Preserving Cultural Resources

A historic photo of a large group of visitors walking away from the Old Faithful Inn
Yellowstone’s cultural resources tell the stories of people, shown here around 1910 near the Old Faithful Inn, and their connections to the park. The protection of these resources affects how the park is managed today.



Yellowstone National Park’s mission includes preserving and interpreting evidence of past human activity through archeology and historic preservation; features that are integral to how a group of people identifies itself (ethnographic resources); and places associated with a significant event, activity, person or group of people that provide a sense of place and identity (historic buildings, roads, and cultural landscapes). All of these materials and places tell the story of people in Yellowstone. Collectively, they are referred to as cultural resources.


Quick Facts


  • More than 1,800 known prehistoric and historic Native American archeological sites and historic European American archeological sites


  • More than 300 ethnographic resources (animals, plants, sites, etc.)


  • 25 sites, landmarks, and districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places; many more eligible for listing
  • More than 900 historic buildings
  • 1 National Historic Trail


  • Housed in the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center
  • Museum collection of more than 720,000 museum items, including 30 historic vehicles
  • Archives containing millions of historic documents
  • Research library holds more than 20,000 books and periodicals available to the public; plus manuscripts and rare books available to historians and other researchers

More Information

Last updated: June 15, 2016

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168


(307) 344-7381

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