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Located in Gallatin County, in southern Montana, West Yellowstone, today, is a place to stay while traveling through Yellowstone National Park, and its history closely mirrors that of the park. When Yellowstone National Park was first formed, guides would lead their clients into the park by following the course of the Madison River, which passed by the area that would later become West Yellowstone. In 1908, a train full of tourists arrived on the newly built Oregon Shortline railway extension and, over the years, the track was built up from Ashton, Ohio through Island Park, Idaho, over Targhee Pass, and into West Yellowstone, resulting in the founding of West Yellowstone, the terminus of the railway extension. By the time that train service to West Yellowstone was ended in 1960, more people were coming by car than by train. The town’s name changed several times until West Yellowstone was settled upon in 1920. Offering several hotels, motels, and other guest accommodations, the city is separated into two parts: residential and commercial. West Yellowstone is near Montana’s borders with both Idaho and Wyoming.


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