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Today’s Guide to Yesterday’s Auto Route West, The Yellowstone Trail

Read an Arrow, the YTA newsletter.

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 or ask us.

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.

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.

We are the modern version of the YT Association with members who enjoy exploring the YT, learning about its history, researching its location, and exchanging information and ideas.      Join in!

Note for the newcomer:

In the 1910s and 1920s “Trail” was used to mean a long-distance auto road  

 If you are not pulling a car out of the mud, keep your horse off the road!

The maps here are older versions of the maps released in the Ridge’s 2021 book.

Your comments, suggestions, corrections, and anything else about the website that might be helpful may be sent to YTA@yellowstonetrail.org


Click here to order!

Alice and John Ridge released their new book:

“A Good Road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound,

The modern Guide to driving the

Historic Yellowstone Trail, 1912-1930”


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           To join or renew, click here:                

  If you have questions or need assistance,

                         send an email to       administrator@yellowstonetrail.org




Or click here for more information about the book

 before ordering.

March 3, 2022

This site is again being updated and modified. Some things might not work  for a few days.

Errata/comments for

A Good Road from PR to PS, by J and A Ridge

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Click  on YTA to:

Learn about the Yellowstone Trail Association

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Help with the interpretive sign project.

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Click  on LEARN to:

Learn about the Yellowstone Trail

Read stories, essays, and notes

related directly or loosely

to the Yellowstone Trail

Enjoy discussions on the Forum


Click  on MAPS to:

See state and regional

Maps of the Yellowstone Trail

These maps, while the most complete

and accurate available

are nevertheless

“Works in Progress”

Let us know about your corrections,

additions, and suggestions.


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