<p>Tourists walk past Yellowstone's Fountain Paint Pots, so named for the multi-colored mud. The area is home to some of the park's geothermal wonders: hot pools, mud pots, and steaming <a href="http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/fumaroles.htm">fumaroles</a>. This photo was taken for the magazine, but never published.</p>

Steam on the Water

Tourists walk past Yellowstone's Fountain Paint Pots, so named for the multi-colored mud. The area is home to some of the park's geothermal wonders: hot pools, mud pots, and steaming fumaroles. This photo was taken for the magazine, but never published.

Photograph by Sam Abell, National Geographic

12 Retro Pictures Capture the Majesty of Yellowstone

We celebrate the national park's anniversary with a look back at our May 1972 issue.

On its birthday, we celebrate the park—which is mostly in Wyoming, but also stretches into Montana and Idaho—with this collection of breathtaking photos taken by Sam Abell for National Geographic's 1972 Yellowstone issue.

Follow Becky Little on Twitter.

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