Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming
A view of the West Thumb Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, 1989. Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, was established primarily for its extraordinary thermal features and other geologic wonders. It is the only place in the U.S. where bison have lived continuously since prehistoric times.
Smithsonian connection: In 1871, geologist Ferdinand Hayden led a team of scientists, photographers, and artists on one of the first federally funded surveys of the American West. They sent specimens back to the Smithsonian, and their findings influenced the debate in Congress that led to establishment of Yellowstone National Park in 1872.
Photo by Stan Jorstad