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Guardian of the Wilderness (1976)

Based on the life of Galen Clark, whose determined efforts led to the creation of Yosemite National Park. When he is diagnosed with terminal tuberculosis, and disappointed that he hasn't ... See full summary »


David O'Malley


David O'Malley, Karen C. O'Malley (as Casey Conlon) | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Denver Pyle ... Galen Clark
John Dehner ... John Muir
Ken Berry ... Zachary Moore
Cheryl Miller ... Kathleen Clark
Ford Rainey ... Abraham Lincoln
Cliff Osmond ... McCollough
Norman Fell
Jack Kruschen ... Madden
Melissa Jones Melissa Jones
Don Shanks ... Teneiya
Brett Palmer Brett Palmer ... Grandchild
Hyde Clayton Hyde Clayton
Prentiss Rowe Prentiss Rowe ... Roredes
Coleman Creel Coleman Creel
Tom Carlin Tom Carlin


Based on the life of Galen Clark, whose determined efforts led to the creation of Yosemite National Park. When he is diagnosed with terminal tuberculosis, and disappointed that he hasn't accomplished anything significant with his life, Clark decides to vanish into the California mountains to die. But after surviving a series of perilous misadventures, including a heartening encounter with famed explorer John Muir, he regains his spirit. Newly inspired, he launches a courageous battle against the aggressive lumber companies threatening to cut down the rare and precious forest of giant Sequoias. His fight to save the wilderness takes him first to Sacramento, and then Washington, D.C. where he convinces President Abraham Lincoln to declare Yosemite the first public land grant, paving the way for creation of the National Park System. Written by David O'Malley

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The exciting true story of one man's courageous struggle to save America's greatest natural wonders


Adventure | Western


G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

December 1976 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mountain Man See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Sunn Classic Pictures See more »
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User Reviews

Good show. His best performance
18 February 2005 | by milwhitt70See all my reviews

I have seen Denver Pyle as Galen Clark and it gave me a new respect for the man. I taped it, and have shown it to others. I believe it was based on a true story and life of a man who wanted to protect our forests working with the well known John Muir. I remember Mr.Pyle in many, many earlier shows as a bad guy in pictures with Wild Bill Elliott, Audie Murphy, Gene Autry TV series, as well as the Doris Day show and Dukes of Hazard. Sometimes he was so young in the early western I could hardly recognized him (as I watch old movies) on the Westerns Channels. To the best of my knowledge, this was his only absolute starring role in a film. Most of his parts were character actor parts, and he could do all of them very well, and could be just about anybody. Sometimes I felt I knew him.

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