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John Muir National Historic Site

John Muir National Historic Site

Owned and operated by the National Park Service, the John Muir National Historic Site (JMNHS) preserves the Victorian home of our namesake and famed naturalist John Muir. The nearby tracts of native oak woodlands and grasslands were owned by the Muir family. Muir blended his responsibilities at the ranch and to his family with writing and activism. After weeks of travel, he enjoyed climbing the hills with his daughters, Wanda and Helen. Muir’s journal entries describe his delight for the scenic views of Carquinez Strait, Mount Diablo, and the lovely surrounding hills — views that you can experience today much as they were one hundred years ago.

John Muir Victorian mansion. Credit: National Park Service

John Muir Victorian mansion. Photo: NPS

JMLT has enlarged the site twice. We acquired 325-acre Mount Wanda in 1992 and 44-acre West Hills Farm in 2015, and then donated these properties to the National Park Service. West Hills Farm is part of the property that was known as Hill Girt Farm, owned by John Swett, a close friend of Muir.

The JMNHS forms the eastern boundary of JMLT properties along Franklin Ridge. Gold Rush pioneer Edward Franklin purchased a two-story adobe ranch house from Vicente J. Martinez in 1853 that can still be seen on the park grounds. Climbing these hills today you will enjoy stunning panoramas viewed from elevated ridgetops, miles of multi-use trails, the sights and sounds of thriving wildlife habitat, and an opportunity to reflect on the area’s rich history as you walk in the footsteps of John Muir himself.

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