Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Paul H. Gobster
    Date: 2008
    Source: Landscape Journal 27:2-08: 291-308.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (606.02 KB)


    Some scholars and practitioners have advocated an "ecological aesthetic" to address issues related to the protection of ecologically significant landscapes. Others see these efforts as an attack on traditional ideas of scenic beauty. Perhaps these two ideas of natural beauty are more complementary than is acknowledged. By examining how scenic landscapes are aesthetically experienced, not only might we better understand their value to people but also discover clues for appreciating ecologically significant landscapes that are "scenically challenged" (Saito 1998, 101). In this essay, a phenomenological approach is applied to examine the scenic beauty of Yellowstone National Park through three popular modes of landscape experience: driving, sitting, and walking. Each experiential mode offers different insights. Together they challenge distinctions between scenic and ecological beauty, which pertain more to how natural landscape beauty has been conceptualized and measured in quantitative studies of landscape preference than in how it is experienced through real- time interactions between people and landscape.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Gobster, Paul H. 2008. Yellowstone Hotspot. Reflections on scenic beauty, ecology, and the aesthetic experience of landscape. Landscape Journal 27:2-08: 291-308.


    landscape perception, ecological aesthetic, phenomenological description

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page