Friday, May 19, 2017

John Muir National Historic Site


  John Muir was an early environmentalist and advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. He founded the Sierra Club and helped preserve Yosemite National Park and other western parks and forests. At the age of 40 he married Louisa Strentzel and went into partnership with his father-in-law, John Strentzel, managing a large fruit ranch in central California. A portion of the ranch and the Muir’s home is now the John Muir National Historic Site.

  The site has a tiny visitor center with little information on Muir. The house is furnished as it would have been during the Muir’s lifetime. The park interpreters are very knowledgeable and can answer any questions. Walking paths lead to the orchards and the Martinez Adobe which part of the original Martinez Mexican grant land and passed through several owners before it was bought by John Strentzel. The house was used by the Muir family as a storeroom and later as a home for John’s and Louisa’s daughter. The Martinez Adobe houses a very interesting account of the Anza Expedition. In 1775 Juan Bautista de Anza led 240 men, women, and children 1,210-miles from Tubac Arizona to central California with the goal of establishing a Spanish settlement at San Francisco Bay.


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  The visitor center is accessible. The house is at the top of a small hill. A golf cart is available for visitors who need a ride but it is not wheelchair accessible. A paved path with switchbacks provides another route. Most wheelchair users will need assistance. A lift operated by park personnel accesses the first floor of the house. Photos of the second floor are available. The path through the orchard is paved. The Martinez Adobe is accessible.

  The parking lot is very small. Do not turn into it if you are driving an RV as there isn’t room to turn around. Instead turn onto the street opposite the historic site entrance. Parking is available on the street.  Site   37.99207, -122.13076



  1. Are you having any problems finding places to park at night in the east-bay? Showed Marcia the picture of you and said, "See, you are not the only one who gets your picture taken!" She smiled.

    1. It's been really tough to find parking since almost all Walmarts in southern and central California no longer allow overnight parking so we've been staying in Home Depot lots. We hop around so much that we've been staying for just one night in each but even so we got one warning notice on our windshield and one morning knock. They were nice enough to let us get a whole nights sleep though. :-)

      I had to get my picture taken with good old John Muir!