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Cody - Wyoming

Clar's Fork River

Clark's Fork River, Wyoming - Wikipedia Commons

Buffalo Bill Cody is the patron saint of this town, which is situated just east of the Absaroka Range. It's the northern Wyoming gateway to Yellowstone National Park and the town itself is a fascinating place to visit. The thrilling route to Yellowstone is one of the great drives through the American West: 50 miles of undiluted mountain splendor through the Wapiti Valley and the Shoshone National Forest -- the first designated national forest in the U.S.

Museums and Galleries

The major attraction in town is the Buffalo Bill Historical Center which contains not one but four museums and galleries which began as a modest log building and has now expanded to become one of the nation's preeminent museum complexes. This is the place to experience Americana in all its excitement. The Buffalo Bill Museum is a huge collection of Bill Cody's personal memorabilia: photographs of his life as a Civil War soldier, pony express rider, buffalo hunter and showman. The collection includes a fully-restored Deadwood stagecoach and personal items from many of Cody's contemporaries including Annie Oakley. Buffalo Bill's clothing and show costumes are included.

The Whitney Gallery of Western Art contains paintings and sculptures from the likes of Remington, Russell, Bierstadt, Moran and Wyeth. The Plains Indian Museum houses thousands of cultural artifacts -- of more than a century of Plains Indian history -- and a contemporary Indian gallery plus a re-creation of an 1890 Sioux Indian camp. Finally, the Firearms Museum presents a full history of the development of firearms in the United States and Europe from the 16th century to today.

The Historical Center is open daily from March through November.

Parks & Guest Ranches

Many travelers to Yellowstone Park stay in Cody before making the drive through the Absarokas, past the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. There are several historic hotels, and a good range of modern hotels and motels. Buffalo Bill State Park located along the reservoir just west of town offers camping facilities and day-use picnic areas. The lake has good trout fishing, as does the north fork of the Shoshone River. There are several private campgrounds and RV parks in town.

Several guest ranches are in the Cody area, with some in the national forest. These include the Hunter Peak Ranch, 23 miles from Yellowstone boundary with accommodations ranging from rustic cabins to rooms in the main lodge. Castle Rock Ranch is 17 miles southwest of Cody on Hwy. 291 in the Southfork Valley of the Shoshone River. There is a large lodge with pool, private rooms; activities include the usual riding plus cookouts, river fishing and llama treks in the mountains. For reservation numbers, see below.

Where to Eat

The historic Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel, with restaurant and saloon, is one of the most nostalgic places to eat in Wyoming. The hotel was built by Bill Cody for his daughter and the ambiance is authentic. The food matches the ambiance.

The Absaroka Mountain Lodge is farther west—12 miles from the Yellowstone east gate with a rustic log lodge and excellent food.

Where to Stay

 

Irma Hotel
192 Sheridan Ave., 307-587-4221 OR TOLL-FREE AT 800-745-4762
A Cody original, built by Buffalo Bill for his daughter in 1902 -- then and now the town's social focal point. The rooms are large comfortable, all with private bath. The dining room features a carved cherrywood back-bar, sent over as a gift from Queen Victoria, and serves excellent home-cooked meals including prime rib.

Cody Cowboy Village
203 West Yellowstone Avenue, 307-587-7555
Stay in a comfortable little cabin instead of an ordinary standard room and you'll enjoy this interesting cabin motel. All units are very nicely furnished and the bedding is high quality. The hosts are welcoming. There's a pool and whirlpool. Complimentary breakfast.

Hunter Peak Ranch
4027 Crandall Road, Cody, 307-587-3711
A guest ranch in the Shoshone National Forest, 65 miles NE of Cody, with cabins and lodge rooms, private baths, family-style meals, riding, etc. Open Memorial Day to Labor Day, also for fall hunting.

Castle Rock Ranch
(307) 587-2076
17 miles SW of Cody in the Southfork Valley, this is an adventure center with many activities including llama treks and kayaking. There are full lodge facilities and private rooms. 412 Road 6 NS.

Absaroka Mountain Lodge
Box 168, Wapiti, WY 82450, (307) 587-3963
Located 12 miles east of Yellowstone National park and on the route from Cody, the lodge has a warm, log main building with good dining and a rustic saloon. The cabins are also of log construction Riding, fishing and hiking.

 

Wyoming Destinations

Buffalo

Casper

Cheyenne

Cody

Dubois

Evanston

Grand Teton National Park

Green River

Jackson

Laramie

Riverton

Sheridan

Thermopolis

Yellowstone National Park


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