The original YTA was formed in 1912 and worked formally to create the transcontinental highway from Boston to Seattle. By the early 1930s, the Depression and the aggressive efforts of state and federal governments to assume road building responsibility and route marking caused the Association to fade and, over the years, be forgotten.
Around 1999, a number of local historians, several retired university professors, and representatives of the tourism industry, individually and then collectively, began attempts to spread the word about the historical significance, the tourism potential, and the just plain fun that could be found in this old auto route. Those efforts slowly jelled into a modern YTA that is beginning to make its mark.
Our membership is diverse. There are Seniors with family memories related to the Trail and early auto travel, antique car aficionados who take Sociability Runs on the Trail just as members did in 1917, local historians finding a new aspect of their communities, modern travelers looking for an “authentic” experience, and tourism professionals with the same goals as the original founders: local economic development.
We extend an invitation to you to join with us.
Volunteers have mapped, in great detail, the route of the YT through its thirteen states. They have begun the marking of the Trail and promoting interpretive signs. Regularly they produce a newsletter/journal, the Arrow.
Most important, we all want to share information and experiences.
The Interpretive Sign Project.
The Yellowstone Trail Association has formally stated its purposes:
1) Public Education: to increase public knowledge of the Trail and its importance in both local and national history,
2) Historical Research: to acquire information and stories about the Trail and its historical context,
3) Historical Preservation: topromote the preservation of appropriate sections of the Yellowstone Trail and buildings or other artifacts along the Trail,
4) Communication: toprovide a medium of communication and support among its members, and
5) Heritage Tourism: to assist heritage tourism agencies along the Trail to promote the Trail, and
6) Related Events: to sponsor or support various events related to the history of the Trail to support the other purposes.