Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Trailside Museum

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Three visitors leaving the single-story, stone and wood visitor center.
Visitors at the historic Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and Trailside Museum.

NPS/Jim Peaco


The Fishing Bridge Museum and Visitor Center is located one mile off the Grand Loop Road on the East Entrance Road. Its distinctive stone-and-log architecture, known as "parkitecture," became a prototype for park buildings all around the country.

The Fishing Bridge Museum was completed in 1931. Built of native rock and stone, it appears to rise out of a rock outcrop. The structure was built to reflect the beauty of nature itself. Approaching from the parking lot, it was designed so that one could see through the building to Yellowstone Lake, hence the notion of focussing on the natural resource that the building was created to interpret. It would eventually become a prototype of rustic architecture in parks all over the nation and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. When automobiles replaced stagecoaches as the main means of transportation through the park, people were no longer accompanied by a guide. The museum was built as a "Trailside Museum," allowing visitors to obtain information about Yellowstone on their own.



Visitor Services

  • Rangers who can assist with park information and guidance.
  • Historic bird specimens—by Carl Russell and installed in 1931—provide a good overview of the birds of Yellowstone.
  • Other animals on display include a grizzly sow and two cubs, and a family of river otters.
  • Book and souvenir shopping available in the Yellowstone Forever bookstore.
  • Map of Yellowstone Lake and the underlying geology.

Suggested Activities in the Lake Area

Hikers rest and look out at Yellowstone Lake from atop a mountaintop.

Lake & Fishing Bridge Day Hikes

Hikes in this area provide views of Yellowstone Lake and the surrounding mountains.

Loading up a canoe shuttle on Yellowstone Lake.

Bridge Bay, Fishing Bridge, Lake Village

Explore the shores and waters of Yellowstone Lake.

Bright yellow, three-story hotel building standing in the conifer forest next to a deep, blue lake.

Accessibility in the Lake Area

Learn about the accessibility options in the Lake area.

Park ranger discussing park resources with visitors at West Thumb Geyser Basin

Ranger Programs

Join a park ranger to further your understanding on this special place.

Become a junior ranger of Yellowstone National Park.

Junior Ranger

Becoming a junior ranger is a great way to experience Yellowstone National Park for you and your family.

Angler fishing in Yellowstone


Cast your line for 16 species of fish.

Canoer paddles on Yellowstone Lake


Take in the view from the water.


Lake Area Knowledge

Three spotted fish with red jaws underwater

Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout

Yellowstone cutthroat trout are the most widespread native fish in the park.

Spawning lake trout

Lake Trout

Lake trout prey on Yellowstone cutthroat trout.

Visitors with fish catch (1933)

Yellowstone Lake Fish Hatchery

Fishing has a long history in Yellowstone. The Lake Fish Hatchery produced trout that were used to stock waters in the park and elsewhere.

View of a still Yellowstone Lake shortly after sunrise, with the sky shades of blue and yellow.

Yellowstone Lake

Delve into facts about North America's largest high-elevation lake.

Underwater view of the lake floor, showing sand and gravel.

Yellowstone Lake Geology

Discover a bit of what dynamic processes are going on below the lake's surface.

A cloud reflected into a large body of calm water

Lakes & Ponds

More than 600 lakes & ponds comprise approximately 107,000 surface acres in Yellowstone.

Looking out over Yellowstone Lake at Storm Point with the snow-capped Absaroka Range in view

Hydrothermal Dynamics of Lake Project

Explore how the Hydrothermal Dynamics of Lake (HD-YLake) Project studies the hydrothermal system located beneath Yellowstone Lake.

Sunset turns the sky a bright orange as waves lap against the lakeshore.

Yellowstone Lake

The earliest intact archeological deposits in the park have been found at a site on the shore of Yellowstone Lake.

Snowy mountains stand tall beyond the expansive blue lake waters.

Lake Area FAQs

Learn answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about park resources in the Lake area.


Other Lake Area Facilities

Visitors can receive backcountry permits, boating permits, and general park information at the ranger stations at Lake and Bridge Bay.

Lake Ranger Station

After a decade of military administration in Yellowstone, Congress created the National Park Service in 1916. Ranger stations began to replace soldier stations throughout the park. The Lake Ranger Station was completed in 1923. The first director of the National Park Service, Steven Mather, suggested that the station should blend in with its natural and cultural environment. A local woodsman used pioneer building techniques to give the station its "trapper cabin" style. With park architects, Superintendent Horace Albright designed a large octagonal "community room" with a central stone fireplace. This rustic hall served an informational function by day, and, in the evening, it became the scene of a folksy gathering around a log fire.



Visitors stopping by Fishing Bridge Visitor Center & Trailside Museum

Visitor Centers

Step inside a visitor center and explore the exhibits and interpretive offerings, or talk to a ranger.

Last updated: July 6, 2018

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

PO Box 168
Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190-0168



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