Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains.” – John Muir

32. “The mountains are calling and I must go.” – John Muir

33. “Going to the mountains is going home.” ― John Muir

34. “We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.” ― John Muir

35. “How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!” – John Muir

36. “Who wouldn’t be a mountaineer! Up here all the world’s prizes seem nothing” ― John Muir

37. “One day’s exposure to mountains is better than a cartload of books.” ― John Muir

38. “Then, after a long fireside rest and a glance at my notebook, I cut a few leafy branches for a bed, and fell into the clear, death-like sleep of the tired mountaineer.” ― John Muir

Related  50 Shopping Quotes About This Therapeutic Activity

39. “But the darkest scriptures of the mountains are illumined with bright passages of love that never fail to make themselves felt when one is alone.” ― John Muir

40. “In our best times everything turns into religion, all the world seems a church and the mountains altars.” ― John Muir

Have you seen these Earth Day quotes and sayings that inspire and eco-friendly lifestyle?

Inspirational John Muir quotes

41. “The battle for conservation must go on endlessly. It is part of the universal warfare between right and wrong.” ― John Muir

42. “The sun shines not on us but in us.” ― John Muir

43. “Any fool can destroy trees. They cannot run away.” ― John Muir

44. “Most people are on the world, not in it.” ― John Muir

45. “The deeper the solitude the less the sense of loneliness, and the nearer our friends.” ― John Muir

46. “Here are the roots of all the life of the valleys, and here more simply than elsewhere is the eternal flux of nature manifested.” ― John Muir

47. “Here I could stay tethered forever with just bread and water, nor would I be lonely; loved friends and neighbors, as love for everything increased, would seem all the nearer however many the miles and mountains between us.” ― John Muir

48. “Any glimpse into the life of an animal quickens our own and makes it so much the larger and better in every way.” ― John Muir

49. “Nothing truly wild is unclean.” ― John Muir

50. “I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness.” ― John Muir

John Muir quotes that will expand your mind

51. “Wherever we go in the mountains, or indeed in any of God’s wild fields, we find more than we seek.”― John Muir

52. “And into the woods I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”― John Muir

53. “At the touch of this divine light, the mountains seemed to kindle to a rapt, religious consciousness, and stood hushed like devout worshippers waiting to be blessed.”― John Muir
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to read our collection of religious quotes from all over the world.

54. “It seems supernatural, but only because it is not understood.”― John Muir
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of supernatural quotes about light and darkness.

55. “Another glorious day, the air as delicious to the lungs as nectar to the tongue; indeed the body seems one palate, and tingles equally throughout.” ― John Muir

56. “I never saw a discontented tree.”― John Muir

57. “Wherever there were glaciers, the world was in a constant state of creation.”― John Muir

58. “One must labor for beauty as for bread.”― John Muir

59. “There is nothing more eloquent in Nature than a mountain stream.”― John Muir

60. “The power of imagination makes us infinite.”― John Muir

61. “Society speaks and all men listen, mountains speak and wise men listen.”― John Muir

62. “Fortunately wrong cannot last. Soon or late it must fall back home to Hades, while some compensating good must surely follow.”― John Muir

63. “Between every two pine trees there is a door leading to a new way of life.”― John Muir

64. “The snow is melting into music.”― John Muir (see more quotes about snow)

65. “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.”―John Muir

Don’t forget to also read these powerful Greta Thunberg quotes about climate change and more.

John Muir quotes that will make your day

66. “Only by going alone in silence, without baggage, can one truly get into the heart of the wilderness. All other travel is mere dust and hotels and baggage and chatter.” – John Muir

67. “The world, we are told, was made especially for man – a presumption not supported by all the facts. A numerous class of men are painfully astonished whenever they find anything, living or dead, in all God’s universe, which they cannot eat or render in some way what they call useful to themselves.” – John Muir

68. “Every natural object is a conductor of divinity and only by coming into contact with them… may we be filled with the Holy Ghost.” – John Muir

69. “It is easier to feel than to realize, or in any way explain, Yosemite grandeur. The magnitudes of the rocks and trees and streams are so delicately harmonized, they are mostly hidden.” – John Muir

70. “I bade adieu to mechanical inventions, determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God.” – John Muir

71. “I ran home in the moonlight with long, firm strides; for the sun-love made me strong.” – John Muir

72. “When California was wild, it was the floweriest part of the continent.” – John Muir
If you’re enjoying these quotes, make sure to check out our collection of California quotes that will make you want to pack a bag for the coast.

73. “Most people who travel look only at what they are directed to look at. Great is the power of the guidebook maker, however ignorant.” – John Muir

74. “In all my wild mountaineering, I have enjoyed only one avalanche ride; and the start was so sudden, and the end came so soon, I thought but little of the danger that goes with this sort of travel, though one thinks fast at such times.” – John Muir
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of travel quotes to channel your inner wanderlust.

75. “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 Muir

John Muir quotes to inspire you

76. “How terribly downright must be the utterances of storms and earthquakes to those accustomed to the soft hypocrisies of society.” – John Muir

77. “Man seems to be the only animal whose food soils him, making necessary much washing and shield-like bibs and napkins. Moles living in the earth and eating slimy worms are yet as clean as seals or fishes, whose lives are one perpetual wash.” – John Muir

78. “I care to live only to entice people to look at Nature’s loveliness. Heaven knows that John the Baptist was not more eager to get all his fellow sinners into the Jordan than I to baptize all of mine in the beauty of God’s mountains.” – John Muir

79. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilised 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.” – John Muir

Related  Introvert Quotes About Surviving in an Extroverted World

80. “Rocks and waters, etc., are words of God, and so are men. We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love.” – John Muir

81. “This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never dried all at once; a shower is forever falling; vapour is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls.” – John Muir

82. “One of the best ways to see tree flowers is to climb one of the tallest trees and to get into close, tingling touch with them, and then look broad.” – John Muir

83. “The mountains are fountains of men as well as of rivers, of glaciers, of fertile soil. The great poets, philosophers, prophets, able men whose thoughts and deeds have moved the world, have come down from the mountains – mountain dwellers who have grown strong there with the forest trees in Nature’s workshops.” – John Muir

84. “From the dust of the earth, from the common elementary fund, the Creator has made Homo sapiens. From the same material he has made every other creature, however noxious and insignificant to us. They are earth-born companions and our fellow mortals.” – John Muir

85. “Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.” – John Muir

John Muir quotes to elevate your perspective

86. “Raindrops blossom brilliantly in the rainbow, and change to flowers in the sod, but snow comes in full flower direct from the dark, frozen sky.”― John Muir

87. “One can make a day of any size and regulate the rising and setting of his own sun and the brightness of its shining.” – John Muir

88. “How narrow we selfish conceited creatures are in our sympathies! How blind to the rights of all the rest of creation!” ― John Muir

89. “I ran home in the moonlight with firm strides; for the sun-love made me strong.” – John Muir

90. “Spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm.”― John Muir

91. “Wilderness is a necessity… there must be places for human beings to satisfy their souls…” – John Muir

92. “Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings.”― John Muir

93. “Rivers flow not past, but through us; tingling, vibrating, exciting every cell and fiber in our bodies, making them sing and glide.” – John Muir

94. “Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress…”― John Muir

95. “I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and crystal waters of the mountains.” – John Muir

John Muir quotes to inspire and teach

96. “What a psalm the storm was singing, and how fresh the smell of the washed earth and leaves, and how sweet the still small voices of the storm!” ― John Muir

97. “How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountain-top it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make – leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone – we all dwell in a house of one room – the world with the firmament for its roof – and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.” – John Muir

98. “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 Muir

99. “God never made an ugly landscape. All that sun shines on is beautiful, so long as it is wild.” – John Muir

100. “God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fool” ― John Muir

101. “Look up and down and round about you.!” – John Muir

102. “Yet how hard most people work for mere dust and ashes and care, taking no thought of growing in knowledge and grace, never having time to get in sight of their own ignorance.” ― John Muir

103. “Few are altogether deaf to the preaching of pine trees. Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts . . .” – John Muir

104. “When we tug at a single thing in nature, we find it attached to the rest of the world.” ― John Muir

105. “Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

Memorable John Muir quotes

106. “I have never yet happened upon a trace of evidence that seemed to show that any one animal was ever made for another as much as it was made for itself.”― John Muir

107. “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.”― John Muir

108. “Nothing dollarable is safe.”― John Muir

109. “Nothing more celestial can I conceive. How gently the winds blow! Scarce can these tranquil air-currents be called winds. They seem the very breath of Nature, whispering peace to every living thing.”― John Muir

110. “Our good ship also seemed like a thing of life, its great iron heart beating on through calm and storm, a truly noble spectacle. But think of the hearts of these whales, beating warm against the sea, day and night, through dark and light, on and on for centuries; how the red blood must rush and gurgle in and out, bucketfuls, barrelfuls at a beat!”― John Muir

111. “Yet through all this stress the forest is maintained in marvelous beauty.”― John Muir

112. “The care-laden commercial lives we lead close our eyes to the operations of God as a workman, though openly carried on that all who will look may see.”― John Muir

113. “So far from complete at times is sympathy between parents and children, and so much like wild beasts are baby boys, little fighting, biting, climbing pagans.”― John Muir

114. “When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.”― John Muir

115. “You may be a little cold some nights on mountain tops above the timber-line, but you will see the stars, and by and by you can sleep enough in your town bed. or at least in your grave. Keep awake while you may in mountain mansions so rare.”― John Muir

Related  Tommy Boy Quotes From the 90s American Cult Classic

Thought-provoking John Muir quotes

116. “I am losing precious days. I am degenerating into a machine for making money. I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men. I must break away and get out into the mountains to learn the news.”― John Muir

117. “Nevertheless, again and again, in season and out of season, the question comes up, “What are rattlesnakes good for?” As if nothing that does not obviously make for the benefit of man had any right to exist; as if our ways were God’s ways….Anyhow, they are all, head and tail, good for themselves, and we need not begrudge them their share of life.
-from the essay Yellowstone Park.”― John Muir

118. “Like most other things not apparently useful to man, it has few friends, and the blind question, “Why was it made?” goes on and on with never a guess that first of all it might have been made for itself.”― John Muir

119. “We thought nothing of running right ahead ten or a dozen miles before turning back; for we knew nothing about taking time by the sun, and none of us had a watch in those days.”― John Muir

120. “Like everyone else, I was always fond of flowers, attracted by their external beauty and purity. Now my eyes were opened to their inner beauty, all alike revealing glorious traces of the thoughts of God, and leading on and on into the infinite cosmos.”― John Muir

121. “But no punishment, however sure and severe, was of any avail against the attraction of the fields and woods. It had other uses, developing memory, etc., but in keeping us at home it was of no use at all.”― John Muir

122. “But I had been so lectured by my father above all things to avoid praise that I was afraid to read those kind newspaper notices, and never clipped out or preserved any of them, just glanced at them and turned away my eyes from beholding vanity.”― John Muir

123. “The body seems to feel beauty when exposed to it as it feels the campfire or sunshine, entering not by the eyes alone, but equally through all one’s flesh like radiant heat, making a passionate ecstatic pleasure glow not explainable.”― John Muir

124. “No other excursion that I know of can be made into any of the wild portions of America where so much fine and grand and novel scenery is brought to view at so cheap and easy a price. Anybody may make this trip and be blest by it–old or young, sick or well, soft, succulent people whose limbs have never ripened, as well as sinewy mountaineers; for the climate is kindly, and one has only to breathe the exhilarating air and gaze and listen while being carried smoothly onward over the glassy waters.”― John Muir

125. “the lake a perfect mirror reflecting the sky and mountains with their stars and trees and wonderful sculpture, all their grandeur refined and doubled,—a marvelously impressive picture, that seemed to belong more to heaven than earth.”― John Muir

You might also like these Edward Abbey quotes from the environmental activist.

More John Muir quotes and sayings

126. “One learns that the world, though made, is yet being made; that this is still the morning of creation; that mountains long conceived are now being born, channels traced for coming rivers, basins hollowed for lakes.” – John Muir

127. “The wrongs done to trees, wrongs of every sort, are done in the darkness of ignorance and unbelief, for when the light comes, the heart of the people is always right.” – John Muir

128. “The soft light of morning falls upon ripening forests of oak and elm, walnut and hickory, and all Nature is thoughtful and calm.” – John Muir

129. “To dine with a glacier on a sunny day is a glorious thing and makes a common feast of meat and wine ridiculous. The glacier eats hills and sunbeams.” – John Muir

130. “When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.” – John Muir

131. “Night is coming on and I am filled with indescribable loneliness. Felt feverish; bathed in a black, silent stream.” – John Muir

132. “A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” – John Muir

133. “In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world – the great fresh unblighted, unredeemed wilderness. The galling harness of civilization drops off, and wounds heal ere we are aware.” – John Muir

134. “You bathe in these spirit-beams, turning round and round as if warming at a camp-fire. Presently you lose consciousness of your own separate existence: you blend with the landscape and become part and parcel of nature.” – John Muir

135. “This is Nature’s own reservation, and every lover of wildness will rejoice with me that by kindly frost it is so well defended.” – John Muir

136. “Everything in Nature called destruction must be creation. A change from beauty to beauty.” – John Muir

137. “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.” – John Muir

138. “Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.” – John Muir

139. “I never saw a discontented tree. They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.” – John Muir

140. “Take a course in good water and air, and in the eternal youth of Nature, you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you.” – John Muir

Which of these John Muir quotes was your favorite?

Nothing quite compares to when you’re out there amid the sound of trees and the rush of waterfalls. 

One man who truly understood this feeling was John Muir.

He loved nature and spent most of his life advocating for the conservation of the natural environment, especially our national parks.

Hopefully, these quotes have reminded you of nature’s beauty and the need to preserve it.

Did you enjoy these John Muir quotes?

Which of the quotes was your favorite?

We would love to hear all about it in the comment section below.

Norbert Juma, Lead Editor
1 Comment
Click to view
1 Comment
  1. carl thalgott

    October 15, 2018 at 9:21 PM

    Did John Muir say This?

    “There is no greater connection to the land than to live by it. To feel a handful of soil. And heat. And cold. And wind. Wet by dew in the mornings, blanketed by stars at night; the land is a life that ends up written on the faces and hands of its most devoted stewards”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *