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Since 1872 the United States National Park System has grown from a single, public reservation called Yellowstone National Park to embrace over 450 natural, historical, recreational, and cultural areas throughout the United States, its territories, and island possessions.

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Mineral springs have been used for their medicinal properties since ancient times.By 1800, places like Saratoga Springs, New York, Berkeley Springs and White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, and French Lick, Indiana, were becoming popular American resorts.The Sulphur Springs Reservation was placed under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior who shortly acquired some additional land.In 1906 Congress created Platt National Park which included the Sulphur Springs Reservation.California was granted the valley and the grove on condition that They would "be held for public use, resort, and recreation...inalienable for all time." The Yellowstone country was first "officially" explored by David E. This myth was successfully exploited by National Park advocates but eventually was debunked by historians.

In an effort to reduce poaching and other misuse of the park, the U. Army established a fort in the area in 1881 and began park protection, establishing a pattern that would be continued by later park rangers.The Act declared these sites to be National Monuments.It prohibited the excavation or removal of objects on Federal land unless a permit had been issued by the appropriate department.As early as 1889 Congress authorized the President to reserve the land on which the well known Casa Grande Ruin was located. Edgar Lee Hewett made a review of all the Indian ruins on Federal lands in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. Based on Hewett's report and many individual request and reports from throughout the west, between 19 the Interior Department recommended and Presidents Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Woodrow Wilson proclaimed twenty National Monuments.On September 24, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed Devils Tower as the first National Monument.In 1875, Mackinac National Park was created on a resort island in Lake Huron in Michigan, the second national park.