Yellowstone National Park's 150th Anniversary
Yellowstone National Park Celebrates 150 Years
On March 1, Yellowstone National Park is celebrating its 150th Anniversary. Nicknamed “Wonderland,” today’s visitors to this iconic American park celebrate the natural beauty, history, wildlife, and geology, of this miraculous place. This year, Yellowstone will be extra special to visit with upgraded exhibits in the visitor’s centers as well as the incorporation of Native American stories in the park’s newly expanded narrative. Indigenous people of America will play a central role in the celebration of Yellowstone National Park’s anniversary.
Yellowstone was signed into law on March 1, 1872, by President, Ulysses S. Grant and became America’s first National Park. The land was set aside in order to preserve and protect the scenery, cultural heritage, wildlife, geological and ecological wonders for future generations. This new park consisted of 2.2 million acres of land with more than 10,000 hydrothermal sites and half of the world’s active geysers. The park also has a rich cultural and historic history with 25 sites, landmarks, and areas on the National Register of Historic Places.
Because of its location, many Native American Tribes have traditional and spiritual connections to this land. Yellowstone is the homeland of 27 tribes and has a rich history that goes back at least 11,000 years when they hunted, fished, foraged, quarried obsidian, and used the hot thermal waters for medicinal and religious purposes.
This year visitors will be able to experience the culture and art of multiple tribal nations connected to Yellowstone, which will be present throughout the summer at Old Faithful as part of the Yellowstone Tribal Heritage Center Project. Here, visitors will be able to talk to tribal members, learn about their culture, and see their artwork up close. Currently, tribes are coordinating with Yellowstone to install a large teepee village in the park near the Roosevelt Arch in August to give visitors an immersive cultural experience.
Scott Frazier a member of the Crow tribe puts it best, “People are drawn to this because it’s a sacred place,” he said. “It speaks to the people’s heart, to their soul. I ask you, come to Yellowstone, but be quiet, relax, slow down. Don’t worry about the guy driving in front of you. Give everybody a break. Be quiet, and enjoy the sounds of nature.”
On our guided, small group tour the Western Trails, we visit Yellowstone National Park, in addition to eight other National Parks and historic landmarks for an unforgettable trip to America’s beautiful wild west.