The Greater Yellowstone Region covers 20 million acres of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho. It’s a landscape of rugged mountains, picturesque river valleys, high desert plains and distinctive small towns and historic districts. The lands and waters of the Greater Yellowstone Region are a refuge for hundreds of wildlife species, including rare trumpeter swans, bighorn sheep, herds of elk, roaming bison, wolves, grizzly bears and native fish. The Greater Yellowstone’s spectacular nature is the reason the world’s first national park is here as well as the United States’ first western guest ranches.
To celebrate and preserve the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, neighboring Grand Teton and all the region’s unsung treasures beyond the park borders, National Geographic has teamed with local residents to create the Greater Yellowstone Region Geotourism MapGuide and companion website, www.yellowstonegeotourism.org. The MapGuide is much more than a road map. It shares the locals’ knowledge on everything from where to find the best huckleberry milkshake and great community events to where to watch rescued grizzlies and wolves in their daily activities. Nearly 1,000 map point nominations were received from the region’s residents, making the MapGuide a unique resource for visitors as well as locals seeking unspoiled outdoor places and authentic cultural experiences.
“The MapGuide showcases what makes the Greater Yellowstone Region distinct from any other place on Earth, and underscores the importance of conserving its tremendous scenic and historical assets for future generations,” said James Dion, associate director of National Geographic’s Center for Sustainable Destinations.
The MapGuide is a collaboration of National Geographic Maps, the Center for Sustainable Destinations, Wyoming Travel & Tourism, Idaho Division of Tourism Development, Travel Montana and its region and community tourism partners, Greater Yellowstone Coalition and Yellowstone Business partnership, as well as numerous organizations and individuals serving as the Greater Yellowstone Geotourism Council.
About 175 map points are featured on the print MapGuide while the website covers many more as well links to visitor services in the region. The MapGuide’s themes highlight the historical and contemporary activities of the region’s Native Peoples, the magnificent wildlife, local living in the vibrant small towns, the forces of nature creating the area’s monumental landscape, the contemporary challenges facing the region, and travelers tips.
MapGuides can be ordered free on from the visitmt.com web site.
National Geographic defines geotourism as “tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents.”