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.

Rocks covered in lichen arranged in the shape of a tall fire ring on a mountain top

Park History

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

A yellow bus in front of a yellow wood-sided building with white pillars and trim


Every place and building in Yellowstone has a story.

A horseshoe covered in white rock reads


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

A one-story log cabin across a meadow with bison in it


The preservation of cultural resources helps tell the stories of people and their connections to the 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

Arts in the Parks

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

Three people stand on a boat with one holding a fish

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.

Photo of park employees restoring native fish to Grayling Creek

Science & Research

Learn more about the science that informs management decisions and has the potential to the changes lives everywhere.

Last updated: March 29, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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