Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone National Park

Sun rising over the waters of Yellowstone Lake
The earliest intact cultural deposits in the park were found on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.

NPS / Jim Peaco

Quick Facts

Location:
Yellowstone Lake
OPEN TO PUBLIC:
Yes

Some of the earliest intact archeological deposits in the park have been found at a site on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. The site was excavated because it was at risk of erosion, and revealed evidence of a 9,350-year-old camp likely occupied by several families. People used this area while hunting bear, deer, bighorn, and rabbits, and perhaps making tools and clothes.

Artifacts dating to 3,000 years ago have also been discovered on islands in the lake, leading some archeologists to speculate that indigenous peoples used watercraft to travel there, or crossed over on the frozen lake.

Last updated: October 31, 2018