YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK • Wyoming - Montana - Idaho
NPS Logo

Riverside Geyser—Unlike most Geysers it spouts obliquely instead of vertically. Its arching column of water is thrown into the Firehole River. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

An Appreciation of
Yellowstone National Park

Author of "The Mississippi Bubble" "54.40 or Fight" "The Way to the West," etc.
Written Especially for the United States Railroad Administration

AFTER every war there comes a day of diligence. Usually war is followed by a rush of soldiers back to the soil. We have 3,000,000 soldiers, a large percent of whom are seeking farms. This means the early use of every reclaimable acre of American soil. It means that the wildernesses of America soon will be no more.

Our great National Parks are sections of the old American wilderness preserved practically unchanged. They are as valuable, acre for acre, as the richest farm lands. They feed the spirit, the soul, the character of America.

Who can measure the value, even to-day, of a great national reserve such as the Yellowstone Park? In twenty years it will be beyond all price, for in twenty years we shall have no wild America. The old days are gone forever. Their memories are ours personally. We ought personally to understand, to know, to prize and cherish them.

Of all the National Parks Yellowstone is the wildest and most universal in its appeal. There is more to see there—more different sorts of things, more natural wonders, more strange and curious things, more scope, more variety—a longer list of astonishing sights—than any half dozen of the other parks combined could offer. Daily new, always strange, ever full of change, it is the circus park, Nature's continuous Coney Island. It is the most human and the most popular of all the parks.

But Yellowstone is more, and very much more, than that, especially in its new and vastly enlarged form to-day. As it now is constituted, it is the noblest sweep of unspoiled and yet fully accessible mountain country to be found within or without our National Park limits. Here, indeed, you may see the ROCKIES, and as you look, there will arise in your soul the phrase, "As it was in the Beginning!" Happily also follows the remainder of the choral chant, "Is now, and ever shall be!" What price can you put on that?

Yellowstone is at once the easiest, the most feasible, the most human of all the parks, and also the wildest and most unchanged.

No other park, and no other mountain region within our borders, holds such numbers, or such numbers of species, of native American big game.

The bears of Yellowstone have made it famous, as has its Painted Canyon. Its vast elk herds—the last hope of that species in America—have no like anywhere in our country now. The bighorn sheep, rarest and wildest of our big game animals, still lives its old life there. The wise and busy beaver builds its dams as it always did. The antelope still may be seen, shadowy, fleet. The two species of American deer still thrive. Lastly, there still are to be seen some hundreds of the noblest of all our wild animals, the bison; a herd larger now than it was when, in the winter of 1894, the writer of these lines explored Yellowstone Park on ski and made public the danger then existing of the extinction of the wild bison at the hands of ruthless winter hunters.

Who can measure the value of these native treasures? Where else can you see them? What other country, what other printed page, can teach you so much as a week's reading of Nature's page here?

And you can travel and live in perfect comfort! That is almost the most astonishing thing about Yellowstone. You can photograph a wild bear and eat a course dinner within the same hour. You perhaps can see the buffalo from your seat in a comfortable touring car. You can see the Canyon and geysers and the Grand Tetons and a dozen bold mountain lakes and streams and yet sleep in as good a bed as you left at home. Literally, the world has nothing like this. Other parks have one attraction, several; but none has all these. And no discomfort or danger or weariness will mar your day's delights.

I know the Yellowstone—why should I not, who have seen its last corners, summer and winter? I have fought for its elk, its buffalo, its trout, its wider-flung boundaries. I know it and love it all—that is why the United States Railroad Administration asks me to write these few words about it. So will you love it when you know it. And you ought to know it. That is part of your education as an American, as well as one of your American privileges in pleasuring.

Thank God, you Americans, that Yellowstone is now and ever shall be—your own! Thank God that there you still can see a part of the old West—your own West—as it was in the Beginning!

Emerson Hough

To the American People:

Uncle Sam asks you to be his guest. He has prepared for you the choice places of this continent—places of grandeur, beauty and of wonder. He has built roads through the deep-cut canyons and beside happy streams, which will carry you into these places in comfort, and has provided lodgings and food in the most distant and inaccessible places that you might enjoy yourself and realize as little as possible the rigors of the pioneer traveler's life. These are for you. They are the playgrounds of the people. To see them is to make more hearty your affection and admiration for America.

Sec. of the Interior

The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone—One of the most stupendous and alluring spectacles that nature ever spread out for the wonder and delight of mortal eyes. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Yellowstone National Park

The Yellowstone is the largest and perhaps the best known of our national parks.

John Colter, of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, who was in the region in 1807, was the first white man to see any part of what is now the Park. James Bridger and Jos. L. Meek, fur trappers, were there in the 30's. Warren A. Ferris saw the geysers in 1834, and wrote the first published account of them. Captain DeLacy explored a part of the country in 1863. Folsom, Cook, and Peterson were there in 1869; the Washburn-Doane party in 1870, and Doctor Hayden in 1871-72.

Yellowstone was created a national park by act of Congress, in 1872. The Park proper is about 62 miles long from north to south, 54 miles wide, and has an area of 3,348 square miles, or 2,142,270 acres. It is situated principally in northwestern Wyoming, but laps over a little on the north and west into Montana and Idaho. The Park is an elevated plateau surrounded by mountains and has an average elevation above sea level ranging from 7,000 to 8,000 feet.

There is nothing in all the world like Yellowstone National Park. You can't make it relative, because there is no standard of comparison; but you may take it for granted that it is the real wonderland, embracing an aggregation of fantastic phenomena as weird as it is wild and remarkable. It contains geysers, mud volcanoes, mineral springs, exquisitely colored pools, and similar manifestations of Nature. There are found here something like 4,000 hot springs, large and small; 100 geysers, big and little. It has many rushing rivers and limpid lakes, well filled with trout. It has waterfalls of great height and large volume. It has dense forests, mainly of pine, spruce, fir, and cedar. It has areas of petrified forests with trunks standing. A wide variety of wild flowers of brilliant hues grow in profusion. It has canyons of sublimity, one of which presents an unequalled spectacle of golden colors. Its immense area affords safe refuge for the animals of the wild. Nearly 200 different kinds of birds have been noted here. The hotels rank with the best resort hotels to be found anywhere. The permanent camps offer all the enjoyable features of camp life, without its discomforts.

An interesting bit of the Grand Canyon below Tower Falls. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Thus it will be noted that it is a mistake to associate Yellowstone with geysers alone. While the Yellowstone geysers have no counterpart in the rest of the world, without the geysers the Yellowstone watershed alone, with its glowing canyon, would be worthy of a national park. Were there also no canyon, the scenic wilderness and its incomparable wealth of wild animal life would be worthy of the national park. The personality of the Yellowstone is threefold. The hot-water manifestations are worth minute examination, the canyon a contemplative visit, the park a summer. Dunraven Pass, Mount Washburn, the Grand Canyon at Tower Falls, and other interesting points are not extensively known, but should be seen by every visitor to the Park.

A bill providing for the addition to Yellowstone Park of an area of 1,000 square miles, south of and adjoining the Park, is pending in Congress. This extension will include the craggy, serrated granite peaks of the Teton Range, Jackson Lake, all of the rugged scenic lands north of the Buffalo Fork of the Snake River, including the valleys of Pilgrim and Pacific creeks to Two Ocean Pass; also the canyons, lakes, and forests of the Upper Yellowstone and the Thorofare Basin. The inclusion of this territory will give Yellowstone a stupendous exhibit of mountain scenery, which is comparable to the finest in the world. The amazing Teton Mountains are, from their nature, a part of the Yellowstone National Park, whose gamut of majestic scenery they complete. Already Yellowstone visitors have claimed it and automobile stages operate to Moran on Jackson Lake.

As a place for one to spend as many weeks as may be possible during the heated months, no spot in this country excels Yellowstone. Its elevation above sea level—an average of 7,500 feet—its location in the heart of the American Rockies amid some of the earth's most inspiring scenery, combined with the extreme purity of the atmosphere, the tonic and exhilarating effect of the mountain climate, the fine character of the hotels and camps, the good roads and trails affording the most interesting horse back rides, the excellent trout fishing, the mountain climbing, the weird scenery, the wild animals—all make up the ensemble of an ideal vacation experience. The Park is absolutely unique and original; to see it once means a desire to see it again. It grows on one, and many revisit it year after year. Remember Yellowstone National Park is yours.

Wild flowers grow in great profusion and variety almost everywhere in Yellowstone National Park. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

An Invigorating Climate

The elevation, together with the corresponding equable temperatures, the pure waters, and the health-laden breezes from the pine forests, is sufficient explanation of the Park's nearly perfect climate. During the tourist season the mean average temperatures range from 54° to 64°, with a maximum of 88°. The air is pure and bracing.

With days that are comfortable and sunshiny, but never hot and oppressive, inviting opportunity for every kind of healthful recreation; with nights that are always cool, conducive to sound sleep, nothing is wanting to make a week, a month, or a season here everything that an outing should be. Those who spend any considerable time in the Park and engage in fishing, hiking or horseback riding, motoring or boating, will receive big "dividends" in health.

Punch Bowl Spring—One of a myriad of hot springs, pools and geysers, which fill the Upper Geyser Basin. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Where The Geysers Gush

Nature has lavished her gifts on the region of the Yellowstone. Here are wild woodland, crystal rivers, gorgeous canyons, and sparkling cascades; but of all its wonders none is so unusual, so startling, so weird, as the geysers. Once seen, the memory and mystery of them will forever linger. The Yellowstone geysers are renowned the world over, because of their size, power, number, and variety of action.

The more prominent geysers are confined to three basins, lying near each other in the middle west zone. Other hot water manifestations occur in all parts of the Park. Marvelously colored hot springs, mud volcanoes, and other strange phenomena are frequent. The geysers exhibit a large variety of character and action. Some, like Old Faithful, spout at regular intervals; some of the other large ones play at irregular intervals of days, weeks, or months; some small ones play every few minutes. Some burst upward with immense power; others hurl streams at angles or bubble and foam.

Yellowstone has more geysers than all the rest of the world. Some are literal volcanoes of water. To translate this into volume we will use Old Faithful as an example. According to observations made by the United States Geological Survey, this most famous of all geysers hurls in the air every sixty-five or seventy minutes a million and a half gallons of water, or 33,225,000 gallons a day. This would supply a city of 300,000 inhabitants.

The most important geysers and springs are listed below (based upon observations, season 1917):

Upper Basin

NAME Height of
in Feet
Length of

Artemisia5010 to 15 min.24 to 20 hrs.
Bee Hive2006 to 8 min.Several hrs.
Castle50-7530 min.24 to 26 hrs.
Cub608 min.Daily
Fan2510 min.Irregular
Giant200-2501 hour6 to 14 days
Giantess150-20012 to 36 hrs.5 to 40 days
Grand20040 to 60 min.1 to 4 days
Grotto20-30Varies2 to 5 hrs.
Jewel5-201 min.5 min.
Lion50-602 to 4 min.2 to 7 times daily
Lioness80-1000 min.Irregular
Mortar304 to 6 min.Irregular
Oblong20-403 min.8 to 12 hrs.
Old Faithful120-1704 min.65 to 70 min.
Riverside80-10015 min.8 hrs.
Sawmill20-351 to 2 hrs.Twice a day
Spasmodic42 min.2 to 3 hrs.
Turban20-4020 min.Irregular

Norris Basin

NAME Height of
in Feet
Length of
Constant15-355 to 15 sec.Irregular
Congress PoolLarge boiling spring
Echinus303 min.40 to 45 min.
Emerald PoolBeautiful hot springs
Minute Man8-1515 to 30 sec.1 to 3 min. at times
Monarch100-1256 min.Irregular
New Crater6-251 to 4 min.2 to 5 min.
Valentine6015 to 60 min.Irregular

Lower Basin

NAME Height of
in Feet
Length of
Black WarriorFew feet----Continuous
White Dome101 min.40 to 60 min.
Clepsydra10-40Short3 min.
Great Fountain75-10045 to 50 min.8 to 11 hrs.
Mammoth Paint PotsBasin of boiling clay
Prismatic LakeRemarkable coloring
Turquoise Spring100 feet in diameter

The Lone Star Geyser, just off the road from Upper Basin to Thumb, has one of the most beautiful cones. It plays sixty feet in the air for ten minutes, at intervals of forty minutes.

There are Geysers and Geysers—some smaller, some larger, but none so popular as Old Faithful—Never failing, always on time, it performs about every seventy minutes. Photo by Haynes, St. Paul

Grand Canyon and Great Falls of the Yellowstone

The glories of the Great Falls and the beauty of the Grand Canyon rival the geysers in interest.

The canyon is vast. A cross-section in the largest part measures 2,000 feet at the top and 200 feet at the bottom, with 1,200 feet of depth. The Upper Fall is 109 feet, the Lower or Great Fall, 308 feet in height. The canyon and Lower Fall — a composite picture — are seen to the best advantage from Artist Point and Inspiration Point.

The following quotations describe as well as words can this awe-inspiring wonder:

Lieut. G. C. Doane, U. S. A., in charge of the military escort of the Washburn government expedition of 1870, wrote:

"There are perhaps other canyons longer and deeper than this one, but surely none combining such grandeur and immensity and peculiarity of formation and profusion of volcanic or chemical phenomena. The combinations of metallic lustres in the coloring of walls are truly wonderful, surpassing, doubtless, anything of the kind on the face of the globe."

Old Faithful Inn—A most unique hotel in a most unique region—near Old Faithful Geyser. overlooking the Upper Geyser Basin. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Rudyard Kipling wrote: "All that I can say is that without warning or preparation I looked into a gulf 1,700 feet deep, with eagles and fish-hawks circling far below. And the sides of that gulf were one wild welter of color—crimson, emerald, cobalt, ochre, amber, honey splashed with port wine, snow-white, vermilion, lemon, and silver-grey in wide washes. The sides did not fall sheer, but were graven by time and water and air into monstrous heads of kings, dead chiefs—men and women of the old time. So far below that no sound of strife could reach us, the Yellowstone River ran, a finger-wide strip of jade green. The sunlight took those wondrous walls and gave fresh hues to those that Nature had already laid there.

"Evening crept through the pines that shadowed us, but the full glory of the day flamed in that canyon as we went out very cautiously to a jutting piece of rock—blood-red or pink it was—that hung the deepest deeps of all."

The famous artist Moran said: "Its beautiful tints are beyond the reach of human art." And General Sherman, referring to Moran's painting of the canyon, added: "The painting by Moran in the Capitol is good, but painting and words are unequal to the subject."

Folsom, connected with the private expedition of '69, and who first wrote of the canyon, said: "Language is entirely inadequate to convey a just conception of the awful grandeur and sublimity of this most beautiful of Nature's handiwork."

The Lounge, a distinctive feature of the beautiful Grand Canyon Hotel

The Terraced Mammoth Hot Springs

At Mammoth Hot Springs, in the north of the Park, hot waters heavily charged with lime have built up tier upon tier of white terraces which the algae-laden waters color faint tints of red, yellow, blue, and pink. Each terrace carries basins, elaborately carved and fretted, which, when their springs run dry, merge into the great hills of white formation, while new basins form upon their edges. These terraces engulf trees. They form an astonishing spectacle.

Pulpit, Jupiter, Cleopatra, and Hymen terraces, Orange Spring, the White Elephant, Angel Terrace, and the Devil's Kitchen are the most important attractions. Liberty Cap, a monument-like shaft, was once embodied in a terrace; because it was of harder rock-like material, the erosion which washed away its surrounding formation has left it standing. A similar but smaller shaft near-by is known as the Giant's Thumb.

There are rides, walks, and drives about the springs. The mouth of Boiling River, and the canyon and Osprey Fall of the Middle Gardiner River behind Bunsen Peak, are all within walking distance; they also can be reached by horse back or by auto.

The general panorama at Mammoth Hot Springs is one of the most striking in the Park. The steaming, tinted terraces and Fort Yellowstone near-by; the long, palisaded escarpment of Mount Everts to the east; the dominating presence of Bunsen Peak to the south, with the Gardiner Canyon and the distant elevations of the Mount Washburn group; the rugged slopes of Terrace Mountain to the west, and the distant peaks of the Snowy Range to the north—all together form a surrounding landscape of wonderful beauty and contrast.

A picturesque spot on the auto road at Gibbon Falls

A Wild Animal Refuge

The Yellowstone National Park is perhaps the largest and certainly the most successful wild-animal refuge in the world. For this reason it offers an exceptional field for nature study.

The increase in the number of wild animals in the Park is very noticeable: this because of the careful protection afforded them. Hunting is prohibited, except with a camera, and this is encouraged. Besides many bears and buffaloes, there are antelope, mountain sheep, whitetail and mule deer, and more than 30,000 elk. These animals are harmless when no attempt is made to annoy or interfere with them. They may not always be seen by the visitors in the automobiles which travel the main highways daily during the season, but the quiet watcher on the near-by trails may often see deer and bear and elk and antelope, and he may even see mountain sheep, moose, and buffalo by journeying on foot or by horseback into their retreats.

The summer season in the Park is the vacation period for bears. Morning and evening a few of the many bears in the Park frequent the vicinity of the hotels and camps and wax fat and sleek upon food the hotels throw away. Watching these bears feed is one of the early evening diversions. Occasionally a grizzly may be seen among them.

Only twenty-five buffalo had been left by hunters when protection laws were passed in 1896. These have increased now to nearly 400. They are in two herds. The larger, miscalled the "tame herd," because it is somewhat under control by the rangers, lives in the upper Lamar Valley, where visitors may easily find it. Approach is over a good motor road. During the summer tourist season, a few of these are driven into pasture at Mammoth Hot Springs so as to be visible to the tourists. The so-called wild herd roams the wilderness round about Yellowstone Lake.

There are many moose around the southeast arm of Yellowstone Lake and on Hell-roaring Creek, and they are increasing in number. Occasionally one or more may be seen by tourists near the main road of the Park, far from their favorite haunts.

The beaver, once so important a part of animal life in the West, are also rapidly increasing. Almost every stream shows signs of their presence. Near Tower Falls there are several colonies; the ponds are easily seen by tourists who visit the locality. There are also some beside the Tower Fall road, near Mammoth Hot Springs, just south of the crossing of Lava Creek.

Of birds there are between 150 and 200 species—geese, ducks, pelicans, gulls, eagles, hawks, owls, night hawks, ravens, Rocky Mountain jays, tanagers, bluebirds, water ouzels, blackbirds, meadow larks, robins, and others.

Handkerchief Pool—"Nature's Laundry," near Old Faithful Inn. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Excursions On Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake is a large sheet of water, of irregular form, its shores heavily wooded and indented. It is of moderate depth and twenty miles across. The Absaroka Range of snow-capped mountains rises from its edge to altitudes of 10,000 to 11,000 feet. On the shore of the lake at the West Arm, there are highly colored paint pots and many hot pools. From the lake the mountain scenery of the Park is seen to exceptional advantage. There are attractive camping and outing spots on the borders of Yellowstone Lake and in the neighboring mountains. Numerous motor boat trips may be made by arranging with the boat company at Lake Outlet. Among these are trips to the southeast arm of the lake, where one may see the pelicans on Molly Island; a trip to the south arm of the lake, also to Flat Mountain Arm, and another one to Steamboat Point. An equipment of new, small motor boats is available for these excursions. Rates for rowboats are $2.00 a day; 50 cents an hour. Rowboats equipped with motors, $7.50 a day; first hour, $3.00; each additional hour, $1.25.

Near the Lake Outlet, the Government has constructed a sub-fish hatchery that adds interest to the locality.

(click on image for a PDF version)

Well Stocked Fishing Grounds

In 1889 the United States Fish Commission began the distribution of fish in the Park waters. In recent years there has been an annual distribution aggregating hundreds of thousands of trout, so that most of the lakes and streams in which fish can thrive are now stocked with one or more varieties. Something like 10,000,000 young fish have been placed in Park waters. These comprise grayling and Rocky Mountain whitefish; black spotted or native trout; rainbow, Loch Leven, lake, eastern brook, and Von Behr or brown trout.

Practically all the waters within easy distance of the Park hotels and camps are kept well stocked with fish, and many of the more remote streams and lakes are even better supplied owing to their being less visited by anglers.

Visitors who do not take their own fishing equipment can supply themselves at any of the hotels or camps upon payment of a small rental.

Yellowstone is a paradise for the expert angler. Almost any of a hundred streams can be successfully whipped by an adept, while an amateur can catch lake trout near the Lake Outlet. No license is required.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Mount Everts, from the Painted Terraces. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Hundreds of Miles of Trails

The advent of motors in Yellowstone National Park reduces the time formerly required to travel between points, and permits the tourist to spend more of his time in viewing individual points of interest. To fill these new needs the National Park Service is developing the trail system as rapidly as time and appropriations permit. Much already has been accomplished, and several hundred miles of trails are now available for the horseback rider and hiker. These trails lead into the remote scenic sections of the Park, out to streams and lakes teeming with fish, far away into the foothills of the Absaroka Range where the wild buffalo browse, and into other regions of strange geologic formations. If persons wish to travel on the trails without the service of a guide, careful inquiries should be made at the office of the superintendent of the nearest ranger station before starting, and the government topographic map should be procured and studied.

Saddle horses for hire are available for guests of the hotels and camps at Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, and Grand Canyon. The rates are $3.00 a day; $1.00 first hour, 50 cents for each subsequent hour. Guide with horse, $5.00 a day.

Pulpit Terrace—Mammoth Hot Springs—one of many peculiar formations found here noted for exquisite beauty of coloring and variety of forms. Photo by Newman Traveltalks

Fossil Forests

The fossil forests cover an extensive area in the northern part of the Park, being especially abundant along the west side of the Lamar River about twenty miles above its junction with the Yellowstone.

The late General H. M. Chittenden, the foremost authority on Yellowstone National Park, thus described these petrified trees: "The tourist may see upon the slopes of Specimen Ridge, side by side, the living and the dead, the little conifers of present growth, and the gigantic trunks of unknown species which flourished there eons ago. Some of the petrifactions are perfect. Roots, bark, parts showing incipient decay, worm holes, leaves—all are preserved with absolute fidelity. The rings of annual growth may be counted, and these indicate for the large trees an age of not less than 500 years. Some of the stumps are fully ten feet in diameter. Here and there the ponderous roots stand imbedded in the rock face of the cliff, where erosion has not yet undermined them. Some hollow trees show interiors beautifully lined with holocrystalline quartz. How long it took each growth to reach maturity; how long it flourished afterward before destruction; and how long the several lava flows suspended vegetable growth, are matters largely conjectural."

A Veritable Flower Garden

The Yellowstone is the botanist's paradise. The whole Park is a veritable flower garden, its coloring changing with the advancing season. Specimens of the most delicate lowland flowers are found in close proximity to fields of snow. The visitor notes the profusion of coloring of these natural flower gardens.

Authorities estimate that forest growth covers fully 84 per cent, of the entire area of the Park. In these forests are pine, fir, balsam, spruce, cedar, poplar, and aspen, with occasionally a dwarf maple and a thicket of willows.

One of the several permanent camps—For years camping in comfort has been a feature of Yellowstone travel

Hotels and Permanent Camps

Visitors have the choice of service at hotels or permanent camps. All service is under the supervision of the United States Government and is maintained at a high standard.

The hotels are first class. They are electric lighted, steam heated, and otherwise modernly equipped.

The permanent camps are in effect villages of tent-houses set among the pine trees. Each camp consists of central service buildings and scores of cozy sleeping tents. All hotels and permanent camps are situated with special reference to their convenience for sight-seeing.

The hotel and the permanent camp at Mammoth Hot Springs are near the colored terraces and Liberty Cap, and across the plaza from historic Fort Yellowstone; Old Faithful Inn and Old Faithful Camp at the Upper Geyser Basin are near Old Faithful Geyser and other big geysers. The Grand Canyon Hotel is on the west side of the Grand Canyon, within easy walking distance of the Great Fall and Inspiration Point. The Canyon Camp is on the opposite side of the Grand Canyon, near Artist Point. The Tower Fall Camp faces the mouth of Lamar River, several miles farther north.

Old Faithful Inn, at Upper Geyser Basin, the first hotel of its kind, has become one of the most popular hotels in the country. It is a striking structure of logs and boulders. The rendezvous is 75 feet square, and 92 feet high to the peak of the roof, with balconies around three sides. A massive stone chimney, with a fireplace at each side and corner, or eight fireplaces in all, is a feature of this room. It is steam-heated, electric-lighted, pleasantly furnished, and thoroughly home-like.

Old Faithful Inn and also Old Faithful Camp are near Old Faithful Geyser; opposite, and but a trifle farther away, are the Giantess, Lion, Bee Hive, Lioness, and Cubs geysers; down the little valley the Castle Geyser is in plain view, and the eruptions of the Grand Geyser, and to some extent those of the Giant, Artemesia, and Riverside geysers, can be seen. A particular feature of the Inn is a large searchlight on top of the building, which is operated every night, showing the geysers in play and the bears feeding at the edge of the woods, under electric light.

At the outlet of Yellowstone Lake will be found the fine Lake Colonial Hotel, thoroughly modern in every respect. It has an imposing front with large columned porches at each end and in the center.

The Grand Canyon Hotel is one of the finest of resort hotels. It is 640 feet long by 415 feet wide. A large number of rooms have private baths. It is equipped with elevators, cold storage and ice-making plant, and is electric-lighted and steam-heated. The main feature of the hotel is the lounge. This is 175 feet long by 84 feet wide; the sides are practically all plate glass. An orchestra is maintained.

"Camping" in Yellowstone is a term which is likely to be misleading. These large, permanent summer camps are not "camps" in the usual sense. They afford all of the enjoyable features of camp life without any of its characteristic annoyances. The sleeping tents are wainscoted in wood to a height of four feet, with canvas sides and roof. Each tent has wooden doors with locks and screened windows. The tents are heated by wood-burning stoves and furnished with full-size comfortable beds. The food, wholesome, varied, and well cooked, is served in large dining halls.

All permanent camps have large recreation pavilions, with hardwood floors, for dancing and other amusements.

At these camps emphasis is placed on out-of-doors entertainment. A feature of the early evening is the camp fire—a pyramid of burning, crackling pine logs in the glow of which the guests sing, eat pop corn, and participate in impromptu entertainments.

Cleopatra Terrace—Mammoth Hot Springs—One of the most striking of all these wonderful formations. Photo by Haynes, St. Paul

Automobile Transportation

The Yellowstone Park Transportation Company, under contract with the Government, operates a transportation line from the Park entrances to the various hotels, camps, and points of interest. The standard equipment for these tours consists of high-powered, 10-passenger automobiles, built to fit the necessities of Yellowstone travel; they move on regular schedules. Stop-overs, without extra charge, may be procured from the transportation company.

Fishing in the Yellowstone River—The park lakes and streams are stocked annually with trout

There are available 7-passenger autos, with chauffeurs, for special trips. Arrangements for these must be made with the transportation company. The rate is $6.00 an hour. Service charges in the Park are fixed by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

The automobile trip through the Park is about 150 miles of constant variety. Each day's journey unfolds new enjoyments. The landscape changes with amazing suddenness. Each wonder spot seems but the prelude to something more inspiring.

The Government has spent large sums of money to perfect the roads; they are sprinkled and maintained in good condition. Also within recent years it has expended more than $2,000,000 in various betterments. The roads to points overlooking the Grand Canyon and to the summit of Mount Washburn are very popular.

Side Trips From Stop-over Places

Many short and inexpensive trips are available from the principal stop-over places in the Park.

One of the most delightful of these is across the southern boundary of the Park to the historic Jackson Lake country, celebrated as one of the most thrilling high mountain spectacles of America. Motor stages leave Upper Geyser Basin early in the day, going via the Thumb, and reaching Jackson Lake early in the afternoon. Returning, stages leave Jackson Lake about noon and arrive at the Thumb in time to connect with the regular Park Tour automobiles. The cost of this excursion, to holders of regular Park tickets, is $10 for the round trip. The hotel rate at Jackson Lake is $4.00 a day, and up. It is necessary to spend one night at Jackson Lake.

From Upper Geyser Basin a trail trip to Shoshone Geyser Basin and Lake, for one or more days, is a pleasant diversion. Shorter trips are walks or rides to Lone Star Geyser or drives to Shoshone Point.

Another pleasant drive from Upper Geyser Basin is down to the junction of the Gibbon and Firehole rivers, to fish for grayling.

From the Outlet at Yellowstone Lake several pleasant excursions may be made by auto to Sylvan Pass and other points, but the lake and boating excursions are the primary attractions.

The first sight of a real wild bear in his native woods gives the Yellowstone visitor just a little thrill. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

One of the most interesting side trips in the Park is made from the Grand Canyon. This trip may be made as a part of the regular park tour by use of the road that passes over the top of Mount Washburn, elevation 10,000 feet. It can be done by automobile, horseback, or afoot. The distance from hotel to summit is eleven miles. One can go by road and return by a well-worn trail through entirely different scenes.

The view from Mount Washburn is marvelous, and one obtains, as in no other way, an accurate and connected idea of the Park as a whole.

From Mammoth Hot Springs numerous trips may be made. Among the most popular are the ascents of Electric and Bunsen peaks and Mount Everts, and around Bunsen Peak (which includes a view of Osprey Fall and Middle Gardiner River Canyon). Trouting excursions are many and easily made.

From Mammoth Hot Springs or the Grand Canyon a side trip by auto or saddle horse may be made into the northeastern part of the Park, passing the Buffalo Farm and terminating at the quaint little mining camp of Cooke City. The town is surrounded by some of the most imposing mountains in this section, and radiating from it are numerous paths which can be followed on horseback. One may go up into the Granite Range to Goose Lake, which lies at an altitude of 10,000 feet, by wagon road, a distance of about twelve miles.

From the head of Goose Lake a gradual climb of about a mile and a half brings one to the Grasshopper Glacier, so named because of the fact that the remains of grasshoppers are imbedded in the ice, where they were caught by a snowstorm, at some remote time, during a flight across the pass.

From the Tower Fall region, an interesting side trip by foot or horseback can be made to the petrified trees of the Fossil Forest.

Another trail from Cooke City follows the wagon road to Clark's Fork and thence to the southward over Dead Indian Hill, through Sunlight Basin, to Cody, where the road leads back into the Park over Sylvan Pass to Yellowstone Lake.

There are about 400 Bison in the park—The "Big Herd" on Lamar River is the largest in the world. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Gateways to Yellowstone National Park

The tourist may enter the Park at Gardiner on the north, Yellowstone station on the west, or Cody on the east. From the north, on the way to Gardiner, one rides by train through scenic Paradise Valley and between the walls of Yankee Jim Canyon, alongside the rushing torrent of Yellowstone River, and past Electric Peak. From the west the train traverses a fertile agricultural region, then enters the picturesque Warm River Canyon and continues on through forests, natural parks, and wooded crests over the Continental Divide to Yellowstone station. From the east it is an auto trip from Cody by way of Shoshone River Canyon and the big Government Dam; thence through the National Forest Reserve, over Absoraka Range, and through Sylvan Pass.

When to go to the Park

Season 1919—The first date automobiles will start from either Gardiner, Yellowstone or Cody, will be June 20, and the last date automobiles will start from these gateways to make a complete tour of the Park will be September 15. The last date automobiles will reach any of the gateways, after tour of the Park, will be September 19.

The Park season is a time of the year when a sojourn among the mountains is most healthful and pleasurable. While in the early part of the summer there is more snow on the mountains and the streams carry more water, August and September are delightful months during which to make the tour. There is no time when there is the least possibility of the streams running dry or of the waterfalls disappearing; the geysers play equally well, in September or in June, and the autumnal hues of trees and foliage lend an appreciable beauty to the scene.

How to Reach the Park

Automobiles of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company connect with railroads at Gardiner, Mont., on the north,—Yellowstone station, Mont., on the west, and Cody, Wyo., on the east—these three being the principal gateways to the Park.

Yellowstone National Park as a Destination:—During the Park season round-trip excursion tickets at reduced fares are sold at practically all stations in the United States and Canada, to Gardiner, Yellowstone station and Cody, as destinations. From the Middle West, East, and South, round-trip excursion tickets may he purchased for transportation on going trip to any of the three Yellowstone National Park gateways, (Gardiner. Yellowstone station, Cody), and for transportation on the return trip from the same or any other gateway, thus affording passengers privilege of entering the Park at one entrance and leaving it at the same point or any one of the other entrances.

From many sections trips may he planned to include visits to two or more of the following national parks in the Rocky Mountain region: Yellowstone, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, and Mesa Verde.

Coupons covering automobile transportation and accommodations at the hotels or permanent camps for the "five-day" tour of the Park may be included in railroad tickets at proper additional charges, which are the same as those in effect at the Park. The National Park Service of the Department of the Interior, however, recommends to the traveling public that stop-overs of as long duration as practicable be planned at points within the Park; that Yellowstone National Park be regarded not alone as a region which may be glimpsed on a hurried trip of a few days, but also as a vacation playground of boundless opportunities for rest and recreation.

Yellowstone National Park as a side-trip—Passengers wishing to visit Yellowstone National Park as a side-trip in connection with journeys to other destinations will find stop-over privileges available and may make side-trips to the Park from Livingston, Mont., Pocatello Ida., Ogden, Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah, or Frannie, Wyo., which are stop-over points on both one-way and round-trip tickets, or from Billings, Mont., or Butte, Mont., which are stop-over points on round-trip tickets.

Antelope are much less numerous than the Elk and Deer in the Park, yet about 350 of these beautiful creatures have been seen in one day

Cost of the Park "Five-Day" Tour from Gardiner, Yellowstone or Cody

Including Motor
Transportation and
Meals and Lodging
Including Motor
Transportation Only,
Meals and Lodging Extra

At Hotels At Camps
For adults, and children 12 years old and over$52.00$43.00$25.00
For children 8 years old and under 12 years39.5021.5012.50
For children 5 years old and under years26.0021.5012.50

The above charges are not subject to war revenue tax.

Longer time than is provided by the regular five-day tour may be spent at the various stop-over points, if desired.

For such additional time, meals and lodging are charged for at the rate of $6.00 a day at the hotels and $4.00 a day, or $24.00 a week and up, at the camps. Childrens tickets for hotel or camp accommodations are sold in Park only.

Tickets, including meals and lodging in the Park, entitle holders to accommodations to the value of $6.00 a day at hotels, American plan. Rates for especially well located rooms (including rooms with bath) $7.00 to $10.00 a day, American plan. Persons desiring such accommodations pay the difference at each hotel.

A novel hbit of roadway at Sylvan Pass. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

General information

Detailed information about fares or train service to and from Yellowstone National Park as well as all other, National Parks may be obtained from any Railroad ticket agent, or by writing to Bureau of Service, National Parks and Monuments, or Travel Bureau—Western Lines, 646 Transportation Building, Chicago, Ill.

Women Tourists

Fully sixty per cent of the park visitors are women and a large percentage of them travel unescorted. There are competent women attendants at the hotels and camps whose special duty is to look after the welfare of women and see that they are made comfortable and that their trips are enjoyable ones.

Mail and Telegrams

Mail and telegrams should be addressed to the gateway at which the addressee will leave the park, as follows:

At Gardiner, Montana, or Yellowstone station, Idaho, in care of the Yellowstone Hotel Company or Yellowstone Camping Company (whichever patronized); at Cody, Wyoming, in care of Yellowstone Park Transportation Co.

What to Wear

Warm clothing should be worn, and one should he prepared for the sudden changes of temperature common at an altitude of 7,500 feet. Men should have medium weight overcoats and sweaters, and women should have coats, jackets or sweaters. Linen dusters are essential; they may be purchased in the Park. Stout shoes should be worn, as they are best suited for walking about the geysers and terraces, and for mountain use. Tinted glasses and serviceable gloves should be a part of the traveler's outfit, and a pair of field or opera glasses will be found useful.


The Yellowstone Park Transportation Company will carry free not to exceed twenty-five pounds of hand baggage for each passenger. Trunks cannot be transported in the automobiles. Tourists contemplating a prolonged trip through the Park can make arrangements with representatives of the Transportation Company at any of the gateways for the transportation of trunks.

Storage charges for baggage will be waived by the interested railroads at Livingston, Gardiner, Yellowstone station, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, Ogden, Salt Lake City, Cody, Frannie or Billings, or at Butte, for actual length of time consumed by passengers in making the Park trip. Baggage may be checked to station via which passengers enter the Park, i. e. Gardiner, Yellowstone or Cody. Passengers entering the Park via one station and leaving via another station will find certain regulations for free checking of baggage to station via which they leave the Park.

Bring Your Camera

Nowhere will you find greater opportunities to make good use of your camera than in Yellowstone. Hunting with gun is prohibited, but visitors are allowed to "shoot" as often as they desire with cameras and the field is unlimited. Photographic supplies can be obtained at the hotels and camps.

Bath House

A bathing pool is maintained at Upper Geyser Basin. Rates, 50 cents in large pool; $1.00 in private pool.

Medical Facilities

A resident physician is stationed at Mammoth Hot Springs, and each hotel and camp has a trained nurse and a dispensary.

Park Administration

Yellowstone National Park is under the jurisdiction of the Director, National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C. The Park Superintendent is located at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.

Entering the Park through the canyon of the Shoshone River. Copyright by Haynes, St. Paul

Personally Conducted Saddle and Pack Trips off the Beaten Paths

A most enjoyable way of seeing Yellowstone National Park is to join an all-expense horseback camping party conducted by experienced guides authorized by the Government to personally escort such excursions.

The names and addresses of the licensees and other information concerning these "Roughing-it-in-comfort" trips, may be obtained from National Park Service, Department of the Interior, Washington, D. C.; or apply to Manager, Bureau of Service, National Parks and Monuments, or Travel Bureau—Western Lines, 646 Transportation Building, Chicago, Ill.

Time of Departure and Arrival of the Automobiles at Gardiner, Yellowstone and Cody railroad stations, for the regular "five-day" tour.

In and Out Via Gardiner

Leave Gardiner 11.30 a.m., via Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon, and Tower Falls; arriving Gardiner 7.00 p. m., fifth day.


In Gardiner, Out Yellowstone

Leave Gardiner 11.30 a.m., via Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon, (side trip to Dunraven Pass) arriving Yellowstone 5.30 p.m., fifth day.


In Gardiner, Out Cody

Leave Gardiner, 11.30 a.m., via Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, and Grand Canyon, (side trip to Dunraven Pass) arriving Cody 6.00 p.m., fifth day.


Mt. Moran and Jackson Lake—Awe-inspiring in their grandeur and beauty Photo by Nweman Traveltalks

In Yellowstone, Out Yellowstone

Leave Yellowstone, 9.00 a.m., via Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, arriving Yellowstone 5.30 p.m., fifth day.


In Yellowstone, Out Gardiner

Leave Yellowstone, 9.00 a.m., via Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, arriving Gardiner 7.00 p.m., fifth day.


In Yellowstone, Out Cody

Leave Yellowstone, 9.00 a.m., via Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, and Grand Canyon, arriving Cody 6.00 p.m., fifth day.


In Cody, Out Cody

Leave Cody. 8.00 a.m., via Grand Canyon, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, and Grand Canyon, arriving Cody 6.00 p.m., fifth day.


Norris Geyser Basin bubbles and hisses and steams like a great manufacturing district

In Cody, Out Gardiner

Leave Cody, 8.00 a.m., via Grand Canyon, Norris Geyser Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon, Tower Falls, and Mammoth Hot Springs, arriving Gardiner 7.00 p.m., fifth day.


In Cody, Out Yellowstone

Leave Cody, 8.00 a.m., via Grand Canyon, Tower Falls, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, and Upper Geyser Basin, arriving Yellowstone 5.30 p.m., fifth day.


Jackson Lake and the Teton Range are near the southern entrance to the Park, and are in the proposed new addition. Photo by Haynes, St. Paul

U. S. Government Publications

The following publications may be obtained from the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office, Washington, D. C., at prices given. Remittances should be made by money order or in cash:

Geological History of Yellowstone National Park, by Arnold Hague, 24 pages. 10 illustrations, 10 cents.

Geysers, by Walter Harvey Weed, 32 pages. 23 illustrations, 10 cents.

Fossil Forests of the Yellowstone National Park, by F. H. Knowlton, 32 pages. 15 illustrations, 10 cents.

Fishes of the Yellowstone National Park, by W. C. Kendall 28 pages. 17 illustrations, 5 cents.

Panoramic view of Yellowstone National Park; 18 by 21 inches. 25 cents.

The National Parks Portfolio, by Robert Sterling Yard, 260 pages. 270 Illustrations descriptive of nine national parks. Pamphlet edition, 35 cents; book edition, 55 cents.

The following may be obtained from the Director of the Geological Survey, Washington, D. C., at price given.

Map of Yellowstone National Park, 32 by 36 inches, 25 cents.

The following publications may be obtained free on written application to the Director of the National Park Service, Washington. D. C., or by personal application to the office of the superintendent of the Park:

Circular of general information regarding Yellowstone National Park.

Map showing location of National Parks and Monuments and railroad routes thereto.

Glimpses of Our National Parks, 48 pages illustrated.

Touring the Park on horseback is becoming more and more popular, because of the development of several hundred miles of trails

U. S. R. R. Administration Publications

The following publications may be obtained free on application to any consolidated ticket office; or apply to the Bureau of Service, National Parks and Monuments, or Travel Bureau—Western Lines, 646 Transportation Building, Chicago, Illinois.

Arizona and New Mexico Rockies
California for the Tourist
Colorado and Utah Rockies
Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Glacier National Park, Montana
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Hawaii National Park, Hawaiian Islands
Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas
Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
Northern Lakes—Wisconsin, Minnesota, Upper Michigan, Iowa and Illinois
Pacific Northwest and Alaska
Petrified Forest National Monument, Arizona
Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Sequoia and General Grant National Parks, California
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho
Yosemite National Park, California
Zion National Monument, Utah

(click on image for a PDF version)

The lower falls of the Yellowstone.
Height 308 feet—In its superb setting it is a marvel of beauty. Copyright by A. Schlechten

Last Updated: 18-Nov-2011