Backcountry Use

About 95% of Yellowstone National Park is considered “backcountry”—land and waters away from roads and boardwalks that remain undeveloped except for 37 patrol cabins, five fire lookouts, and several hundred miles of trails. Backcountry visitors can gain a better understanding of and appreciation for the ecological processes that operate on a large scale to make Yellowstone what it is. Although less than 10% of Yellowstone visitors venture into the backcountry, they encounter the most pristine parts of the park and its most unhabituated wildlife in circumstances where rules are difficult to enforce; backcountry use can therefore have a disproportionate impact on the park’s resources.