Old City Cemetery, Mammoth Hot Springs, WY


 

 
 

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A view of Boot Hill. There's not much left.

There's almost nothing left of the place.

While Yellowstone National Park is full of naturals wonders and wild life, it also has many lesser known sights.  Among them is a series of small frontier graveyards hidden throughout the park. They are home to a series of virtual geocaches entitled "Yellowstone Forever" and published in geocaching.com. This is the first cache of the series.  

This is the old city cemetery.  We simply called it Boot Hill. The feature that struck us most about this place is what the elements have done to the headstones and even the graves themselves. While old cemeteries tend to degrade over time, they still maintain the appearance of one.  This one doesn't.  Due to the elements and lack of maintenance, it has just about been wiped clean.  Despite the fact that we had GPS and background knowledge, it was barely recognizable as a graveyard and then only after we were right in the middle of it. We guessed that there were about 12 graves that could be identified as such. There were probably more that have been lost to time and the elements. However there is still one marker which has readable information. It identifies two people who are buried there.  That is the information that you need to claim this virtual cache.

KidsRN at the lone remaining headstone. It has the virtual cache info.

KidsRN at the lone remaining headstone.

This geocache site is located on a large, barren, windswept hill overlooking Mammoth Hot Springs and Fort Yellowstone in the northwest corner of Yellowstone National Park. The Wyoming-Montana state line is just over the hill. You can walk from here to Gardiner, Montana on the Old Gardiner Road. There are paths and roads that will take you up the hill, but it is a challenging climb. Starting at 6200 feet, you'll go to 6500 in less than a mile. Take some water and take your time. Once you are up there your efforts will be rewarded. The view is 360 degrees of Yellowstone scenery at its best. The combination of history and ruggedness make this our favorite virtual geocache. Don't forget your camera. 

 

 

The view from the top looking ESE.  That's old Fort Yellowstone with the red roofs. Most of Mammoth Hot Springs is out of view down over the hill. Gardiner, MT and the north gate are about five miles to the left of the picture.  The north gate has the Roosevelt Arch, one of the many icons in Yellowstone National Park.  The entire North Entrance Road from Gardiner to Mammoth is a separate historic district.

View of Fort Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs from the geocache.

 

 

 

The other geocaches in this "Yellowstone Forever" series  are also worth your time. They take you to parts of the park not mentioned in the brochures.

These GPS coordinates 44.98152,-110.70415 will take you to the center of the site and  the spectacular view to the right. Click on the coordinates to bring up a Google interactive map.

Good haunting....The Cachemanian Devils