Technology Damaging Yellowstone Wilderness Experience

Doug Williams

One of the best things about visiting a National Park is that a person has the opportunity to truly escape from the modern world, to just decompress and not worry about the hustle and bustle of the “real” world.

It can be so incredibly relaxing for a person to go out into a wilderness that is relatively untouched by humans and modern amenities. There one can enjoy what this beautiful planet has to offer us.

More people than ever before are choosing to travel to national parks all over the US as a way to embrace these natural wonders while removing themselves from the problems of the modern world. They get to see a lot of amazing wildlife and other aspects of nature.



One of the more famous and popular national parks that people enjoy traveling to is Yellowstone National Park. While often national parks are viewed as a quiet refuge, it does appear that, unfortunately, Yellowstone National Park is no longer a place where people can go to avoid the sound of cellphones ringing and buzzing.

It seems that park administrators are struggling to keep the natural environment feel because of the increased coverage of cell phone signals encroaching into the park space. While many of these park administrators did say that they were going to try their hardest to minimize cellphone access to people who are visiting, it appears that this is beyond them.

It’s not uncommon for people visiting Yellowstone National Park to use their cell phones, now you often and hear people’s cellphones ringing and buzzing as well as loud voices as they compete with the wind and wildlife.


If a person were to look at the signal coverage maps for two of the five cell phone towers that are available at Yellowstone National Park, they would see that there is a large availability of cell phone service within the park.

In 2009, officials at Yellowstone National Park did issue a wireless and telecommunications management plan that stipulated that cell phone coverage would not be promoted and would also not be available along park roads that are outside developed areas.


Policy would also not promote service to any of the backcountry of the national park. It does seem as though officials are truly trying to limit cell phone reception so that people can have a serene experience.

There is currently legislation in California that has the aim of making national parks even more cell-service available. It is called the Public Lands Telecommunications Act and was introduce in the United States House of Representatives.

The bill was introduced by a United States Representative for a district in California named Jared Huffman. This bill would create rental fees on telecommunications companies that have cell towers or other pieces of infrastructure on public lands throughout the country.

The money raised from this measure would be used primarily by the United States Interior and Agriculture Departments so that the departments could make strides to obtain more communication sites throughout national parks.

This would encourage more coverage in national parks and national lands around the country.

The bill was introduced in the House, but park administrators have differing views.

It does seem important that there is a peaceful environment and natural serenity. If there is easy access to cell phone service, then a lot of people who go to national parks to escape to the quiet of nature will find that their main purpose for going will have been thwarted by the constant ringing of cell phones, or even people talking on their cell phones.


National parks are a true wonder and something that should not be taken for granted. They allow for a person to have an increasingly rare and unique view of the relatively untouched natural wonders the US has to offer.

A person who is visiting should really take some time to consider how they can rely less on technology, especially their cell phones, while in the national parks, so that every person can have a more enjoyable and peaceful experience while there.


fmssolution is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival