100 Years in Yellowstone - Then and Now

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The National Park Service celebrated its 100th birthday in 2016. In the years since the NPS took over park management, Yellowstone National Park has changed profoundly. Here's how things looked in 1916 compared to 2016.

Number of Visitors

Early Yellowstone visitors at Handkerchief Pool (1923)

Early Yellowstone visitors at Handkerchief Pool (1923)

A crowd watches Old Faithful erupt on a summer afternoon.

A crowd watches Old Faithful erupt on a summer afternoon.

2016

1916

4,257,177
park visitors

35,849
park visitors

Train Stations

A stagecoach leaving the Gardiner train station headed to Yellowstone (1904)

A stagecoach leaving the Gardiner train station headed to Yellowstone (1904)

2016

1916

0
train stations at entrance towns

5
train stations, the closest being Gardiner and West Yellowstone

Cost of Hotel

The Old Faithful Inn in 1912

The Old Faithful Inn in 1912

Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn at night

Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn current day

2016

1916

$208
for a standard hotel room in Old Faithful Inn

$50
for an all-inclusive 5.25-day package that included lodging, meals and stagecoach tours

Park Roads

A car stuck on a muddy road in Yellowstone (1925)

A car stuck on a muddy road in Yellowstone (1925)

Yellowstone's East Entrance Road over Sylvan Pass

Yellowstone's East Entrance Road over Sylvan Pass current day

2016

1916

310
miles of paved roads

0
miles of paved roads

Entrance Fees

Cars driving under the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone's north entrance (1924)

Cars driving under the Roosevelt Arch at Yellowstone's north entrance (1924)

Car driving under Roosevelt Arch in 2016

Car driving under Roosevelt Arch in 2016

2016

1916

$30
park entrance fee

$5-10
park entrance fee, depending on the number of seats in your car

Park Rangers

A Yellowstone park ranger feeding a marmot in the 1930s

A Yellowstone park ranger feeding a marmot in the 1930s

Park Ranger Heather Basak at Palette Spring in Yellowstone

Park Ranger Heather Basak at Palette Spring, current day

2016

1916

800
park rangers

~25
park rangers

Park Lodges

Yellowstone's Mammoth Hotel in 1913

Yellowstone's Mammoth Hotel in 1913

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel in Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, current day

2016

1916

9
park lodges

8
park lodges

Number of Months Open to Visitors

Removing the snow with hand shovels on Swan Lake Flat (no date)

Removing the snow with hand shovels on Swan Lake Flat (no date)

Snowplowing Madison to Old Faithful in Yellowstone

Snowplowing Madison to Old Faithful, current day

2016

1916

12
months open to park visitors

2.5
months open to park visitors (June 15-Sept. 1)

Number of National Park Sites

"Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite”

"Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite” 

2016

1916

410
national park sites across the nation

30
national park sites across the nation

Number of Wolves in the Park

Yellowstone rangers with coyote pelts in 1927

Yellowstone rangers with coyote pelts in 1927

2016

1916

99
wolves in the park

Darn-near 0
wolves in the park, according to park historian Lee Whittlesey

Related

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Last Stand Hill (named for Custer's Last Stand), over the mass grave of the Seventh Cavalry soldiers, U.S. Indian Scouts, and other personnel killed in battle. Earlier interpretations were largely mono-cultural, honoring only the U.S. Army's perspective, with headstones marking where each fell.

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old-faithful-ghost

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