West Yellowstone’s history is as rich as your imagination. The area was first developed with the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad. This small Montana town witnessed the evolution of traveling into the world’s first national park with stagecoaches, dog sleds, Model Ts, snow planes, and more!
Museum of Yellowstone
Explore the Heritage of Travel to Yellowstone The Museum of the Yellowstone is dedicated to telling the story of travel to and through Yellowstone National Park, and the Park’s influence on West Yellowstone and the Hebgen Lake Basin. The Museum is managed by the Yellowstone Historic Center, a non-profit located in West Yellowstone. Founded in 1908, the community of West Yellowstone began with the arrival of rail service to this location. Explore the stories of the growth and changes that occurred in this town as it developed into a true community.
The railroad facilities built by the Union Pacific Railroad in West Yellowstone are encompassed in the Oregon Short Line Terminus Historic District. Discover the stories of the buildings and structures in the Historic District, and see historic photos of them. The forms of transportation bringing tourists to Yellowstone National Park have changed mightily through the years – from horses and stagecoaches to modern airplanes. Learn about the evolution of travel to Yellowstone in this region with special challenges for transportation. The Museum features exhibits, films, and walking tours of the historic district.
West Yellowstone Historic Walking Tour
Explore the self-guided West Yellowstone Historic Walking Tour at your own pace along the Oregon Short Line Historic District. Pick up a brochure at the Museum of the Yellowstone and follow the Painted Bear Paw Trail along the sidewalks to discover unique treasures at each location.
Yellowstone Shortline Trail
The Yellowstone Shortline Trail is a local initiative to restore history in a sustainable and authentic way. The project has sought to convert a 9 mile stretch of abandoned railroads into a historic and world class hiking trail. The Greater Yellowstone Trail is reminiscent of the “bygone railroad era” and a great way for visitors to experience the beauty of Yellowstone and its rich history.