In 1871, photographer William Henry Jackson joined the first federally funded geological survey of northwestern Wyoming, led by Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden. The photographs that Jackson took during this trip were presented to congress, and on March 1, 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a law making Yellowstone National Park - the nation’s first. The United States now has 59 protected national parks all operated by the National Park Service which is currently celebrating its centennial.

The hot springs on Gardner River are seen here in 1871.
NPS Photo by William Henry Jackson