“Yellowstone.” Just that word has something sacred about it; something sacred in its meaning. Just the word “Yellowstone” provokes powerful emotions and fuels the imagination and spirit. Yellowstone Country is a place of pilgrimage for people from all over the world who yearn to experience the wildness, beauty, and wonder that few other places offer. And it is a place that many residents of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming take great pride in being a part of.
At the heart of Yellowstone Country is Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Established in 1872, Yellowstone is the world’s first national park and has been declared a Global Heritage Site, as well as an International Biosphere Reserve. Approximately 2.2 million acres in size, YNP serves as the centerpiece for one of the most unique landscapes in North America. And yet the park itself represents just a portion of what makes Yellowstone Country one of the most important places on Earth.
Yellowstone Country represents one of the last intact temperate ecosystems on our planet. It is home to some of the most rugged and wild mountain ranges in North America—the Tetons, Beartooths, Wind Rivers, Absaroka, Crazy, and Madison, just to name a few. Yellowstone Country is also home to many of the finest trout rivers and hunting grounds North America has to offer. The headwaters of two of North America’s most important rivers—the Yellowstone (the longest free flowing river in the lower 48 states and a tributary of the Missouri) and the Snake (the largest tributary to the west’s great Columbia River)—can be found in Yellowstone Country.
Terry Tempest Williams once said, “If you know wilderness in the same way that you know love, you would be unwilling to let it go. This is the story of our past and it will be the story of our future."
Yellowstone Country is a symbol of wilderness perhaps unlike any other, and it is this love for place that must endure so generations to come will have the opportunity to experience the grandeur of a place we call Yellowstone.