History of the Yellowstone Trail

In 1912, a group of small town businessmen in South Dakota  undertook an ambitious project to create a useful automobile route, the Yellowstone Trail, across America. This was at a time when roads weren’t marked, there were few maps and slippery mud was the usual road surface. The Yellowstone Trail Association located a route, motivated road improvements, produced maps and folders to guide the traveler, and promoted tourism along its length. It became a leader in stimulating tourist travel to the Northwest and motivating good roads across America. The Lincoln Highway Association, formed in 1913 by industrialists, created a similar route across the U. S., but used big organizational and public relation budgets.  

Today, almost all of the route of the Yellowstone Trail is on slower, less traveled roads. Some sections of the Trail, especially  in the West, have remained little changed and are a delight to visit.