My First Summer in the Sierra

In My First Summer in the Sierra John Muir recounts his early travels in the Sierra while working as a shepherd. In the summer of 1869, Muir set out from California’s Central Valley with a flock of 2,050 sheep and made his way to the headwaters of the Merced and Tuolumne Rivers. As one of America’s great philosopher naturalists, Muir captures the spirit of the Sierra Nevada and brings the reader along as a witness to his great journey. He explores in great detail the mountains, meadows, waterfalls, flora, and fauna of the rich landscape that captured his heart. My First Summer in the Sierra is an excellent introduction to the writings of John Muir. This edition contains 30 illustrations.

John Muir (1838 – 1914) was a Scottish-born American naturalist, author, and early advocate of preservation of wilderness in the United States.


  • Print Length: 182 pages
  • Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches

Paperback: $13.95 available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and on order at most independent bookstores.

Publisher’s Note

I remember my first summer in the Sierra. It was a good one. Yosemite Valley: the East Buttress of Middle Cathedral with Henrich; cragging with Lori, Jean, Sean, and crew; naps by the Merced; shenanigans with Rich. Tuolumne: Cathedral Peak; Matthes Crest; more shenanigans. Bishop: wanderings on Mt. Williamson with Dan; and deer antlers.

I believe it is near impossible for anyone to have a bad first summer in the Sierra. There is no bias or first-hand experience to influence the first timer. Instead, there are only first impressions and the imagination. And the Sierra does not disappoint. Fantasize all day; look at photos; read books. But in the end, when you finally arrive after all of that dreaming, the real deal will take first place.

As you journey toward the Range of Light, read about Muir’s first summer in the Sierra, for only when you arrive and see it with your own eyes will you truly understand—and feel—his manic passion.

~ Joe Reidhead