Yellowstone's Lost Legend "Uncle" Billy Hofer, Renaissance Man of the Early Park

ByScott Herring


Billy Hofer was to Yellowstone National Park what John Muir was to Yosemite: its first and greatest all-around expert.

In the late 1800s, Thomas Elwood “Billy” Hofer became as much a fixture of Yellowstone National Park as Old Faithful Geyser. As a wilderness guide, wildlife census taker, explorer, and expert skier, tracker, and naturalist, Hofer acquired a vast and intimate knowledge of all things Yellowstone.

Hofer became the go-to expert for presidents and politicians, park service professionals and national media. Through numerous articles, he told the country about Yellowstone and advocated for its protection. Yet Billy Hofer, as important as he was to the park’s early history, became a “lost legend”—until now.

With extensive research, engaging writing, and lively descriptions of the park’s formative years, Professor Scott Herring (Rough Trip Through Yellowstone) has written the first and only biography of this fascinating man who helped make Yellowstone what it is today.

Yellowstone's Lost Legend is a must-have addition to any collection of Yellowstone literature.


Publication Date: February 2020
ISBN 978-1-60639-125-9
Format: Trade Paperback
Size: 5.5 x 8.5 inches
Author: Scott Herring
Pages: 352

Scott Herring is a writer and historian who teaches advanced writing to science students at the University of California, Davis. He received his Ph.D. there after a long sojourn working in Yellowstone National Park.

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