Find Your Park in Yellowstone; Find Your Hotel – and Plenty More – in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country
CODY, Wyo., July 15, 2016 – There is still time to Find Your Park in Yellowstone this year, and travelers’ best bet for a last-minute getaway in the world’s first national park is to start in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, the park’s only gateway community that provides easy access to two of the park’s five entrances.
Yellowstone was designated the world’s first national park in 1872, and the National Park Service was founded in 1916, so it is fitting and not surprising that the park reported an increase of 10 percent in visitation during the first six months of 2016 over 2015. The National Park Service has been aggressively promoting visitation to national parks with a campaign called Find Your Park, which encourages travelers to visit a national or state park in 2016.
From Cody, the park is about an hour from the East Gate and 90 minutes from the Northeast Gate, and both drives reward travelers with scenic landscapes and plentiful wildlife that can be viewed from the road.
“Day-tripping to Yellowstone is easy, and there is still lodging available at Cody’s many inns, hotels, guest ranches and B&Bs, sometimes even at the last minute,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region. “Cody is the wildest way into Yellowstone, with knock-your-socks-off Western landscapes and unforgettable routes that are tied to the heritage and history of the park.”
In addition to finding accommodations, Cody has abundant adventures and experiences that enhance any vacation, including the Cody Nite Rodeo, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, Cody Trolley Tours and much more.
The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange a vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
Entering the park from the East
The road between Cody, Wyo. to the East Entrance of Yellowstone National Park is 52 miles and runs along the north fork of the Shoshone River. From the town of Cody visitors take Yellowstone Avenue west through a ¾-mile-long tunnel and past the Buffalo Bill Reservoir, Buffalo Bill State Park, rock formations and lava flows and through the Shoshone National Forest. Once inside the forest, the highway is designated the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway and is noted for its abundant wildlife.
The area is also home to a dozen guest ranches offering overnight accommodations, fishing, horseback riding and other activities. The last stop before the entrance to Yellowstone is Pahaska Tepee, the hunting lodge of Buffalo Bill Cody.
Entering the Park from the Northeast
The second optioninto the park is just as spectacular with expansive views and even more opportunities to view wildlife, culminating in a drive through “America’s Serengeti,” better known as Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway (Hwy. 296) features sights like the single-span Sunlight Creek Bridge, the highest bridge in Wyoming and Dead Indian Pass overlook area where the Nez Perce tribe outran the U.S. Cavalry for several months in 1877. History buffs should also consider taking a side trip on the Sunlight Basin Road (a gravel road) to see the Sunlight Ranger Station, a Civilian Conservation Corps structure built in 1936. Travelers will enter Montana and drive through the small towns of Cooke City and Silver Gate before entering the park. It is typical to see bison and elk in this valley and not uncommon to spot wolves, bears, coyote, bighorn sheep, moose and a wide variety of birds.
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 is called “Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country” because it 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.
Mesereau Travel Public Relations