Visitor Experience Icon 2014

Visitor Experience

The Yellowstone Park Foundation supports projects that enhance Yellowstone's visitor experience, including education, recreation, safety, and accessibility.


Old Faithful Haynes Photo Shop

Yellowstone Trails Fund

In June 2013, YPF completed restoration of the Old Faithful Haynes Photo Shop, a place for Park visitors to learn about YPF and stewardship inside the Park, while paying tribute to Yellowstone’s legacy of photography. Restoring the building was no small feat: It required moving the building to a more visitor-friendly location near Old Faithful geyser and the challenge of achieving LEED Certification -- in keeping with the Park’s sustainability goals -- while maintaining the structure’s historic integrity. Whimsical kiosks and seasonally updated interpretive displays ensure that visitors leave the Park knowing how they can help protect this treasure.

Learn more about the Old Faithful Haynes Photo Shop


Yellowstone Trails Fund

Yellowstone Trails Fund

The Yellowstone Park Foundation established a 10-year, $2-million Trails Fund Initiative to support much-needed work on Yellowstone's most popular trails. Yellowstone trail crews and young people from the Montana Conservation Corps and Yellowstone Youth Conservation Corps, tackle an average of four trail projects each summer season in Old Faithful, Canyon, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Yellowstone Lake areas. More than 20 trail projects have been completed through this initiative since 2006, with a goal to have 100 percent of heavily used trails completed by 2016.

Learn more about the Yellowstone Trails Fund

2013 Trails Fund Initiative Summary Report


Roosevelt Arch: A New North Entrance to Yellowstone

Accessing America's Treasure: Roosevelt Arch

In 1903, the Roosevelt Arch was built at Yellowstone's North Entrance to greet visitors arriving via the Northern Pacific. Fast forward, and now hundreds of thousands of visitors pass through the narrow arch each year. The area is plagued by vehicular congestion and erosion. There is no designated place for pedestrians to view the iconic structure. The National Park Service is working with the community of Gardiner, Montana to improve visitors’ experience surrounding the arch, a National Historic Landmark. The Yellowstone Park Foundation has committed $50,000 to fund design and engineering requirements during the first year of a planned three-year project. The project will create designated pedestrian viewing areas, interpretive exhibits, improved flow of traffic and aesthetics befitting this historic landmark.

Gardiner Gateway Project Partnership and Scope

Read more about the history of the Roosevelt Arch
Watch a 2-minute video on the Roosevelt Arch


Norris Geyser Basin Access

Norris Geyser Basin

More than 2 million people visit Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin each summer to explore hydrothermal features and the Norris Geyser Basin Museum. Visitation has outgrown the original design of the area, resulting in deterioration of facilities and the fragile thermal resources around the basin. Yellowstone National Park would like to rehabilitate and enhance pedestrian access to the historic museum, and the Norris Geyser Basin to improve visitor experience and access, and protect this treasure. The Yellowstone Park Foundation has provided funding for the design and planning phase of this undertaking.

Learn more about the Norris area of Yellowstone


Restoration of Roadside Kiosks

Restoration of Roadside Kiosks

Roadside kiosks provide Yellowstone visitors with quick learning opportunities as they discover various sites throughout the Park. Five historic roadside kiosks are located in parking areas and turnouts along a 16-mile section of the Grand Loop Road,currently being reconstructed through a federal highway grant. Not unlike the road itself, the condition of these kiosks is poor. The Yellowstone Park Foundation is funding design work for the restoration of these kiosks. The historic look of the structures --which are made of timber, stone and iron -- will be preserved. These kiosks are located at Golden Gate (above Mammoth, near Chittenden Falls), Apollinaris Springs, Swan Lake Flats, Roaring Mountain, and Obsidian Cliff.


Wildlife & Visitor Safety Project

Visitor Safety

Due to Yellowstone's increasing annual visitation, bears, wolves, and other wildlife have frequent exposure to humans at close distances of 20 to 50 yards. More than 1,100 bear-related traffic jams were recorded in 2012, along with high numbers of other wildlife jams. Rangers are needed during the summer to manage roadside viewing,providing education and safety for both visitors and wildlife. The Yellowstone Park Foundation is funding support for the extra seasonal staffing needed, as well as educational materials that discourage enthusiastic humans from interfering with wildlife.

2013 Wildlife and Visitor Safety Program Summary Report

Learn more about wildlife safety in Yellowstone
Watch a 2-minute video about respectful wildlife watching


Inside Yellowstone

Inside Yellowstone

Inside Yellowstone is a wonderful way to "visit" Yellowstone anytime, anywhere. These popular, short videos — the first of which were released in January 2007 — are electronic guides to the Park. They are available as web videos on the Park's official website and as podcasts for free download to iPods and other iTunes devices. Subjects range from wolves and bears, to historic highlights, to the Yellowstone volcano, and more. Major project support is provided by Canon U.S.A. through its Eyes on Yellowstone program.

Check out Inside Yellowstone videos