A lot has changed in the last century
The first national park was established in 1872, nearly 150 years ago. While the natural features of America’s national parks have remained largely the same, many other elements look completely different these days. Take a look at some park photos of the past, compared with how things look these days.
There were few limits to where the earliest visitors to Yellowstone National Park, the first in the National Park system, could go. As visitors began streaming into the park and climbing around its natural features (many the result of a supervolcano underneath), accidents and deaths followed, including the scalding of a senator from New York in the 1880s. You’d likely get arrested for trying to take a similar photo on the Mammoth Terraces these days.
Today, park guests can safely appreciate the natural beauty of the park from a series of boardwalks and trails that protect both themselves and the delicate natural features that make this place so special.