Not So Secret Season: Fall in Cody Yellowstone
CODY, Wyo., July 29, 2021 – Between the warm weather and school schedules, summer is always going to be the busiest vacation season. Those with flexible schedules, however, have learned to point their SUVs and RVs to prime destinations when school is back in session and a somewhat slower pace is in place.
In Cody Yellowstone the atmospheric change is accompanied by subtle, but noticeable, shifts in activities.
While mainstays like the Cody Nite Rodeo and Wild Bunch gunfighters have put away their saddles and pistols for the year, the wildlife watching improves and hiking is a little more comfortable.
“Everybody has their favorite season, and my unscientific study tells me empty nesters and homeschoolers lean toward fall,” said Ryan Hauck, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, Wyo., as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. “With cooler temperatures and fewer visitors, fall is an especially good season for enjoying the region’s outdoor recreational offerings like hiking and fishing.”
Here’s a rundown of Cody Yellowstone fall experiences:
Wildlife Watching. Summer heat drives many of the region’s animals to higher ground and cooler temperatures. As the post-Labor Day cooldown arrives bears, elk, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn, deer, eagles, river otters and many other mammals return to the valleys. Some species are extremely active during this period 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 battle.
Blue-ribbon trout fishing. Mountain snowmelt has slowed way down, and the fishing is perfect. Anglers find an abundance of top-flight fishing spots including North and South Forks of the Shoshone River and rivers and streams in Yellowstone National Park. Local fishing outfitters offer guides, maps and advice.
Road-tripping. Driving 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. Less traffic makes it easier to take advantage of pull-outs and find parking spaces as well.
Hiking. Hiking trails which are numerous throughout the region, and 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.
History. It’s not difficult to find something historically significant in Cody Yellowstone. Examples include the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center offering a glimpse of the lives of some 14,000 Japanese-American citizens who were incarcerated there during World War II. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institute and is comprised of five museums under one roof. The Buffalo Bill Dam and Visitor Center tells the story of the first-of-its-kind project. By Western Hands is dedicated to local artisans. Old Trail Town features homesteader cabins, including one used by Butch Cassidy and his gang.
Art. The annual Rendezvous Royale is a fall-season extravaganza of galas, art sales and special events.
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.
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