Rules and Regulations
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Headquarters of Yellowstone National Park are at Mammoth Hot Springs, 5 miles from the north gateway. Here are the executive offices of the park administration and of the public utilities that operate in the park under Government regulation and supervision.

The officer of the National Park Service in immediate charge of the park is the superintendent, Mr. Horace M. Albright. His office is in the general headquarters building and his address is Yellowstone Park, Wyo. All complaints and suggestions regarding service in the park should be addressed to the superintendent.


The park is protected by a permanent ranger force composed of men who are skilled in forest fire fighting and in the detection of offenses in violation of the rules and regulations governing the park. This ranger force is augmented in the summer season by temporary rangers who are assigned to protect the natural features of the park from depredations by thoughtless and careless tourists (especially those who desecrate the geyser and hot spring formations and the trees and signs by carving their names or initials upon them). This temporary force as well as the regular ranger service is charged with the duty of giving information to visitors, and rendering such other assistance to the touring public as time and opportunity permit.


The National Park Service has established an official bureau of information, in the same building as the superintendent's office, for the use of tourists, free of all charges. Rules and Regulations, containing general information, of all national parks, and automobile maps of the Yellowstone National Park, are on hand for free distribution. Pamphlets on Geysers, Geological History of the Yellowstone, Fossil Forests, and Fishes of the Yellowstone are on sale at nominal charges; and also topographical maps of this park. A museum of the natural history of the park is maintained in connection with the bureau.


Exclusive jurisdiction over the park was vested in the United States by the act of Congress creating the park. The rules and regulations printed on pages 92 to 99, inclusive, have the full force and effect of law, and should be carefully observed. Offenders charged with violation of the rules and regulations are tried at headquarters by the United States commissioner for the park, Mr. John W. Meldrum.


The tourist season extend from June 20 to September 15. This means that tourists may enter the park for a complete tour on and between these dates. The park utilities, therefore, are actually operated from June 20 to September 20. After the latter date admittance is granted only to tourists who come equipped to camp out along the roads or trails.


The Northern Pacific Railroad reaches the park on the north, at Gardiner, Mont.; the Union Pacific System (Oregon Short Line Railroad) reaches it on the west, at West Yellowstone, Mont.; and the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad reaches Cody, Wyo., from which the eastern entrance to the park is reached by the auto-stage drive of 55.4 miles.


There are four hotels, five permanent camps, and an automobile transportation line operated in the park under contract with the Department of the Interior. Movable camps operate under yearly license issued by the department, but every person is at liberty to provide his own means of transportation, subject to the regulations printed on pages 96 to 99.

For authorized rates of the public utilities see separate insert.

The transportation company allows each passenger to take along 25 pounds of hand baggage without extra charge, which is usually quite sufficient unless considerable extra time is to be spent in the park, when arrangements can be made for having trunks forwarded at extra expense. Arrangements can be made for caring for trunks left at entrance during tour of park, or for rechecking them for passengers who enter at one side of the park and go out by another route.

Heavy, strong clothing and heavy shoes (or light shoes and rubbers) are advisable. A raincoat or other light, serviceable wrap should be taken along. Dusters or heavy coats may be rented for park trips by those desiring them.

Tourists desiring to view the vast elk herds feeding in Gardiner Canyon at north entrance of Yellowstone Park in winter will find comfortable accommodations in Gardiner, Mont., at Shaw's Hotel.

General stores are located at Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper Geyser Basin, the outlet of Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon.

A special permit from the Director of the National Park Service is required to take moving pictures in the park.



The post office in the park is called Yellowstone Park, Wyo., and is located at Mammoth Hot Springs. There is a post office at Gardiner, Mont., the northern entrance, at West Yellowstone, Mont., the western entrance, and at Cody, Wyo., the eastern entrance to the park. Tourists are advised to have all mail addressed to Yellowstone Park, Wyo., care of the hotel company or camps company, as the case may be, and to call for such mail on arrival at Mammoth Hot Springs.


Telegrams may be sent from hotels to any part of the world.


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, West Yellowstone, and Cody, as destinations. From the Middle West, East and South round-trip excursion tickets may be purchased for transportation on going trip to any of the three Yellowstone National Park gateways (Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Cody), and for transportation on the return trip from the same or any other gateway, thus affording passengers the 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 be planned to include visits to two or more of the following national parks in the Rocky Mountain region: Yellowstone, Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Mesa Verde.

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, Idaho; 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.

Coupons covering autostage transportation and accommodations at the park hotels or permanent camps for a "sight-seeing" tour of the park of about five days duration 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, 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.

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


For further information regarding railroad fares, service, etc., apply to ticket agent, or address A. M. Cleland, general passenger agent, Northern Pacific Railroad, St. Paul, Minn.; W. S. Basinger, assistant passenger traffic manager, Union Pacific Railroad, Omaha, Nebr.; or P. S. Eustis, general traffic manager, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, 347 West Jackson Street, Chicago, Ill.


The Yellowstone National Park may be reached by motorists over good connecting automobile roads from a number of the main transcontinental automobile highways. Gardiner, the northern entrance to the park, is reached from Livingston, Mont., on both the National Parks Highway and the Yellowstone Trail which traverse Montana by approximately the same route. A map and information concerning the National Parks Highway can be obtained from the National Parks Highway Association, Spokane, Wash. Information concerning the Yellowstone Trail can be obtained from the Yellowstone Trail Association, Aberdeen, S. Dak.

The Cody or eastern entrance may be reached from the National Parks Highway or Yellowstone Trail by turning south from Billings, Mont., and following the main-traveled highway via Laurel, Bridger, and Powell to Cody, Wyo.

West Yellowstone at the western entrance can be reached from the above main highways from Bozeman, Mont., traveling up the Gallatin Valley and from Missoula or Butte, Mont., via the Ruby Valley or the Valley of the Madison River. Inquiry should be made at the various cities concerning road conditions.

The Lincoln Highway traverses southern Wyoming and motorists traveling this route may reach Yellowstone Park by the eastern or Cody entrance by turning north at Cheyenne and following the Yellowstone Highway via Casper, Thermopolis, and Cody and may reach West Yellowstone, the western entrance by turning north at Salt Lake City and following the main-traveled road through Idaho via Ogden, Utah, and Pocatello and Idaho Falls. The southern or Snake River entrance is reached from this Idaho highway by turning east at St. Anthony, crossing the Teton Basin, thence crossing the Teton Mountains via the Teton Pass into the Jackson Hole country. This trip affords wonderful views of the Teton Mountains, Jackson Lake, and the area in the proposed Greater Yellowstone. The southern entrance may also be reached from the Lincoln Highway via the Wind River and other routes. Information concerning the best routes to follow can be obtained from Charles S. Hill, State Immigration Commissioner, State Capitol Building, Cheyenne, Wyo., who also has available information of other points of interest in Wyoming that can be visited by prospective Yellowstone tourists. A map and information concerning the Lincoln Highway can be obtained from the Lincoln Highway Association, Detroit, Mich.


Yellowstone Park is also reached through the Cody or eastern entrance by the most direct route from Chicago via the Black and Yellow Trail. This highway traverses the Black Hills of South Dakota, and a side trip to the Wind Cave National Park may be made from Rapid City, S. Dak. This route also takes the motorist into the magnificent Custer State Park as well as through the Deadwood region, rich in historic sentiment. Information concerning the Black and Yellow Trail can be obtained from the Chicago, Black Hills, and Yellowstone National Park Highway Association, Huron, S. Dak., or from the State industrial commissioner, Pierre, S. Dak.

From Glacier National Park tourists may reach Yellowstone by following any one of the following routes:

The Geysers-to-Glaciers Trail via Choteau, Wolf Creek Canyon, Helena, Townsend, Bozeman, and Livingston.

The Glacier-Yellowstone Beeline Highway via Choteau, Great Falls, White Sulphur Springs, and Livingston.

The Flathead Valley Route via Kalispell, Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, and Livingston, or by turning off at Butte or Bozeman, routes, as above discussed, leading to the western entrance, may be followed.


Automobiles for pleasure purposes only are allowed in the park under appropriate regulations and after payment of a license fee. (See p. 96.)

A system of free public automobile camps is being developed and several of these camps will be available for use during the season of 1920. Others will be opened as fast as funds are granted for their improvement. In these camps pure water will be supplied and fire wood will be made available.

Also cooking grates will be provided, and there will be special attention given to sanitation of these camps. It is not and will not be the policy of the service to confine all camping by motorists to these special sites, but it is hoped that the facilities of these places will make them attractive and inviting to visitors who are touring the park, using their own equipment and supplies.


The Yellowstone Park Transportation Co. and the general stores are authorized to sell gasoline and oil and the transportation company carries a stock of standard automobile parts, tires, etc. The company also maintains garages and repair shops at Mammoth Hot Springs, Upper Basin (Old Faithful), outlet of Lake Yellowstone and Grand Canyon.


The mile-post signs in Yellowstone National Park are diamond-shaped, steel signs with raised letters, which are in every case initials of a junction point on the loop road system or a park gateway. As a measure of economy these signs have not always been placed exactly one mile apart. Fractions of miles have sometimes been dropped in order that two mileage signs might always be placed on one steel post. For instance, between Gardiner, the north gateway, and Mammoth Hot Springs, a speedometer indicates that the distance is slightly over five miles, yet the mileage signs state the distance as five miles.

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.

S. E. South entrance near Jackson, 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 center 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.

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Last Updated: 16-Feb-2010