Ripple background

Cody Yellowstone is Wild for these breathtaking bears, and this year, we are here to make it more fun than ever to spot one — and in places you’d never expect! Our new Bears in the Basin Scavenger Hunt, the latest of our three Trails & Passes, sends you off on an adventure to find bear statues hidden around Cody, Meeteetse, and Powell for a chance to win fantastic prizes. These nine-inch tall statues are hidden all around the downtowns of these three communities and are sure to offer a fun challenge for kids and parents alike. Before you head out on the hunt, here’s everything you need to know about Bears in the Basin.   

Bears in the Basin

What is Bears in the Basin?

Bears in the Basin is a fun new scavenger hunt you can take part in right here in Cody Yellowstone. This free program will take you through the communities of Cody, Meeteetse, and Powell on a quest to find hidden bear statues. Each handcrafted bear tells a unique story, celebrating the region’s wildlife heritage.

Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up online: Get your free scavenger hunt pass with clues delivered to your phone. 
  • Explore the towns: Follow the clues to find hidden bear statues in each downtown area.
  • Check-in & Earn Points: Use location services to check in near each bear and earn points towards prizes.
  • Snap & Share: Capture photos with the bears and share them on social media using #CodyYellowstone.


When Does Bears in the Basin Begin?

The hunt begins June 7 with three ribbon-cutting ceremonies:  

  • At the Commons in Powell at 10 am 
  • On Bell Plaza in Cody at noon 
  • At the Visitor Center in Meeteetse at 2 pm


The Who’s Who of the Bear World

Once you collect enough points from the scavenger hunt, you can redeem them for patches! These aren’t just your regular ol’ patches, these are Cody Yellowstone exclusive patches with bears you may just recognize. Let’s meet them!

Buffalo Bear Cody

Bears in the Basin 1

It’s not hard to tell where this patch gets its name. Buffalo Bear Cody is aptly named after Buffalo Bill Cody, the legendary founder of Cody, Wyoming. Buffalo Bill had a flare for the dramatic and was a natural-born showman, so it makes sense that you’ll find his namesake, Buffalo Bear Cody, hiding in all sorts of fun and unique places all across town during this scavenger hunt. 

Farmer Growl

Bears in the Basin 2

Think of Farmer Growl as an embodiment of our rich culture in agriculture. The residents of Cody Yellowstone are stewards of the land and work hard to maintain the natural beauty and stay true to our deep roots. When you visit our towns, it’s easy to tell that farming is near and dear to our hearts. Plus, Growl and Powell? They rhyme.

Amelia Bearhart

Bears in the Basin 3

Amelia Bearhart! What are you doing here? Well, many years ago, the legendary aviator Amelia Earhart was nearly a resident of our neck of the woods. She loved the Wild West, there’s no doubt about that. In fact, at the time of her disappearance, she was building a cabin in the Meeteetse region — just outside Kirwin, to be exact! We like to tip our hat to her whenever we can. 

How Do I Get My Bears in the Basin Prize?

First, If you complete the Bears in the Basin Scavenger Hunt on June 7, congratulations — you truly are a scavenger hunt master! On June 7, you can redeem your points for prizes in person at the visitor centers in Cody, Powell, and Meeteetsee. From June 8 onward, prizes will be sent to your home using the information provided when you sign up.  

Real Bears in the Basin

Grizzly bear standing still and looking toward camera on a small hill

While you will be looking for bear statues, there are plenty of real bears in these parts. Grizzly Bears are often spotted at Fishing Bridge, where Yellowstone River meets Yellowstone Lake. They are also frequently seen in Hayden Valley and Lamar Valley. Black Bears can also be seen in the valleys, as well as at Mammoth Hot Springs. Cartoon fans might also be surprised to learn that Yogi Bear lives in a national park inspired by Cody Yellowstone

Remember, if you see a real bear in the wild, it’s important to observe from a distance (something we’ve covered in our Dos and Don’ts of Animal Encounters blog) and always stay safe while enjoying any wildlife

Summer in the Wild West

Friends exploring downtown Cody in Cody Yellowstone

There are plenty of things to do and events in Cody Yellowstone this year, and we hope our Trails & Passes make your visit extra special. The Sippin’ Trail is your free digital passport to exclusive discounts at some of the best watering holes in the Cody Yellowstone area, and the Wild West Trail will bring you to unique Western experiences — from old-fashioned horseback rides to our world-famous rodeo and award-winning museums. We hope these Trails & Passes take you to a new favorite place right here in Cody Yellowstone.

Plan Your Cody Yellowstone Wildlife Adventure

A young grizzly bear rolls in the grass

If you go to the basin today, you’re sure of a big surprise
If you go to the basin today, you’d better sharpen your eyes
For every bear that ever there was
Is hiding there for certain because
Today’s the day the bears hide in the basin! 

Do you have what it takes to decipher the clues and find all the Bears in the Basin? There’s only one way to find out — start planning your Wild adventure today! How many Bears in the Basin will you discover?