Prehistoric Resources

Sometime after the glaciers that covered most of the Greater Yellowstone area receded about 14,000 years ago, people arrived to hunt now extinct species such as the mammoth. Tribal groups may have traveled to the geothermal waters for ceremonial or medicinal purposes on the same trails in use today; evidence of camping along the Bad Pass Trail in Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area goes back 10,000 years. Although many prehistoric archeological sites have been located in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, and Bighorn Canyon, physical evidence of early human presence is scarce. This makes the projectile points and other stone tools that have been found all the more valuable in efforts to understand what the environment was like and how people used its resources before written records offered clearer explanations.


Updated: 2/14/2008