Cody/Yellowstone Country on a Budget; Free and Moderately Priced Experiences (And a Few Splurge-Worthy Ones Too)
CODY, Wyo., January 18, 2018 – Vacationers seeking a high-adventure vacation with a low-budget price tag should plan a trip to northwestern Wyoming’s Cody/Yellowstone Country this summer. Home to an array of authentic Western experiences and offering easy access to Yellowstone National Park, the region offers affordable fun for families, couples, athletes, history buffs, music-lovers and solitude-seekers.
“Fun doesn’t have to cost a fortune in Yellowstone Country,” said Claudia Wade, executive director of the Park County Travel Council, the region’s marketing arm. “With a variety of free and moderately priced adventures, the region offers incredible value for budget-minded travelers.”
With all the money saved, travelers might also want to select a splurge-worthy adventure or two, Wade added.
Cody/Yellowstone Country is home to a wide range of accommodations – from campsites to luxury inns – and travelers who book lodging early have the best choices.
Here are some examples of free and moderately priced experiences (under $30 per person) in Yellowstone Country:
- Find “Snoopy the Dog” or “Laughing Pig Rock.” The Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway between Cody and the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park has abundant and very weird rock formations and lava flows that have been imaginatively named by locals.
- Watch the wacky Wild Bunch perform a “gunfight” with a gun safety message. The place to be on summer evenings is outside the Irma Hotel to watch this supremely entertaining group of actors engage in Western skits that always end up in a gunfight. Want a guaranteed seat? Buy a reserved seat for $2 through Cody Trolley Tours, which departs from the same location.
- See Buffalo Bill Cody’s hunting lodge, Pahaska Tepee. This is where Buffalo Bill went to relax with friends such as Teddy Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco. Built in 1904, this hunting lodge sits just outside the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park.
- If there’s someone in the group who likes to see how things work, stop at the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center, located six miles west of Cody. Water was as much a concern in the days of Buffalo Bill Cody as it is in the West today. Cody foresaw that and convinced the U.S. government to build a dam to help conserve that precious resource.
- View fine Western art created by local artists at the Cody Country Art League, which shares a historic building – the original Buffalo Bill Museum – with the Cody Visitor Center. Artists with ties to the community display photography, oil and watercolor paintings, sculptures and more.
- Stroll through history while viewing hundreds of relic guns and other weapons at the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum. This fun and funky museum presents weapons from many periods in American history.
- Meeteetse Museums is comprised of the Meeteetse Museum, Charles Belden Museum of Western Photography and Bank Museum. The museums house an extensive collection of historic
items and host a variety of free tours such as the Legend Rock Tour, which explores hundreds of ancient petroglyphs.
- Strap on your walking shoes and hike, stroll and explore downtown Cody and some of the many hiking trails that surround the town. Cody features a variety of shops and artists galleries that welcome window shopping visitors.
- See a bison, bear, eagle, bighorn sheep, river otter, fox, coyote, elk or wolf in the wild. Spotting wildlife is free, and visitors typically don’t have to go far to see an array of species. Tip: bring binoculars wherever you go and practice safe viewing by leaving plenty of distance from the animal.
- Enjoy a free concert in Cody’s City Park. Every Thursday evening in July and August the City of Cody sponsors a concert at the band shell in the centrally located park. Picnic baskets, chairs and blankets are encouraged.
- The recently renovated Historic Cody Mural and Museum depicts scenes of early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Painted by Edward T. Grigware, the elaborate mural stretches to the visitor center rotunda. The museum includes items brought to Wyoming by Mormon pioneers.
- The Homesteader Museum in nearby Powell is a collection of exhibits showing the world of pioneers, including renovated homesteader cabins, tools, photographs and other artifacts depicting the rugged life of a Wyoming homesteader.
Moderately priced experiences:
- Cody is home to the world-renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Plan plenty of time to explore the five museums – Whitney Western Art Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, Plains Indians Museum and Buffalo Bill Museum. Admission for two consecutive days: adults, $19.50; seniors 65 or older, $18.50; college students, $18; youth (ages 6-17), $13; children younger than 5, free.
- Visit Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center, where 14,000 Japanese-American citizens were incarcerated following Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. The Interpretive Center
includes thoughtfully presented exhibits that explore that difficult period of the country’s history, and it is a must-see stop for students of American history, young and old. Admission: $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.
- Western history buffs will appreciate a visit to Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West, an enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings (one used by Butch Cassidy and his gang) and several gravesites, including that of the infamous Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 self-titled film. Admission: adults, $9; children 12 and younger, $5; seniors, $8 and groups of eight or more people, $6 per person.
- The Cody Nite Rodeo begins its 80th season this year, and it is often travelers’ first rodeo experience. Open nightly from June 1 through August 31, the rodeo features riders, ropers, bull riders and bronc busters from all over the country. Admission: adults and teens, $20; children 7-12, $10; ages 6 and younger, free.
- Download the Travel Storys app and take a walking tour of Cody. Created in partnership with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the audio includes insider tips and true Western tales. Downtown Cody, including Sheridan Ave. – the town’s main street – is highly walkable, with flat streets and many pedestrian-friendly stops.
- Learn the history and geography of Cody during an hour-long Cody Trolley Tour. Guides entertainingly spin the tales of Cody’s evolution, from wild frontier town to authentic Western vacation destination. Tickets are $27 for adults and $15 for children. Several tours are offered daily throughout the summer season.
- Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, featuring authentic Western music, comedy and poetry, has been an entertainment staple for years. Miller and his Empty Saddles Band team up with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West to offer a dinner and show Monday through Saturday nights. Admission: $42 per person.
- Take a guided tour of Yellowstone National Park. With 2.2 million acres, five entrances, abundant free-roaming wildlife and geothermal features unlike any other place on Earth, a visit to
Yellowstone National Park is best explored with guides who share details about the park’s furry residents, hot spots and other natural wonders.
- Go fishing with a guide. Cody Yellowstone Country is home to hundreds of fishing spots, and the region is known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing.
- Soar above the Shoshone Forest and the North Fork of the Shoshone River on the Sleeping Giant Zipline. The zipline offers a range of prices including a family adventure package.
- Rent a Jeep and explore the rugged backroad surrounding Cody Yellowstone Country.
- Explore Cody/Yellowstone Country the way the early explorers did – on horseback. Numerous stables and dude and guest ranches offer equestrian experiences ranging from authentic week-long adventures to trail rides.
Cody/Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.
The area of Park County called “Cody/Yellowstone Country” was the playground of Buffalo Bill Cody himself. Buffalo Bill founded the town of Cody in 1896, and the entire region was driven and is still heavily influenced by the vision of the Colonel. Today its broad streets, world-class museum Buffalo Bill Center of the West and thriving western culture host nearly 1 million visitors annually.
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Mesereau Travel Public Relations