Bison grazing in Yellowstone National Park's Lamar Valley
Crossing a bridge along the family-friendly Wapiti Campground Trail
Exploring historic buildings at Old Trail Town
High-energy fun on a whitewater rafting outing on the Lower Shoshone River
View from above at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Horseback riding excursion at one of the area's many dude and guest ranches
Lookout at Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center
Vintage signage outside Buffalo Bill's Irma Hotel
Rodeo clown and bull facing off at the Cody Nite Rodeo
Sipping local beers surounded by Western decor at the Irma Hotel restaurant
- Major Airports:
- Yellowstone (COD)
Cody: An old Western town with big history
Visiting Cody’s Historic Sites
Today, the self-proclaimed “Rodeo Capital of the World” is a vestige of all-things pioneer, a spirited community that preserves its history and celebrates its position as a gateway to Yellowstone. Steer yourself to downtown’s Irma Hotel, built by Buffalo Bill himself. Catch The Wild Bunch reenacting a shootout in front of the hotel in summer, which is Cody’s most vibrant season. Take a Cody Trolley Tour to see the Buffalo Bill Reservoir, pioneer homes and the historic district. Stroll through Old Trail Town, which features 25 restored historic buildings just off the Yellowstone Highway. The structures, furnishings and artifacts you’ll see are authentic. Learn more about a different side of local history at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, a World War II-era Japanese American confinement site.
All About the Wild West
Buffalo Bill Center of the West is home to five museums documenting the saga of the Wild West: the Draper Natural History Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum and Plains Indian Museum, which hosts a traditional powwow every June. Explore galleries including Simpson Gallagher Gallery and Big Horn Galleries, which feature art from both local and big-name Western artists. After dinner in town, get a side of laughs at Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, where the Empty Saddles Band regales with bluegrass, comedy and cowboy poetry. The Cody Cattle Company puts on a traditional Western show with a chuckwagon dinner that ends in time for those attending to also go to the nightly rodeo. Cody’s rodeo scene can’t be beat, whether you visit the Cody Nite Rodeo, an amateur series running through summer, or the Cody Stampede Rodeo, one of the largest professional rodeos in the USA, established in 1919.
Outdoor Adventures Abound
If you want a little more grit on your visit, stay in a cabin on one of 13 guest dude ranches nearby and go hiking in Shoshone National Forest. Rent a rod and reel and cast a line for trout, abundant in over 2,400 kilometers of streams. Engage an outfitter to take you on a river float trip or on a horseback trail ride through scenic locales. Want a major thrill? Fly through the trees on the Sleeping Giant Zip Line. Take the Meeteetse Museums’ Kirwin Ghost Town Tour of an abandoned mountain mining town from the 1880s that was wiped out by a snowstorm in 1907. See more of the surrounding landscapes by driving one of five scenic byway loops surrounding Cody. Take your pick from Beartooth, Bighorn Basin, Bighorn Mountain, East Yellowstone and South Fork.
Cody was founded by Col. William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody in 1896.
Painter Jackson Pollock was born in Cody.
Over 80% of Park County, where Cody is located, is public land, offering plenty of scenic beauty to explore.