Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

A history of presidential visits to Yellowstone National Park

August 17, 2009, 8:01 am

From Chester Arthur to Barack Obama, American presidents have come to the peace and quiet and grandeur of Yellowstone, a refreshing change from the political heat and conflict of Washington.

1883 — Eleven years after Yellowstone was created and just seven years after the nearby Battle of the Little Bighorn between the U.S. Cavalry and three native American tribes, Chester Arthur rides on horseback through Yellowstone and cuts the tape to open a new rail line that will transport eastern tourists to park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs.

1903 — President Theodore Roosevelt arrives in the gateway town of Gardiner to lay the cornerstone for the Roosevelt Arch, today a Yellowstone icon. He was accompanied on a two-week visit by the eminent naturalist John Burroughs, who wrote about the adventures they had in his book “Camping And Tramping With Roosevelt,” published in 1907.

1923 — Warren Harding visits Yellowstone just one month before he died. During his outing, the president fed bears, a practice that today is outlawed.