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Every place has its seasonal patterns. Some of those patterns are tied to school schedules, sports seasons, and planting and harvesting.

Cody Yellowstone is certainly no exception. As long as most schools take a summer break, vacation schedules will be busiest during the hot months. After the main travel season winds down, the slower fall takes over. Many travelers eagerly look forward to hitting the road then.

As the summer family vacation season comes to an end, Northwestern Wyoming typically welcomes mostly mature visitors in the fall. Their interests tend to focus on more solitary pursuits like watching wildlife, hiking, fishing, and exploring history.

Here’s what visitors to Cody Yellowstone can experience during “Three Perfect Days” in the fall.

Day 1

An elk standing in a field in Cody Yellowstone


The region’s forests, river valleys, mountains, and canyons are home to all sorts of wildlife, including bears, elk, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn, deer, eagles, river otters, and so much more. For many animals, this is a very busy time as they prep for the long Yellowstone winter. Bears fill up on pine nuts in a final attempt to fatten up before descending into their dens. Male elk court prospective mates by shrilly bugling and challenging other males to battles. Visitors can observe these primitive rituals in places like Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park’s northern region.


Road-tripping in the fall is a memorable way to enjoy fall color, with five scenic drives leading into Cody that take travelers past some of Wyoming’s most breathtaking valleys, mountain passes, rivers, and forests. 

Day 2

A man fishing in Cody Yellowstone

Blue-ribbon trout fishing 

There are abundant top-flight fishing spots in Cody Yellowstone, including the North and South Forks of the Shoshone River and rivers and streams in Yellowstone National Park. Local fishing outfitters offer guides, maps, and advice. Of course, we’re here to provide advice as well! In fact, we did an entire episode of Outside Yellowstone about fishing in northwest Wyoming. Check it out below! 

Two friends hike in Cody Yellowstone


Fall beauty can also be appreciated along its hiking trails, which are numerous throughout the region. Local favorites include the Bluebird Trail on Bureau of Land Management land five miles from town. Cedar Mountain Trail begins with a strenuous uphill climb, and hikers are rewarded with spectacular views from the summit. The Prickly Pear Trail is a paved walking trail that circles two lakes. 

Rock climbing 

The region is well-suited to climbing, with porous rock creating drainages and rock formations that appeal to climbers of all abilities. Conditions are typically good for rock climbing through October. Local outfitters lead classes and rock-climbing expeditions throughout the region.

Day 3

The Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center in Cody Yellowstone


The Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center offers a glimpse into the lives of some 14,000 Japanese-American citizens who were incarcerated there during World War II. Opened in August 2011, the center explores that difficult period of the country’s history with thoughtful exhibits that encourage visitors to ask the question, “Could this happen today?”.

And Even More History 

The storied life of the town’s founder, Colonel William Frederick Cody, is presented in the Buffalo Bill Museum, one of five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. There are also museums dedicated to firearms, fine Western Art, the Plains Indians of the region, and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Open year-round, you can find information on rates, schedules, special exhibitions, and more listed here

Three Days, a Lifetime of Memories 

With so much to see and do — all at a slower pace — a fall escape to Cody Yellowstone is the perfect adventure for the season. Start planning your vacation today