John Muir Geo Tourism Center honors the legacy of John Muir while sharing the nature, culture and activities that Coulterville in the Sierra Nevada foothills has to offer. Located in the historic Gazzolo building in Coulterville. This is a fantastic stop along the Highway 132 from Coulterville to Highway 120, a major route into Yosemite National Park, as the John Muir Highway, the highway that generally follows the path that the world renowned explorer and preservationist took on an early journey into Yosemite.
The scenic region is chronicled in Muir’s celebrated book, My First Summer in the Sierra and serves as a picturesque alternative route into Yosemite. Muir wrote the following about Coulterville in his 1869 Journal:
“Found a lovely lily in a shady adenostoma thicket near Coulterville…It is white with a faint purplish tinge inside at the base of the petals, a most impressive plant, pure as a snow crystal, one of the plant saints that all must love and be made so much the purer by it every time it is seen. It puts the roughest mountaineer on his good behavior… During the afternoon we passed a fine meadow bounded by stately pines, mostly the arrowy yellow pine, with here and there a noble sugar pine, its feathery arms outspread above the spires of its companion species in marked contrast; a glorious tree, its cones fifteen to twenty inches long, swinging like tassels at the ends of the branches with superb ornamental effect.”