Rules and Regulations
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You have just entered Yellowstone National Park. In bidding you welcome, the National Park Service asks you to remember that you are visiting a great playground that belongs in part to you, and that while you are at liberty to go anywhere in the park with perfect freedom, you owe it to yourself and to your fellow citizens to do nothing that will injure any of the natural features of the park—the geyser and hot spring formations, the trees, the wild animals or birds.

The park was set apart from the public domain by Congress in 1872 and dedicated as a "pleasuring ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people." It was enacted that it should remain forever as such. Thus we of the present generation are obliged legally and morally to so use and enjoy the park that it will remain forever in essentially its natural state.

Help us then protect Yellowstone National Park and especially its things of beauty that are so often desecrated by the carved initial or other inscription.




The area of the park is 3,348 square miles or 2,142,720 acres. Over 85 per cent of this great reservation is covered with dense forests of pine, fir, spruce, and other trees. You will pass through some of these vast forests in your tour of the park, and you are particularly urged to use the greatest caution in handling matches, cigar and cigarette stubs, and pipe ashes. Extinguish every spark before throwing them away. Last year 306 fires in Yellowstone Park were caused by careless handling of matches and stubs of cigars and cigarettes. Many tourists found responsible for these fires suffered arrest for violation of the regulations, then trial, and the imposition of heavy fines for their negligence. You can not be too careful with fire.


You are riding in automobiles operated by the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. which holds a franchise from the Federal Government permitting it to conduct a transportation business on the park road system. The national park authorities prescribe the character of service that this company must give to the public and all rates are approved by the director of the National Park Service.

These cars were specially constructed for park touring and are constantly inspected by park officials.

These cars do not have the right of way on the park roads but have the same privileges with respect to the use of the roads and the speed limits that are accorded all other automobiles. Your driver is experienced in operating cars on mountain roads and he is specifically instructed to adhere strictly to all speed and other regulations.


The speed limits are 12 miles per hour ascending and 10 miles per hour descending steep grades and 8 miles per hour when approaching sharp curves. On good roads with straight stretches and when no team is nearer than 200 yards the maximum limit is 25 miles per hour.

If these limits are exceeded you may be in danger of accident and you should insist upon slower operation of the car. You would also perform a public service if you would report the driver's violation of the regulations at the next hotel or camp, or by telephone to the park authorities, giving the driver's number for identification purposes.

If the driver neglects or refuses to stop at any point of interest indicated on the map herein you should insist on his immediate compliance with his instructions.


Yellowstone National Park is in charge of the superintendent, Mr. Horace M. Albright, whose office is at Mammoth Hot Springs, the park headquarters. Complaints and suggestions should be addressed to this officer in writing, but the telephone service of the park is available for emergency complaints regarding reckless driving on the roads, reports of forest fires, etc.


The park is protected by the ranger force under the direction of the superintendent. The principal duties of the rangers include the patrol ring of the roads and trails, control of automobile traffic, protection of the geyser and hot spring formations, sanitation of camps, etc., but they also answer inquiries and give general information regarding the park as opportunity permits. Do not hesitate to consult the rangers. They are here to aid you. Ranger stations are situated near every hotel and camp, and at every junction point on the road system except Madison Junction where the west entrance road system joins the loop highway.


The central information bureau is maintained at headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs. Here also is the park museum and library. Maps and other publications relating to all of the national parks of the United States are available in this office.


You will add greatly to the enjoyment of your trip if you will procure a guidebook of the park, and refer to it as you go from one point of interest to another. At headquarters and at the ranger stations the National Park Service distributes free of charge a Government booklet describing all of the interesting features of the park, the geyser and hot spring phenomena, the canyons, lakes, mountains, forests, birds, animals, and fish. This booklet also contains the rules and regulations of the park. It has a few illustrations.

The Haynes Guidebook, an elaborately illustrated volume, and as broad in its scope as the Government booklet, is on sale in the hotels, camps, stores, and picture shops at 75 cents.

Put this advisory pamphlet in your guidebook where you can continue to refer to it.


The miles post signs in Yellowstone National Park are diamond-shaped, steel signs with raised letter, which are in every case initials of a junction point on the loop road system or a park gateway.

The following is a key to the mile post initials:

N. E. North entrance at Gardiner, Mont.

W. E. West entrance at West Yellowstone, Mont.

E. E. East entrance near Cody, Wyo.

M. S. Mammoth Hot Springs where the north approach road joins the loop system.

N. J. Norris Junction near Norris Geyser Basin where a road leads directly across the park to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

M. J. Madison Junction where the west approach road joins the loop system.

O. F. Old Faithful at the head of Upper Geyser Basin.

W. T. West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake where the south approach road joins the loop system.

L. J. Lake Junction where the east or Cody approach road joins the loop system.

C. J. Canyon Junction where a road leads directly across the park from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone to Norris Basin.

T. J. Tower Falls Junction where the road to the buffalo ranch and Cooke City leaves the loop system.

With the exception of Madison Junction there is a ranger station at each of the above entrances and junction points.

As the map in the front of this booklet clearly shows, the main road system of Yellowstone Park is roughly in the form of a figure 8. This system is called the "loop" or "belt-line" road. There are 148.5 miles of improved highways in the main system.

The approach roads are the feeders to the loop system, and they lead from all four park gateways to junction points as above indicated. The aggregate length of the approach roads in the park is 68.4 miles.

Other roads in the park have a combined length of 86.65 miles.

Outside of the park boundaries, by special authority of Congress, the National Park Service maintains 28 miles of the east approach road in the Shoshone National Forest and 30 miles of the south approach road in the Teton National Forest.


Yellowstone National Park is an ideal vacation resort. It is worth your time for a week, a month, or, indeed, the entire park season.

The four and one-half day tour is properly designated as a "sight-seeing tour." It represents the minimum time for a circuit of the park loop with one-night stops at each center of scenic interest. While this tour is satisfactory from the standpoint of giving the visitors a general knowledge of the phenomena and primary scenic attractions of the park, it must of necessity fall far short of giving the visitors the benefits which follow a leisurely visit with time for healthful and recreational pastimes in the high, dry, pine-laden air of this great nature playground. You owe it to yourself to stop over at the hotels or camps as many additional days as your vacation allowance will permit. These stop-overs do not entail additional transportation expense. Each hotel and permanent camp is a center from which radiate roads and trails for automobile, saddle-horse, walking, and fishing trips. On Yellowstone Lake are boats for scenic excursions and fishing.

The attention of all visitors is especially directed to Camp Roosevelt, a unique and comfortable camp near Tower Falls on the loop road. This camp is named in commemoration of the visit of President Roosevelt to this region in April, 1903. Camp Roosevelt is a resort center for visitors who desire to get off the beaten path and enjoy to the full the stimulating climate and activities which this camp affords. It is headquarters for trips to Grasshopper Glacier, Buffalo Ranch, Fossil Forest, and fishing trips to near-by trout streams. In addition, it appeals to visitors who are seeking rest and less strenuous recreation. An additional attraction is the natural hot Sulphur baths.


Remember that all rates are approved by the Government. Complaints regarding overcharges should be made to the superintendent. Employees of the hotels, camps, and transportation lines are not Government employees, but discourteous treatment by public-utility employees should be reported to the park administration.



The four hotels in the park are maintained by the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. These are located at Mammoth Hot Springs, the Upper Geyser Basin, the outlet of Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

The address of the hotel company is Yellowstone Park, Wyo., from June 15 to September 15, and Helena, Mont., thereafter. The authorized rates at the hotels are as follows:


Hotel charges.

Four and one-half day tours:
Meals and lodgings (14 meals and 4 lodgings, American plan) on standard tour of Yellowstone Park by passengers of Yellowstone Park Transportation Co$29.00
Board and lodging, American plan, regular accommodations (not including private bath), per day, each person6.50
Board and lodging, including private bath, according to the room's location and number of occupants7.50—11.00
Meals or lodging, part of a day:
Children under 12 years of age, half rate.


Five permanent camps in the park are maintained by the Yellowstone Park Camps Co. These are located at Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and near Tower Falls (Camp Roosevelt). The address of the camping company is Yellowstone Park, Wyo., from June 15 to September 15, and Livingston, Mont., thereafter. The authorized rates at the camps are as follows:


Camp rates.

Four and one-half day tours:
   Meals and lodgings (14 meals and 4 lodgings, American plan) on standard tour of Yellowstone Park by passengers of Yellowstone Park Transportation Co$20.00
   Meals and lodgings, American plan, per day4.50
   Weekly rate for stopovers28.00
Children under 8 years of age, half rate.


J. E. Haynes maintains photographic shops at Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, and Tower Falls, and sale stands at various hotels and camps for the sale of photographs of his own manufacture in all sizes and styles; a complete line of photographic supplies and guidebooks; and has laboratories in the park for developing, printing, and enlarging photographs for visitors.


General stores are maintained at Upper Geyser Basin (Old Faithful) and at the outlet of Yellowstone Lake near the Lake Hotel and Lake Camp by Mr. C. A. Hamilton. At Mammoth Hot Springs and at Grand Canyon general stores are maintained by Mr. George Whittaker. At Mammoth Hot Springs Pryor & Trischman maintain a curio shop and ice-cream parlor. In all of the hotels and permanent camps there are news stands at which curios, postcards, and photographs, souvenirs, newspapers, magazines, tobacco, and smokers' supplies, etc., are available. The general stores of the park carry supplies of all kinds, as well as curios, souvenirs, guidebooks, post cards, pictures, etc.


Guides and horses may be procured at any of the hotels and camps.

Mounted guides for saddle-horse trips:
   Per day$5.00
   Per hour1.00
Saddle or pack horses:
   Per day of 8 hours3.50
   Per hour or fraction thereof.75


Henry J. Brothers operates a pool bathhouse at Upper Geyser Basin. Rates, 50 cents in large pool, $1 in private pool.


As stated above the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. operates the transportation line from the various entrances to the park to the various hotels, camps, and points of interest. The address of this company is Yellowstone Park, Wyo., between June 15 and September 15; thereafter, Helena, Mont. The authorized rates are as follows:


Park tour.

From any entrance—full park tour, and back to the same entrance, or to any other entrance$25.00
On regular park tour cars will be routed over top of Mount Washburn, minimum of 10 passengers, each extra2.00


From all points in the United States to connection with lines of the Yellowstone Park Hotel Co., at Western Union rates.

Messages exchanged between offices in the park at the rate of 25 cents for 10 words and 2 cents for each additional word.


Use of telephones from or to any point in the park not to exceed 1 minute, 25 cents. Each additional minute, 15 cents.


In many waters of the park fishing is excellent, especially in Yellowstone Lake near its outlet, and in the vicinity of Camp Roosevelt. Fishing tackle may be purchased at any of the stores of the park or an outfit consisting of rod, reel, line, and landing net may be rented at the hotels, permanent camps, and stores at 50 cents per day. Flies and fishing accessories can also be procured at reasonable prices.

Ten fish constitute the limit of a day's catch from all waters within two miles of the loop road system.


The medical service of the park is conducted by a skilled physician and surgeon, who is located at headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs. He will, however, promptly attend patients at any place in the park.

Hospital facilities are available at headquarters and trained nurses are stationed at all hotels and camps.


The following sections of the rules and regulations which are the law of the park should ever be kept in mind and faithfully observed:

1. Preservation of natural features and curiosities.—It is forbidden to remove or injure the sediments or incrustations around the geysers, hot springs, or steam vents; or to deface the same by written inscriptions or otherwise; or to throw any object or substance into the springs or steam vents; or to injure or disturb in any manner or to carry off any of the mineral deposits, specimens, natural curiosities, or wonders within the park; or to ride or drive upon any of the geyser or hot spring formations, or to turn stock loose to graze in their vicinity.

The destruction, injury, defacement, or disturbance in any way of the public buildings, signs, equipment, or other property, or the trees, flowers, vegetation, rocks, mineral, animal or bird or other life is prohibited.

3. Fires.—Fires constitute one of the greatest perils to the park; they shall not be kindled near trees, dead wood, moss, dry leaves, forest mold, or other vegetable refuse, but in some open space on rocks or earth. Should camp be made in a locality where no such open space exists or is provided; the dead wood, moss, dry leaves, etc., shall be scraped away to the rock or earth over an area considerably larger than that required for the fire. Fires shall be lighted only when necessary, and when no longer needed, shall be completely extinguished and all embers and bed smothered with earth or water so that there remains no possibility of reignition.

Especial care shall be taken that no lighted match, cigar, or cigarette is dropped in any grass, twigs, leaves, or tree mold.

5. Bears.—Molesting or feeding the bears is prohibited.

17. Fines and penalties.—Persons who render themselves obnoxious by disorderly conduct or bad behavior shall be subjected to the punishment hereinafter prescribed for violation of the foregoing regulations, or they may be summarily removed from the park by the superintendent and not allowed to return without permission in writing from the director of the National Park Service or the superintendent of the park.

Any person who violates any of the foregoing regulations shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both, and be adjudged to pay all costs of the proceedings.

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Last Updated: 16-Feb-2010