Yellowstone National Park
On August 1, 1915, the first automobiles were officially allowed into Yellowstone. It was the automobile
that created Canyon Lodge, shown in this postcard, and in some ways caused its demise. Soon after
the first automobiles were admitted and it became obvious a new era had begun, park officials
planned park lodging to accommodate autos, while removing some of the accommodations that
catered to stagecoach package tours of previous years.
Canyon Lodge, also known as Canyon Camp, was built in the mid 1920s on the site of an old Shaw
and Powell Camp. This site was located on the Artist's Point spur road, 0.6 mi past Chittenden
Bridge--opposite the Upper Falls and along the east rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (the
site of the present Uncle Tom's parking area). Included at this site were tent cabins and the large
L-shaped main building built of logs and shingles shown above.
According to a 1941 description of the area, the Canyon Lodge complex offered a store, meals,
cocktail lounge, beauty parlor, and barber shop. Each evening, park employees, or savages as they
were sometimes called, presented programs in the spacious lobby, and dancing followed. To the left
of the Lodge, as one continued toward Artist's Point, was Uncle Tom's Trail leading to the bottom of
the Lower Falls.
The popularity of the automobile created new demands for Yellowstone and other National Parks,
and a plan called Mission 66 proposed new measures to deal with the influx of visitors. One of these
proposals was to replace the existing Canyon Hotel and Canyon Lodge with a modern Canyon Village.
For that reason, Canyon Lodge was abandoned at the end of the 1956 season, as the new Canyon
Village prepared for its opening the next summer.
A YELLOWSTONE ALBUM: A Photographic Celebration of the First National Park, commentary by Lee H.
Whittlesey and the Yellowstone Staff; Marsha Karle, managing editor (Roberts Rinehart Publishers, Boulder, CO,
THE YELLOWSTONE STORY by Aubrey L. Haines (Colorado Associated University Press, 1977), Vol. 2.
WYOMING: A Guide to Its History, Highways and People, Writers of the WPA Writers' Program (Oxford University
Press, New York, 1941).