This book provides a journal account of the 1871 Hayden expedition to the Yellowstone. Curiously, this expedition was supported by the Northern Pacific Railroad to help out with topographical surveys useful to site the northern transcontinental railroad as well as the development potential of the Yellowstone region. The expedition consisted of a set of men with a diverse set of skills: management, topographer, painter, geologist, photographer, hunter, guide, and soldiers for escort. As the area was still wild and the intentions of the Indians not all to certain, the US Army provided an escort as well as supported an independent team of explorers under the leadership of Col. Barrow. The journal provides interesting account of the western lands (from Salt Lake City to Yellowstone) including observations of the Mormons, western ranches, the land itself with scientific findings, and the occasional brushes with the Indians. The book contains some very wonderful photographs from William Henry Jackson of camps, expedition members, and Indians. This expedition and its reports (official and news articles) were the prime impetus to create the nation's and world's first national park. All in all a remarkable account.