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Yellowstone Park, Wyo., September 30, 1915. SIR: I have the honor to submit annual report of the condition of affairs in and the management of the Yellowstone National Park from October 15, 1914, to the present date.


The Yellowstone National Park, set aside by act of March 1, 1872 (secs. 2474 and 2475, R. S., 17 Stat., 32), is located in the States of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. It has an area of about 2, 142,720 acres and an average altitude of about 8,000 feet.

The military force available for duty in the park consists of a detachment of 200 soldiers of the Cavalry Arm of the service, trained in the different Cavalry regiments and detached therefrom for this special service.

The headquarters is located at Fort Yellowstone, but the command also garrisons 15 soldier stations scattered throughout the park, requiring 135 men during the tourist season and 75 during the remainder of the year.

A telephone system connects the soldier stations and the post.

In addition to the military force which is maintained by the War Department, the Interior Department furnishes certain civilian employees, namely, a clerk, scouts, a buffalo keeper, etc.

The detachments of soldiers at the 15 stations performed their duties in a very satisfactory manner.


An unusually early spring opened all roads to travel before the tourist season, but on account of heavy rains in May and up to past the middle of June, they were very muddy for a few days after the opening on June 14, but dried up so rapidly that they required sprinkling before the end of the month.

The aggregate number of persons making park trips during the season of 1915 was as follows:

Travel during the season of 1915.
Guests at hotels:

Entering via the western entrance with Yellowstone-Western
Stage Co..

20, 151 Entering via the northern entrance with Yellowstone Park Transportation Co...

6, 722 Entering via eastern entrance with Holm Transportation Co..... 144


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Wylie Permanent Camping Co.:

Entering via northern entrance..
Entering via western entrance.

Entertaining via eastern entrance.
Shaw & Powell Camping Co.:

Entering via northern entrance.....

Entering via western entrance. Hefferlin Camps:

Entering via northern entrance..

Entering via western entrance.
With other licensees of personally-conducted camping parties.....
Making park trips with private transportation:

With automobiles..
With other private transportation as “private camping parties"

5, 227

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Total making park trips...

51, 703 Number making short trips with special licensees. Grand total of travel, season of 1915.

51, 895 The Yellowstone Park Hotel Co. reports that 27,017 people were accommodated at the hotels in the park during the season of 1915, of which 6,722 entered at the northern entrance, 20,151 at the western entrance, and 144 at the eastern entrance.

The Yellowstone Park Boat Co. reports that 4,277 people took the boat trip across Yellowstone Lake during the season, of which 1,863 were traveling with the Yellowstone Park Transportation Co., 1,699 with the Yellowstone-Western Stage Co., 589 with Wylie Camping Co., 111 with Shaw & Powell Camping Co., 4 with Holm Transportation Co., and 11 miscellaneous.


Travel by the different entrances. From the west, via Yellowstone, Mont.

32, 551 From the north, via Gardiner, Mont...

17, 463 From the south, via Jackson, Wyo. From the east, via Cody, Wyo...

1.550 Total.......

51, 895 The travel by way of Tower Falls by regular tourists returning to Mammoth Hot Springs from Grand Canyon was less, in proportion to total travel, then last year. The falling off in the number taking this trip, which is the most beautiful in the park, was due to a desire on the part of the transportation companies to spare their horses the pull up the mountain and the longer journey. All touring the park in automobiles took the Mount Washburn route and were most enthusiastic over the

scenery. The Wylie Permanent Camping Co. had 158 wagons in use during the season, the Shaw & Powell Camping Co. had 85 wagons in use. W. N. and' O. M. Hefferlin had 42 wagons and 4 saddle horses in use transporting tourists and supplies to their 4 permanent camps in the park, and in addition movable camp licenses were issued during the season, covering a total of 43 wagons and 247 saddle and pack animals and 4 special wagons for livery work.

An inspection of the figures giving the travel for the season shows that about three-fifths of all the visitors to the park entered by the

western gateway. This was due to several causes, chief of which was the reduced rates on certain central western railways to the PanamaPacific Exposition in San Francisco, with side trips to National Parks and other points of interest. This concentration of travel to one entrance made the task of the transportation companies operating therefrom exceedingly difficult, but with the exception of a few days when the numbers arriving were too large for all to be given transportation the traveling public was well handled.

AUTOMOBILES. Under instructions in connection with your announcement of April 21, 1915, that automobiles would be admitted to the park beginning August 1, such privilege to be extended to pleasure vehicles only, preparations were at once begun. Four extra first-class rangers were employed for the purpose of checking automobiles, telephone lines were extended and old ones repaired, and new telephones installed at several points along the roads where checking was necessary. On June 7 and 8 a trial trip was made by park officers and members of the transportation companies, as a result of which regulations and schedules were planned and recommended to the department, and these were printed and distributed before the opening date.

Prior to the opening date for automobiles, August 1, heavy rains throughout the West made the roads approaching and in the park heavy and difficult, yet 50 automobiles with 171 tourists entered the park on that day. No accidents to the occupants of horse-drawn vehicles due to automobiles marred this radical departure in viewing the park and the regulations and schedules worked perfectly, although travel was the heaviest in the history of the park. It was found possible to grant special schedules and night travel to those whose time was limited, and it is believed that new schedules can be added to those in force which will add to the pleasure of those touring the park in automobiles. Another season should find open to automobiles the road from Tower Falls to the northeast corner of the park, passing through the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek valleys, by the buffalo farm and on to the lofty and rugged mountains that border the northern boundary of the park. The officers, enlisted men, and rangers had no difficulty in handling the automobile travel, and their efforts to keep cars within the schedules were met by courteous and appreciative responses on the part of the occupants.

The following table shows the total number of automobiles, and number of tourists carried by them, that have taken advantage of the opportunity to make the park trip from August 1 to the end of the season:

Automobile travel.

Entering via the northern entrance.
Entering via the western entrance.
Entering via the eastern entrance.
Entering via the southern entrance.

Automobiles. Tourists.

365 1, 377 392

1, 403 193

701 8




3, 513 This travel is included in the aggregate number of tourists taking park trips, heretofore mentioned.

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