The Open Parks Network currently holds more than 100,000 high-resolution photos, and continues to grow. The photos date back to the early 20th century and show just how much visitor experiences have changed over the decades. Feeding the animals—including bears—wasn't so much verboten as it was a major tourist attraction. And to look at some of the outfits, you'll be more thankful than ever for microdown and fleece.
At the same time—provided the right Instagram photo filters, photos of people looking in awe at mountain panoramas or sprawled out in camp could have easily have been taken today. And remember those Canadian teenagers who got in trouble for walking up to a geyser in Yellowstone this summer? They weren't the first.
With the help of Rachel Jane Wittmann, the network’s National Parks metadata specialist, we dove into the archive to find some of the very best photos from the collection so far.
Photo: A man identified as Jack Raymon teaches a Boy Scout how to hold a cottonmouth moccasin, also known as a water moccasin, in 1940. The snakes are extremely venomous.