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Fall is just around the corner here in Cody Yellowstone, and that’s just fine with us! After all, this is when wildlife — and humans — come out to play and enjoy our neck of the woods. Artists and photographers capture fall landscapes. Anglers cast their lines in hopes of reeling in trout from secluded streams and rivers. Equestrians saddle up, and hikers hit the trails.

(Photo: @d_fretz)

Meanwhile, the four-legged residents of the region prepare for the coming winter. Bears bulk up on pine nuts, often foraging at lower elevations where they can be easily observed by human visitors. And elk build up their harems, sometimes aggressively fighting perceived rivals. The piercing sound of their bugles confirms that fall has arrived in Cody Yellowstone.

Simply put, there are plenty of ways to experience Cody Yellowstone during this transformational season — both comfortably and safely. Here are seven of them.

Take a Watch on the Wild Side  

(Photo: @ejp1g)

The forests, river valleys, mountains, and canyons of Cody Yellowstone are a dream come true for wildlife watching. Keep your eyes peeled here, and you’ll be rewarded with glimpses of bears, bison elk, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, eagles, river otters, and more. If elk are on your must-see checklist, head to Yellowstone National Park. Here, male elk will be spending most of the season courting female mates, especially in the Mammoth Hot Springs region. And while you’re interested in seeing them, you might just hear them first! That’s because their shrill bugling — which warns rivals and potential mates alike of their intentions — is hard to ignore. 

(Photo: @mischashewchuk)

One thing that’s important to remember is wildlife is just that — wild. So it’s essential that you view them from a safe distance. For elk, that’s a minimum of 25 yards, which is approximately equivalent to the length of two school buses. For bears and wolves, the National Park Service recommends staying at least 100 yards away. Remember to pack your binoculars! 

Cast a Line

Fall is a perfect time for Cody Yellowstone anglers hoping to reel in an unforgettable getaway with a little trout fishing. There’s an abundance of top-flight fishing spots here, including the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River, and rivers and streams throughout Yellowstone National Park. Of course, locals all have their own opinions about where you’ll find the best bites, so be sure to visit our fishing outfitters for guides, maps, equipment, and advice.  

Hit The Road


Cody Yellowstone is the home of open spaces and safe places — and getting here is half the fun! Road-tripping in the fall is a memorable way to enjoy the season. With five scenic drives leading into Cody, you’ll have a chance to take some of Wyoming’s most breathtaking valleys, mountain passes, rivers, and forests no matter where you’re coming from. Two of Yellowstone National Park’s five gates — the East and Northeast — are easily accessible from Cody. 

Take a Hike 

(Photo: @derekjerrell)

When we say “Take a hike” here in Cody Yellowstone, it’s a good thing! So much of the season and Cody Yellowstone’s natural beauty can be appreciated along our scenic hiking trails. There are countless trails throughout the region, ranging from challenging treks to laid-back strolls. If you’re looking to check out some local favorites, make your way to the Bluebird Trail about five miles from town. Or, head out to the Cedar Mountain Trail, which begins with a strenuous uphill climb that gives way to spectacular views from the summit. And if you prefer more even and predictable terrain (without sacrificing the views), try the Prickly Pear Trail — a paved walking path that circles two lakes. 

Learn Something New, or Something Old

(Photo: @shannonmariluch)

Cody Yellowstone is home to numerous museums that showcase its history, and all are open throughout the fall. The most popular of these is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, home to five museums under one roof! You can also visit the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center to learn the harrowing history of a confinement camp where some 14,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated during World War II. You can learn about Wyoming’s engineering marvel at the Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor Center, explore the history of western design and aesthetics at By Western Hands, or travel back in time at Old Trail Town. There’s truly something for everyone! 

Unleash Your Inner Artist  

The Cody Yellowstone region has long-attracted artists eager to capture stunning landscapes and natural beauty. So it should come as no surprise that there’s plenty here for creative types and artistic admirers to enjoy. Every fall, Cody Yellowstone plays host to the annual Rendezvous Royale – a wonderful assortment of galas, art sales, and special events, including Scout’s Miniature Sale, Painting on the Porch, and Colorful Canvases. You can stroll the Annual Art Walk, watch artists combine speed and talent during Quick Draw Downtown, and make a bid to bring your favorite pieces home at the Truckin’ Along Watch Party. Still searching for more? Attend the 39th annual Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale, both in-person and virtually. 

Rock Climbing Rocks 

(Photo: @agirl.aboy.abroad)

The rugged terrain makes rock climbing a popular pastime in Cody Yellowstone. And with so much diversity in our drainages and rock formations, there are opportunities that appeal to climbers of all skill levels, from first-timers to experienced mountaineers. Typically, climbers take to the mountains in these parts through October, with local outfitters leading classes and rock-climbing expeditions that test your skills and reward your hard work with incredible views.

The fall is a season of change, which means it’s the perfect time for a change of scenery! Here in Cody Yellowstone, we have plenty of lodging options, from hotels to boutique bed and breakfast, guest ranches to RV parks, all ready to welcome you. Start planning your great American adventure today!