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
The Historical Center is open daily from March through
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 Absaroka Mountain
Lodge is farther west—12
miles from the Yellowstone east gate with a rustic log lodge
and excellent food.
Where to Stay
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
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