History & Culture

Yellowstone National Park has rich human and ecological stories that continue to unfold. People have spent time in the Yellowstone region for more than 11,000 years. Many tribes and bands used the park as their home, hunting grounds, and transportation routes prior to and after European American arrival. Yellowstone was established as the world's first national park in 1872.

 
Stones piled in a formation in the forest

Park History

Learn about Yellowstone's story from the earliest humans to today.

A historical photo of a group of people walking across a geyser runoff channel.

Preserving Cultural Resources

Learn how Yellowstone National Park works to preserve and interpret the human history of the region.

An historic postcard of a large tent camp and stage coaches

Places

Every place and building in Yellowstone has a story.

A horseshoe covered in white rock reads

Collections

The Heritage and Research Center houses Yellowstone's extensive museum collection, archives, and research library.

Map of the northwestern US showing 26 tribes that have ties to the Yellowstone area.

Associated Tribes of Yellowstone

26 tribes have ties to the area and resources now found within Yellowstone National Park.

 
A Thomas Moran watercolor of a terraced hot springs

History Publications

Publications that help tell the history of Yellowstone

Sunset on Lamar River & Valley

Photo Archives

Over 8,000 archived photos covering a variety of Yellowstone topics.

Historic photograph of Fort Yellowstone showing the red-roofed buildings of Officer's Row.

Fort Yellowstone

Explore this historic US Army post built during the park's early years.

A landscape painting of steaming geysers

Subject Site: Arts in the Parks

Yellowstone's artistic heritage is part of an important tradition for understanding, sharing, and preserving parks.

Three uniformed park employees testing telemetry gear in a meadow.

Yellowstone Center for Resources

Scientific efforts underway in Yellowstone National Park.

Men in uniform stand above severed bison heads

History FAQs

Wonder if Yellowstone was the first national park? Want to know how to access our collections? Check our our History FAQs

A brick arch with mountains with a mountainous background

In the Shadow of the Arch

A blog by our archivists will give you a peek into the stacks and storage areas of our library, archives, and museum collections.

A group of people in a field

Timeline of Human History in Yellowstone

The human history of the Yellowstone region goes back more than 11,000 years.

Three park employees removing native fish from a transport container.

Science & Research

Explore the endeavors that enhance our knowledge of the region and inform preservation decisions.

Bison grazing in a patch of grass with hydrothermal steam rising behind them.

Learn About the Park

Yellowstone is as wondrous as it is complex. The park is at the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, where nature and culture abound.

Last updated: September 18, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168

Phone:

307-344-7381

Contact Us