Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone National Park — 4-Day Itinerary

Plus: Seven Fall Experiences You Can Only Have in Cody Yellowstone

Day 1

Check into Holiday Inn

Lunch at Zapatas

A family restaurant serving New Mexican Style Food.

Cody Trolley Tour

Founded in 2001, Cody Trolley Tours has developed a reputation as being a must-do activity the moment you arrive in Cody, Wyoming. A Cody Trolley Tour is not only great entertainment, it’s the best and fastest way to gain an overview of everything our town has to offer.

Irma Hotel / Facebook

Dinner at Irma Hotel

Step back into Western History at the Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming. Buffalo Bill’s Hotel in the Rockies! 

Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue / Facebook

Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue

Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue have been entertaining audiences from around the world for 17 years. Over 170,000 people from 68 foreign countries have enjoyed the first-class musicianship and family-friendly production that this group is famous for.

Day 2

Breakfast at hotel

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

With five museums under one roof, there’s plenty to see at the Center of the West. Explore Plains Indian cultures, trailblazing cowboys and cowgirls, classic and modern western artworks, and more — all of our galleries share the uniquely thrilling stories of the West. No matter how much time you have to spend with us, you’re covered — museum admission is good for two days.

Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center

Trailhead Cody / Facebook

Lunch – Trail Head Grill

By Western Hands Museum & Gallery

Hand crafted functional art.

Old Trail Town / Facebook

Old Trail Town

On this site in 1895, western scout and showman, William F. (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody, laid out the original town site of Cody, Wyoming, which was named in his honor.

Cody Firearms Experience

There is no better way to unwind the History, Myth, and Power of the Gatling Gun than to turn the crank on one yourself.

Cody Steakhouse / Facebook

Cody Steakhouse

Cody Stampede Rodeo / Facebook

Cody Nite Rodeo

The Cody Nite Rodeo starts June 1st and runs through August 31st and features the rising stars of rodeo. Professional Rodeo action starts June 30th with Xtreme Bulls and Bullfighters Only. The Cody Stampede Rodeo is July 1 – 4.

Day 3

Depart Cody

Shoshone Lodge / Facebook

Shoshone Lodge & Guest Ranch and saddle up for a two-hour trail ride.

Come to Cody and enjoy a relaxing Western getaway that puts you in the heart of Yellowstone country when you step out your cabin door.

Open to public since 1924, historic Shoshone Lodge & Guest Ranch is located at East entrance to Yellowstone NP, just west of Cody WY in mountainous Shoshone NF. Western cabins, restaurant & full bar, horseback rides, pack trips and hunting trips.

Pahaska Tepee; see hunting lodge and facilities.

Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill’s Original Lodge at the Eastern gateway to Yellowstone, is nestled amongst the tall pines just east of Yellowstone Park at the foot of majestic Cody Peak in Park County Wyoming. 

Lunch at Lodgepole Dining Room at Pahaska Tepee.

Yellowstone National Park. Image by Adam Derewecki from Pixabay

Depart for Yellowstone National Park

Arrive Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

Tour Yellowstone National Park. Depending on time and traffic, stops will include:

-Proceed north to Hayden Valley for wildlife watching with stop at Mud Volcano.

-Visit Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and View Upper Falls and Artist Point. If time allows,

– Drive the north rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

-See Canyon Lodge rooms and dining area and discuss sustainability initiatives.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel / Facebook

Return to Lake Yellowstone Hotel, check in

With nine unique lodging options, including the renowned Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Yellowstone National Park Lodges allows you to have the ultimate park experience. Staying in the park is the best way for visitors to experience all it has to offer; once the day-visitors leave, Yellowstone remains for the in-park overnight guests alone. Yellowstone National Park Lodges also offers tours and activities guided by Certified Interpretive Guides that help create memorable and engaging experiences.

Dinner Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room

Day 4

Depart Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Arrive Old Faithful Village for a guided walk of the geyser basin, Old Faithful Geyser eruption, guided walking tour of Old Faithful Inn, tour of Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Old Faithful Visitor Education Center.

Lunch at Old Faithful Inn.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, walk the Mammoth Terraces

Depart Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel for photo stop at Roosevelt Arch (the original entrance to the park) and a quick tour of Gardiner.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel / Facebook

Return to Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, check in

Dinner at Mammoth Hotel Dining Room

Seven Fall Experiences You Can Only Have in Cody Yellowstone

When fall comes to northwestern Wyoming’s Yellowstone Country, the rugged region transforms from a family vacation hot spot to an adventure-rich adult haven that is unlike anywhere else in the world.

“Fall is grown-up time, when many Yellowstone visitors tend to be more mature, curious and recreation-focused than the family groups we welcome in the summer,” said Ryan Hauk, Director of Cody Yellowstone, the tourism marketing arm of the region. “Our fall visitors tend to do be outdoorsy and active, and they like to focus on our intrinsic, authentic experiences like wildlife watching and exploring the region’s quirky Wild West roots.”

Founded by legendary showman Buffalo Bill Cody 125 years ago, the gateway town of Cody is the only Yellowstone National Park town that opens to two park gates – the East and Northeast. Its location in a mountainous valley offers a rich array of outdoor adventures like blue-ribbon trout fishing, endless hiking, equestrian trails, rock climbing and scenic byways for road-tripping. The region also boasts wildlife such as elk, bison, bears, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, eagles, river otters and coyotes. Fall is mating season for many species, so it is common to see wildlife in action throughout the region’s valleys and canyons, and sometimes even right along the road.

Here are seven fall adventures that travelers can have in Cody Yellowstone Country and nowhere else on Earth.

  • Hear an elk bugle in a valley that bears its name. Cody-based road-trippers enroute to the East Gate of Yellowstone will pass through Wapiti Valley. “Wapiti” is the Cree Indian word for elk, and these white-bottomed creatures from the deer family have obligingly continued to populate their namesake valley. Fall is mating season, and elk take their procreation duties seriously. Like the Instagramming humans who observe them, elk like to “share” their experiences too – by bugling about them. The shrill, ancient sound made by a male elk in rut reminds visitors in a goose bump-inducing way that Cody Yellowstone remains one of the wildest places in the world. 
  • Stop by Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge and see a Crazy House, Chinese Wall and Colter’s Hell along the way. The Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway is a curious road-tripper’s dream route. Travelers pass a dilapidated, multi-story structure  – often called the Crazy House – that was the inexplicable passion of an obsessive local builder who died when he fell from one of the rickety balconies on a windy day. Along the route drivers will also pass rock formations with descriptive names like “Chinese Wall” and points of interest such as “Colter’s Hell.” Just outside the park entrance is Pahaksa Tepee, Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, where he entertained high-profile guests like the Prince of Monaco. A free downloadable TravelStorys audio tour offers interpretive highlights along the way.
  • Become an insider at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This acclaimed, Smithsonian-affiliated facility in downtown Cody offers exclusive, personalized tours of three of its five museums: Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum and Cody Firearms Museum. Available for small groups of up to 10 people, the tours are led by experts, who provide insights and experiences not available to the general public. The Buffalo Bill Museum exclusive tour, for example, offers visitors special access to artifacts not on public display.
  • Fire an 1873 Winchester Rifle – the gun that Bill Cody used to hunt bison – and then throw an ax around just for fun. The Cody Firearms Experience is an indoor shooting range with a selection of replicas of significant guns throughout history and a range of shooting packages. After shooting a replica rifle, adventurers can try their hand – literally – at ax throwing in the facility’s WTF (Wyoming Throwing Federation) Ax Arena.
  • Explore an old mine and ghost town…and see where Amelia Earhart wanted to live after her flight around the world. For a scenic, get-away-from-other-humans day with hidden history and photo-worthy landscapes, take a drive on the Pitchfork Road (Highway 290) to Kirwin, a gold-mining ghost town 38 miles south of Meeteetse. Once home to 200 people, the town was mostly abandoned after a 1907 avalanche killed three people and destroyed many buildings. In the 1930s, developer Carl Dunrod purchased the area and built the Double D Dude Ranch, whose early guests included aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Charmed by the region, Earhart began work on a vacation cabin. Sadly, the structure was never completed after her disappearance, but history buffs can still find remnants of the construction.
  • See the Hole in the Wall Cabin and visit the bank Butch Cassidy refused to rob. One of the authentic frontier buildings in Cody’s Old Trail Town was used as a hideout by Butch Cassidy and the notorious Wild Bunch during their train- and bank-robbing heyday. There was one bank in the region that was perfectly safe, though. Promising never to rob it, Butch Cassidy encouraged his friends to stash their cash at the Meeteetse Bank. Now part of the Meeteetse Museums, visitors can still view an original bank teller’s cage and other period artifacts.
  • Motor through valleys of plenty all in one day. In one long and visually stimulating day, travelers can pass through Yellowstone’s wildlife-rich valleys, see a series of rugged mountain peaks, pass lakes and rivers and see the waterfall that inspired the creation of the world’s first national park 149 years ago. By entering the park via the East Gate and exiting the Northeast Gate to return to Cody, travelers can experience much of the 2.2 million-acre park’s most famous sights and landmarks all in one day.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. mary stalnaker says:

    Wow wow. Always wanted go there.

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jilldutton says:

    I’m looking forward to my first visit to Wyoming!


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