John Muir Geotourism Center

"Keep close to Nature's heart... and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean." John Muir

These passionate words spoken by John Muir are brought to the public at the John Muir Geotourism Center, a jewel in the Sierra Nevada foothills located just 45 minutes from Yosemite National Park. The center's mission is to enrich the natural and rural communities by inspiring people to explore, learn, share and preserve the values of the John Muir Legacy through innovative geotourism and creative programs.  You'll find that and more at the Geotourism Center and along the John Muir Highway that weaves through historic Coulterville.

The hurried and busy world today can learn from the John Muir inquiry model that is woven into each visit and program at the Geotourism Center:

  • Importance of intellectual and physical rigor;
  • Application, integration and synthesis of observations in natural settings;and
  • Unbridled joy from sharing a passion for nature.

We invite you to honor the legacy of John Muir by visiting the Geotourism Center that houses a special collection of first edition Muir books, nature exhibits, Native American exhibits, Flower shop, and Muir related store.  Walk in the footsteps of Muir with other stewards at the annual John Muir Festival


the 125th Anniversary of Yosemite National Park at the 6th Annual John Muir Festival

Multiple venues for family fun all within Main Street area of Coulterville. Entertainment, activities and food in Coulterville Park, John Muir Geotourism Center and the Coulter Café. See the historic Yosemite Tapestries by Miriam McNitt, commissioned by YNP in 1967, and displayed in the Park for over 40 years.  These tapestries depict the natural history of Yosemite as well as panoramic views of the Park's wonders.

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Latitude: 37.714742 Longitude: -120.195956 Elevation: 1782 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
John Muir Geotourism Center

Seasons Open

All seasons

Hours Open

Tuesday through Saturday 9-4, Sunday 10-4. Closed Monday



Eco-Friendly Notes

Preserved 1853 historic Gazzolo building on Main street of gold rush era Coulterville,  houses the John Muir Geotourism Center.  Low carbon footprint is demonstrated through recycling, energy efficient lights and equipment, workshops and education programs that honor John Muir and teach about nature and conservation awareness.

ADA Accessibility Notes

No steps in building and sidewalk is wheel chair accessible from side parking lot.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets outside please.


The John Muir Geotourism Center (JMGC) board as decided to close this location and move to an office and small display space across the street in Coulterville. The JMGC continues its important goals to bring more visitors to witness where Muir first traveled or "sauntered" in 1868-1869. The places he wrote about in his iconic "My First Summer in the Sierra" where he tells about formulating his ideas for the need of National Parks. Muir is now considered to be the "father" of National Parks.

Monty J. Thornburg, PhD, 2/24/2018

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