Yellowstone National Park

Park History

The human history of the Yellowstone region goes back more than 11,000 years. The stories of people in Yellowstone are preserved in objects that convey information about past human activities in the region, and in people’s connections to the land that provide a sense of place or identity. Today, park managers use archeological and historical studies help explain how humans left their mark in times gone by. Ethnography helps us learn about how groups of people identify themselves and their connections to the park. Research is also conducted to learn how people continue to affect and be affected by places that have been relatively protected from human impacts.

National Park Service. "Park History." U.S. Department of Interior, Spring 2001. Web. Summer 2015.

Problems the Park Faces Today


-If Earth’s climate continues to change as scientists predict it will, the national parks will be impacted like the rest of the planet. Glaciers may melt away, fire seasons may grow in length and severity, and the landscape may shift under the feet of the parks’ wild residents.


- Managers must balance open access with negative impacts on visitor experience and on park environments. Today’s visitors also use parks in new ways. Snowmobilers prowl Yellowstone and pilots fly visitors over the Grand Canyon. Does allowing such activities enhance the park experience or detract from it?


-National parks are inviting places, especially for non-native species that can cause havoc once they move in. Plants and insects often hitchhike to our shores on boats or airplanes while other species, like snakes, are intentionally imported for the exotic pet trade. When turned loose with no competition, invasive species can run amok in an ecosystem and send a park’s native residents toward extinction. More than 6,500 non-native invasive species have been found in U.S. national parks. Seventy percent of them are plants, which encroach on a staggering seven million acres (2.8 million hectares) of our national parklands.

National Geographic Society. "Issues Facing National Parks." National Geographic, 1996. Web. 12 June 2015.

Outdoor Activities

Backcountry Camping & Hiking




Cross Country Skiing and Snowshoeing


Guided Tours

Horseback Riding & Llama Packing