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Yosemite's John Muir Wilderness

Yosemite's John Muir Wilderness

One of Yosemite's many gems

john muir Yosemite Falls, Yosemite National Park, California.

Fittingly, two large expanses of protected land sit side-by-side: The John Muir Wilderness and Ansel Adams Wilderness area.

And wilds are exactly what you’ll find there.

But the term "wilderness" doesn’t just refer to a law that safeguards our country’s 756 designated wilderness areas. Yes, the John Muir Wilderness Area is protected by our government, fortunately. And the 1964 Wilderness Act states that, in wilderness, “man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

But John Muir was never simply a visitor. “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home,” he once said, “that wilderness is a necessity.” His own realization became very clear: “Going out, I found, was really going in.”

So for that reason, the “wilderness” donning his namesake, spanning over 100 miles from Mammoth Lakes to Mt. Whitney, provides not just a spot on the map for tourists to fill with a pushpin—but also a kind of solace or “homecoming” for those seeking shelter from the buzz of civilization. They come for Mt. Whitney, one of the highest peaks in the lower 48 states, the many other granite peaks or glacially carved canyons, rivers, wildlife, camping—all the attributes and beauty that speak to the place in our human hearts that feels at home in such untouched land.

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