Another legacy of the trip was the career of Edward S. Curtis. On the trip, he developed a close friendship with George Grinnell, who was an expert on American Indian culture. After the expedition, Grinnell invited Curtis with him on a trip to the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana. Curtis, moved by what was commonly believed to be a dying way of life, spent much of his career documenting American Indian culture.

Harriman paid for the creation of several sizable volumes of the discoveries of the expedition. When Harriman died in 1909, his wife devoted enough money to continue the publications.

Founder of the Sierra Club, John Muir, called Harriman:
A great maker and harvester of the crops of wealth. . . who used his income. . . for present and future good, pouring back his gains again and again into new commonwealth currents to create new benefits, or to increase the fruitfulness of old ones after he himself had passed away.