10 Insta-worthy Spots in Cody Yellowstone
Northwestern Wyoming has been inspiring photographers for over a century – Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in part because of images of the park’s Upper Geyser Basin taken by professional photographer William Henry Jackson that helped convince the U.S. Congress that the land was a special place that warranted the government’s protection.
Throughout the history of this vast northwestern Wyoming destination, photographer after photographer has been compelled to get up early to capture its sunrises, stay up late to document its sunsets, and use the longest lenses they have to photograph wildlife like bison and elk as they go about their days.
Cody Yellowstone is no exception when it comes to offering visitors an abundance of picturesque photo spots. While nature provides a reliable Instagram backdrop throughout Cody Yellowstone, there are also endless man-made structures and attractions to discover that offer opportunities for impressive photography — from the historic Irma Hotel and the Beartooth Highway boasting incredible views of the mountains to Old Trail Town showcasing the authentic Old Wild west. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or an Instagram enthusiast you’ll easily find a spot to capture your next Instagram post.
Here are some of #CodyYellowstone’s top Insta-worthy places:
Irma Hotel Bar
First on the list is the Irma Hotel bar, located in the heart of downtown Cody and housed within the iconic Irma Hotel, built in 1902 by Buffalo Bill Cody himself. The bar offers a unique experience that immerses guests in a bar from the Old Wild West. The old-timey touches throughout the room, including the cherrywood bar complete with brass footrests, the antique cash register, and vintage setting create a unique backdrop for an Instagram-worthy shot. Enjoy the warm and welcoming atmosphere, and relax with a sarsaparilla or your beverage of choice while taking in the area’s rich history. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a photo op, the Irma Hotel bar is a must-visit spot in Cody Yellowstone.
Old Trail Town & Museum of the West
Transport yourself back to the Old Wild West at Old Trail Town & Museum of the West, located just outside of downtown Cody. Old Trail Town is a one-of-a-kind old Wild West experience. It’s the original location where Buffalo Bill laid out the plans for Cody, Wyoming, and includes 27 historic buildings relocated to create an authentic recreation of the Frontier West, along with thousands of artifacts. This is the place for visitors to immerse themselves in the old Western culture and indulge in a bit of history while flaunting their cowboy hats and boots to capture the perfect IG post that looks like it is straight out of an Old Western Cowboy movie.
Horse-loving Instagrammers will want to head to the McCullough Peaks Wilderness Study Area (WSA). This vast, untouched region on the north slope of the McCullough Peaks is home to a herd of free-roaming mustangs that are descendants of horses from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. Take a guided tour, or head out on your own. Like any wildlife you encounter in Cody Yellowstone, keep a respectful distance while capturing photos and observing these magnificent creatures.
The Pahaska Tepee Lodge was Buffalo Bill Cody’s hunting lodge, and very little has changed there since he built it in the late 1800s. Walk into the dark lodge, and you can easily picture the bearded one surrounded by pals as he entertains them with tales of his Wild West Show days. Unfortunately, you can’t sit in his favorite chair, but you can pose on the rickety porch or beside the antique furniture and artifacts throughout the building.
Cody Nite Rodeo
Put on your best cowboy hat and boots and head to the Cody Nite Rodeo for an unforgettable evening of rodeo fun. With an idyllic backdrop of the Wyoming mountains, you will surely capture some awesome shots for your Instagram feed. If you want more action on your Instagram, this might be one of the best places to go in Cody Yellowstone.
Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir
Vast, scenic, and at times, surreal — the Buffalo Bill Dam and Reservoir is a must-visit spot in Cody Yellowstone, providing a grand backdrop for Instagrammers seeking to capture both natural beauty and impressive architecture. This magnificent feat of engineering is set amidst the staggering Wyoming wilderness and boasts the best Instagram-worthy vistas. As you walk along the top of the dam, which was once the highest in the world when it was built in 1910, you’ll be awed by the massive size of the structure and the wondrous surrounding mountains and landscapes. Don’t forget to snap a photo of yourself on top of the dam to appreciate the scale of this impressive landmark.
Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center Japanese Garden
Inspired by the Zen gardens of Japan, Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center Japanese Garden is a little corner of paradise. With lush plants and flowers during the warm months, it provides a place for visitors to reflect upon the lives of Japanese-Americans who were incarcerated there during World War II. Instagrammers seeking a backdrop for posting their own reflections of the destination might consider this tranquil backdrop for their message.
For those willing to venture off the beaten path, a visit to the ghost town of Kirwin Ghost Town is a must. The journey to Kirwin takes you through some of the most picturesque landscapes in the region through the Absaroka Mountains in the Shoshone National Forest, from rolling hills and wide-open meadows to rugged mountain passes. When you arrive, you will find an abandoned mining town, which was once a thriving mining community, but now stands as a testament to a bygone era. You can take a guided tour that will give you a close-up look at the fascinating history of the town and its people. One of the highlights of the tour is a visit to the cabin that Amelia Earhart was constructing before she disappeared during her famous flight. With so much to see and learn, Kirwin is a destination that will leave you with memories and Instagram-worthy photos to last a lifetime.
Famed as “the most beautiful drive in America” The Beartooth Highway takes you through some of the most marvelous landscapes in Wyoming, including alpine forests, lakes, and plateaus. The route winds its way up and over the Beartooth Pass, which stands at an elevation of 10,947 feet overlooking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. With every turn, there is something new to discover, and endless picture-worthy moments for Instagram – from wildflower meadows to cascading mountains and incredible viewpoints sure to make awe-inspiring posts.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is a photographer’s paradise, with awe-inspiring landscapes at every turn. The Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway has incredible sights on your drive from Cody to Yellowstone National Park. On the drive, you’ll see stretches of fields filled with wildlife, fascinating rock formations, and vibrant landscapes.
One of the most famous natural wonders in the park is the Grand Prismatic Spring, the largest hot spring in the United States and the third largest in the world. Its rainbow-colored layers of water and mineral deposits make for an Instagram-worthy shot. Another must-see spot is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, a massive canyon carved by the Yellowstone River that showcases the park’s colorful geological features. From Artist Point or Uncle Tom’s Trail, you can get a clear shot of the majestic waterfall. If you’re looking to capture the park’s wildlife in your Instagram feed, head to Lamar Valley. This area is a favorite spot for spotting wolves, bison, and other animals. The valley’s wide open spaces also show off the surrounding mountains, making it a must-visit location for any Instagrammer looking for a picturesque and memorable shot.
Cody Yellowstone is filled with countless opportunities to capture stunning images and create lasting memories. From the Old Trail Town and the Rodeo to the breathtaking views of the Beartooth Highway and Kirwin. Visitors are sure to be impressed with the picture-perfect scenery around every corner. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or simply enjoy capturing the moment on your phone camera, you will want to take advantage of the opportunity to explore this beautiful part of Wyoming. Request our vacation guide and start planning your trip today to experience all that Cody Yellowstone has to offer!