15 Pro Tips for a Last-Minute Visit to Cody and Yellowstone During This Very Busy Summer
CODY, Wyo., June 28, 2021 – Have you seen those RVs, campers and cars heading out of your town? It’s a safe bet that at least some of them are heading to Cody Yellowstone.
This classic northwestern Wyoming destination is one of the most popular vacation destinations for road-trippers this year. Cody’s famous museums as well as the town’s hotels, dude and
guest ranches, restaurants and the famous Cody Nite Rodeo are all reporting robust summer visitation. In Yellowstone, the National Park Service reported that visitation in May 2021 was up 11 percent over May 2019.
That’s great news for both businesses and guests, said Ryan Hauck, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance.
“There’s excitement – as well as cowboy music – in the air around here,” said Hauck. “Locals are thrilled to see so many vacationers strolling the streets and sampling the attractions and restaurants. Visitors bring life and energy to our small community, and we are thrilled to welcome them back this year.”
“One of the reasons town founder Buffalo Bill Cody selected this location 125 years ago was because it was so convenient for travelers who were on their way to the world’s first national park, said Hauck. “Buffalo Bill Cody saw early park visitors traveling to the east entrance along what we now call the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, and that traffic played a part in the legendary showman’s selection of the site where our town is located.”
Hauck advises that travelers pack their patience along with their binoculars. “A lot of patience as well as kindness towards fellow travelers and workers will go a long way towards making a trip even more enjoyable,” he said.
Hauck offers these 15 pro tips for visiting Cody and Yellowstone National Park this year.
Before you go:
- Reserve your room or campsite now…as in right now. While some hotels, campgrounds and guest ranches are already sold out for the summer, last-minute travelers can still find some rooms.
- Midweek is the best time to go. Not surprisingly, there tends to be more availability on weekdays.
- Pack binoculars, food, drinks, common sense, common courtesy and patience. Restaurants are immensely popular this year, so consider stocking up at one of Cody’s grocery stores and supplementing restaurant meals with an occasional picnic. Common sense suggests that popular attractions like Old Faithful Geyser and park gates will be busier during certain times of the day.
- Download or order free planning guides. Visitor guides are available from Cody Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park and some attractions such as Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
- Download the free TravelStorys app. Listening to the downtown Cody audio tour while strolling the town’s historic streets is like walking the town with a knowledgeable friend. There’s also an audio tour for the drive from Cody to Yellowstone.
- Purchase your passes online. Avoid entrance lines by purchasing passes to major attractions in advance. Passes can be purchased ahead of time at Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Old Trail Town & Museum of the Old West, Cody Firearms Experience, Cody Nite Rodeo, Cody Trolley Tours and Cody Cattle Company.
- Map it out. Download and study maps of Cody and Yellowstone National Park before setting out.
- Take the Yellowstone Pledge. Vow to be a responsible and safe visitor by reviewing these easy tips from the National Park Service.
During your visit:
- Crack the dawn, serenade the sunset and avoid midday attractions in Yellowstone National Park. The National Park Service suggests arriving before the morning rush,
which begins around 9 a.m. and staying until sunset, when wildlife watching is at its peak. Also, avoid peak visitor times by seeing popular attractions like Old Faithful Geyser and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone before 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m.
- Draper before Old Faithful. Learn a little about Yellowstone National Park before exploring it by visiting the acclaimed Draper Natural History Museum in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West first.
- Let Annie be your guide. Spend an hour on a Cody Trolley Tour and learn all about the town of Cody and town founder Buffalo Bill Cody. The entertaining tours are narrated by interpretive experts in costumes of pivotal characters such as Annie Oakley, one of the stars of Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show.
- Make Dan part of the plan, listen to a cowboy band and watch a blissfully silly gunfighter show. Cody features numerous entertainment options such as the perennial favorite, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, the lively Cowboy Cattle Company dinner show and the free Wild Bunch nightly gunfighter show. (We dare you not to laugh.)
- Cowboy up at the rodeo. No wonder Cody is known as the Rodeo Capital of the World. The nightly summer-season Cody Nite Rodeo is a classic Cody experience and not to be missed.
- Take a hike. Even during the height of the summer, it’s easy to find solitude on a hike in and around Cody and Yellowstone National Park. Do your research and choose a hike that’s exactly right.
- Try something out of the ordinary. The destination offers a variety of great options for travelers seeking something new or unusual. For example, Powell Interpretive Agriculture Tours offered by the Powell Chamber of Commerce showcase the literal fruits born of the Shoshone Project, which brought irrigation to the Big Horn Basin and expanded the region’s productive farmland. Or visit the Bill Cody Guest Ranch and treat yourself to a BBQ dinner – a new Saturday night option this year – or book a mountaintop lunch ride featuring burgers grilled over an open flame. Check out the Cody Yellowstone website for ideas about what to see and do.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.
Mesereau Travel Public Relations