Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park, the largest of the United States’ national parks and located mostly in Wyoming, is a byword for conservation and natural beauty. Long before its formal founding in 1872, it had a rich history.
Various Native American tribes and other indigenous peoples have lived in the Yellowstone area for thousands of years. Artifacts and oral histories attest to their presence here by evidencing the land’s spiritual and cultural value to them.
Explorers and fur trappers from Europe and the United States first came to the area in the early 19th century, followed by expeditions like the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870. The expedition’s members, especially Ferdinand V. Hayden and photographer William Henry Jackson, were instrumental in securing the area’s preservation.
In 1871, geologist Ferdinand Hayden led a survey expedition to Yellowstone, during which he captured breathtaking photos and detailed descriptions of the park’s geysers, hot springs, and other geological wonders. The need of protecting this rare ecosystem was underlined throughout their studies.
On March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a statute declaring Yellowstone the first national park in the world in response to these accounts and mounting concerns about the possible exploitation and destruction of the area’s natural treasures.
The park’s limits grew throughout time to incorporate land from Montana and Idaho. Because of its status as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Yellowstone continues to receive millions of tourists each year who come to marvel at the park’s geothermal features, unique animals, and breathtaking vistas.