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by Kurt Wolbrink January 03, 2018



A common thread woven into the writings and quotes of John Muir relates to the restorative power of nature. He often encouraged others to use wilderness for this purpose and firmly believed in these healing properties because he experienced them personally.

In his 1916 book, “A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf” he chronicled his 1867 walk to the Gulf of Mexico from Indiana to Florida. After arriving in Florida, he planned to head to South America. However, after suffering from a nearly deadly “malarial fever” he caught in the swamps, Muir thought it best to avoid more tropical conditions. With a lingering fever, he was encouraged to head to California for its beneficial climate. After arriving in San Francisco, he quickly inquired about the “nearest way out to the untrampled part of the country.”

In a July 26, 1868, letter following his first trip to Yosemite, he reported to his friend Mrs. Carr, that his health had indeed been restored: “I am well again, I came to life in the cool winds and the crystal waters of the mountains.”

Here are his lines which inspired our new Muir – Green Deep Woods carving:

“Come to the woods, for here is rest. There is no repose like that of the green deep woods. Here grow the wallflower and the violet. The squirrel will come and sit upon your knee, the logcock will wake you in the morning. Sleep in forgetfulness of all ill. Of all the upness accessible to mortals, there is no upness comparable to the mountains.” – Atlantic Monthly, January 1869

See our Wild Air Collection of Outdoor Quotes:



The Outdoors is Good for Everyone:

The Outdoors is Good for Children:

The Outdoors is Good for Adults:

The Outdoors is Good for You According to Medical Research and Science (Okay, perhaps a bit “dry” for some, but with boatloads of information):


Some Additional John Muir Quotes on the Restorative Power of Nature

  • Take a course of good water and air, and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you. - Picturesque California (1888-1890), pg. 165
  • Wander here a whole summer, if you can. Thousands of God's wild blessings will search you and soak you as if you were a sponge, and the big days will go by uncounted. If you are business-tangled, and so burdened by duty that only weeks can be got out of the heavy-laden year ... give a month at least to this precious reserve. The time will not be taken from the sum of your life. Instead of shortening, it will indefinitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal. -  Our National Parks (1901), Chapter 1
  • 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), pg. 56.
  • 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)
  • 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 alike. - The Yosemite (1912), pg. 256.
  • I know that our bodies were made to thrive only in the pure air, and the scenes in which pure air is found. - A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf (1916), pg 164
  • 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 of the Mountains, (1938) pg. 317.

Kurt Wolbrink
Kurt Wolbrink


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