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Four things I love to do in the fall in...

August 16th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

When fall comes to Cody Yellowstone, the region is transformed from a family vacation hot spot to an adventure-rich adult haven that is unlike anywhere else in the world. This is the time of year when I spend more time savoring my favorite Cody Yellowstone adventures. Here are four of them.

Watching elk and other animals in the wild is another favorite fall pastime.

Wildlife-watching. Although I enjoy wildlife watching year-round, it is an especially thrilling adventure in the fall when the elk are bugling. 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 me in a goose bump-inducing way that this region is still one of the wildest places on Earth. 

Cody Yellowstone is especially fun to explore by foot.

Hiking. Yellowstone National Park is full of epic hiking trails ranging from easy strolls to heart-pounding climbs. No matter what kind of hike I’m up for, I find that hiking in Yellowstone is especially enjoyable when there are fewer people and cooler temperatures. I booked a room for Read More


Quieting Down? Not Even Close

July 9th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Even though we weren’t root, root rooting for our team, the just-completed Cody Stampede always feels like Homecoming Weekend to us here in Cody Yellowstone.

And considering this was our centennial celebration there were more familiar faces than normal along the parade route, in the stands at rodeo, on the dance floor at Cassie’s, bellied up to the bars at the Silver Dollar and Pat O’Haras. 

I had to laugh when some new friends who moved here this spring commented that once the Stampede was done things would quiet down. They did not realize that our summer would hum along for quite a while and that many of our attractions are either open just for the summer or host most of their guests during the traditional vacation months when school is out.

Here are some of my suggestions for activities you should check out before the end of summer:

Experience the rodeo. The Cody Nite Rodeo is often travelers’ first rodeo experience. Open nightly from June 1 through August 31, the rodeo features riders, ropers, bull riders and bronc busters from all over the country.  Watch the wacky Wild Bunch perform a “gunfight” with a gun safety message. The place to be on summer evenings Read More

June Means New Activities, Including Rafting

June 17th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

So much happens here in Cody Yellowstone when June arrives.

The lights go on at the rodeo grounds, and the Cody Nite Rodeo starts entertaining visitors and introducing new generations to bull riding, calf roping, barrel racing and Dolly Parton jokes.

The Cody Gunfighters put on a play that is equal parts shoot-em-up, gun safety and “photo opps.”

Dan Miller and his Cowboy Music Revue combine terrific acoustic music with Western humor and the occasional dash of cowboy poetry.

The dude and guest ranches saddle up the horses, bake the beans and remind parents that there aren’t apps for the things that truly bring families together.

Many people have taken their first ride at a dude or guest ranch in Cody/Yellowstone.

A common theme I hear on my near-daily jaunts down Sheridan Avenue is that people want to try new activities. More people than I can count have cast their first flies on one of our lakes or rivers. The biggest thrill for folks from Florida is often finding a patch of snow and throwing a snowball in June. Shopping for a cowboy hat is a new experience for those not old enough to remember when Urban Cowboy came out.

The region is known Read More


The East Gate is Open

May 8th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

If you remember my “Corrie Calendar” you know that I have this strange, mystical and almost creepy ability to tell what the date is – sorta, kinda – based upon weird factors. Just as the smell of leaves burning tells some people to turn on the television to watch college football, I know that roof racks full of skis and snow boards signals the opening of Sleeping Giant and hunting season is upon us when men in fashionable orange clothing are chowing down at the Proud Cut.

And a historic yellow bus heading into town from the direction of the Buffalo Bill Dam means that the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park is open.

Most of the roads inside the park are closed to regular wheeled vehicles during the winter. You can drive from Gardner, Mont. to Mammoth Hot Springs to Roosevelt Lodge and then east through Lamar Valley to Cooke City, Mont. where the road is closed again. The rest of the park roads are open only to over-the-snow vehicles such as snowmobiles and snow coaches. Many of the tracked vehicles, including the famed Bombardiers, have been replaced the past few years by fun modern coaches with oversized tires.

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is always worth a visit.

So much of Yellowstone Read More


March Madness, Cody Yellowstone Style

March 18th, 2019 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I have a theory that male grizzly bears in Yellowstone National Park are college basketball tournament fans.

Cody Country features both black bears and grizzlies (above).

Almost like clockwork, the male of the species emerges from hibernation right around March Madness. Females with cubs, on the other hand, emerge in April/early May, after the NCAA basketball ends.

In 2018 the first bear was spotted March 7, and the National Park Service just sent me a press release saying tracks were found March 8 between Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Junction, but an actual bear was spotted March 11 between Canyon Village and Fishing Bridge.

Mama bears and their cubs do not emerge from their dens until April or May.

The announcement did not mention the bear’s favorite team – I’m thinking the UCLA Bruins – but it did provide some good tips when you’re in bear country.

Here they are:

Prepare for a bear encounter.  Carry bear spray, know how to use it, and make sure it’s accessible.  Stay alert.  Hike or ski in groups of three or more, stay on maintained trails, and make noise. Avoid hiking at dusk, dawn, or at night. Do not run if you encounter a bear.  Stay 100 yards away from black and Read More

Corrie’s Grand Canyon Adventure

August 28th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

I recently ventured deep into the wild and spent some time admiring the majesty of a massive canyon that knocked the deer-hide socks off white explorers in the 1800s. Then I had a bison burger and bought a scarf.

Traveling to the Canyon Village region of Yellowstone National Park – the location of the 20-mile-long, 4,000-foot-wide, 1,200-deep canyon that we call the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone – is a breeze from Cody. You can access the region from the park’s east or northeast entrance. If you wanted to visit the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone before 1872, though, you had to work pretty hard to get there.

Early North American tribes first populated the area more than 11,000 years ago. By about the 1700s, tribes and fur traders began to explore the rugged terrain by horseback. By the early 1800s, exploration of the American West was in full swing, but the War of 1812 and the Civil War, rough weather and the nationwide preoccupation with “gold in them thar hills” tended to disrupt serious attempts to explore the region.

In 1870, members of Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition successfully descended into the canyon. A year later, the Hayden Expedition secured scientific and photographic evidence of Read More


Dear Corrie

June 12th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Well, with peak season upon us there is no shortage of activities and foreign languages being heard around town. As someone who loves meeting people from all walks of life, I could not be happier.

As our town ambassador, I get all of the tough questions and have not heard one for which I don’t have an answer. Here are a few that have been thrown my way recently.

Dear Corrie, I heard you are like me – one of those people who refuses to sleep between sunrise and sunset. I took a trip to Denali a few years ago, and I came down with a pretty bad case of sleep deprivation that caused me to mistake my husband for an Alaskan brown bear. I’m thinking of celebrating the summer solstice in Cody, but I don’t want to jeopardize my marriage (again) by not getting enough shuteye. Will it be safe to visit?

– Sleepless in Ottumwa

Dear Sleepless, As long as you don’t mind rolling out of bed at 5:30 a.m. and waiting until shortly after 10 p.m. to shut off the lights, you’ll be fine. Our longest days of the year last about 15½ hours. Come join me on my annual quest to make as much hay as possible while the sun Read More


Yoga the bear

May 22nd, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Travelers from Cody lined up at the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park – one of two park entrances accessible from town – on the day it opened for the summer season, ready to experience the world’s first national park in all of its springtime splendor and hoping for a glimpse of the park’s wildlife.

According to an account by Cody Enterprise reporter Lew Freedman, some of those early-season visitors were in luck. Just a few miles into the park, visitors spotted a grizzly lazily stretching and rolling around in the grass and stretching one paw and then the other skyward as if exercising. A quick-witted ranger dubbed the grizzly “Yoga the Bear.”

Bears are often seen stretching and playing in the sunshine. National Park Service photos.

I guess if you spent several months in a deep slumber, you might want to stretch out those limbs too. I’ve always thought grizzlies are one of the most compelling of all wildlife species in the park. They can be ferocious, sure, but they are predators and that’s what they do. The sows are fiercely protective of family members – at least for a year or two – and they have a playful side that is a joy to watch, from a safe distance Read More


A Volcanic Smackdown – Yellowstone or...

May 11th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Comments(1)

Last week I shared my dream of personally witnessing Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupt. I realize the odds of that occurring are pretty long, especially since there is no lodging in the Norris Geyser Basin.

With all this talk about hot spots and geysers, a few of my loyal readers have asked me just why there is so much thermal activity in Yellowstone and the surrounding area.

The answer is simple. Yellowstone National Park is sitting on top of a volcano.

All those great thermal features in Yellowstone are the result of the volcano under the park.

Volcanos are certainly in the news these days, what with Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano suddenly creating new fissures and spewing enough molten lava to destroy whatever is in its path, including several homes in Leilani Estates on the big island. I have been watching this with great interest as I have a couple of friends who live less than 10 miles from the new volcanic activity.

There is a local connection as these friends have traveled with me to Yellowstone, and one enjoyed the experience so much that he applied for a job and worked as a reservations agent for Yellowstone National Park Lodges one summer.

Fortunately, my friends have been able to live their Read More


Steamboat Geyser is on my You-Know-What List

May 10th, 2018 by Park County Travel Council | Be the first to comment!

Do you know how we go through stages where it seems like you keep hearing the same term to describe something?

For a while the term “world class” was used to describe everything from a Cody vacation to how handsome Dan Miller is. Now, while both of those examples are accurate, we can certainly come up with some “totally” and “awesome” descriptions that aren’t used so often.

And don’t get me started on people saying “unique” to describe something that is anything but. Unique means one of a kind. That’s it.

I don’t like the term “bucket list.” You know, something you want to do before you go to the great rodeo grounds in the sky. I used to have a mental list of places I wanted to do and see, but then I realized that I was pretty much living that list here in Cody Yellowstone Country.

There is one thing, however, that has truly been elusive in my life. I want to see Steamboat Geyser erupt.

For those of you who don’t know, Steamboat is located in the Norris Geyser Basin – the hottest geyser basin – on the west side of Yellowstone National Park. When the geyser erupts it shoots 200-400 cubic Read More