Roaming Wyoming – Road Tripping to Cody and Yellowstone National Park From Wherever You Are
CODY, Wyo., March 30, 2020 – Northwestern Wyoming’s, Cody Yellowstone is one of the least populated places in the country’s least populated state. Even though the region is typically visited by about 1 million visitors every year, each one of those visitors will encounter a lot more big sky, big bison herds, big rivers and big valleys than big crowds.
Comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, Wyo., as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park, Cody Yellowstone offers a visual feast. And you don’t have to wait until you get there to see beauty of the region. Cody is situated about 52 miles to the east of the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park, one of five park gates. Travelers can also drive directly from Cody to the Northeast Gate.
“Like a big beautiful magnet, this part of the world has drawn strong, robustly independent men and women who lived by their own set of rules,” said Claudia Wade, executive director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of the region. “No matter where you start your journey, you will have an adventure getting here, and you will leave here with a story and a renewed appreciation for the authenticity of the American West.”
Scenic Drives from Cody. If travelers haven’t had enough road tripping by the time they arrive in Cody, they can always use the town as a home base and drive one of five scenic loops. Can’t get enough of authentic small towns? Think about the Bighorn Basin Loop. Interested in historic sites and breathtaking sights? Choose the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. The East Yellowstone Loop follows the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway along the North Fork of the Shoshone River then through the East Gate and the eastern half of Yellowstone National Park. Visitors on this loop will see wildlife, astonishing rock formations and many historic
structures and popular viewpoints, such as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
In order to stay informed about any road construction closures or other updates, travelers are advised to consult this map of the scenic drives. The printed version of the map is available at the Cody Visitor Center. Upon entering the park, visitors will also receive a detailed map of Yellowstone National Park.
Travelers from the Northwest and Southwest will frequently enter Yellowstone first before moving on to Cody, while travelers from the East, Northeast and South often pass through Cody before Yellowstone National Park. Here’s what travelers can expect when they take the most direct routes from these regions to the town of Cody.
Here’s how to get to Cody Yellowstone from the Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, South and East:
The Northwest. Travelers from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Northern California will often enter Yellowstone National Park through the North Gate at Mammoth Hot Springs, travel through the park’s wildlife-rich Lamar Valley and depart the park through the Northeast Gate.
After leaving the park through the Northeast Gate, travelers briefly enter Montana and drive through the small towns of Silver Gate and Cooke City before circling back to Wyoming on the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway. Sights along this route include the single-span Sunlight Creek Bridge, the highest bridge in Wyoming and Dead Indian Pass overlook area where the Nez Perce tribe evaded 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. After driving down from the pass, you will continue to Cody in the shadow of Heart Mountain.
The Southwest. Travelers from the Southwest typically pass through Grand Teton National Park before entering Yellowstone through the South Gate. After exploring the park road-trippers will drive up and over steep and scenic Sylvan Pass before exiting the park through the East Gate, Recently widened over the years, the road is much more drivable than it used to be. The original road – visible from a pullout today – was so steep that it circled back on bridges over itself to create a corkscrew effect.
Immediately upon leaving the park, travelers will pass Pahaska Tepee, the rustic hunting lodge where Buffalo Bill Cody entertained friends and dignitaries including the Prince of Monaco. Driving on, travelers will pass through Wapiti Valley along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway known for rock formations and lava flows with descriptive names like “Old Woman and Her Cabin,” “Laughing Pig Rock,” “Snoopy the Dog” and “Chinese Wall.” Before entering Cody, motorists will pass Buffalo Bill State Park and the Buffalo Bill Dam.
The Northeast. Travelers arriving from the Northeast are in for a special treat as they drive through the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation and Prior Mountain Wild Horse Range, home to more than 120 free-roaming wild horses. Motorists can also see the mysterious 74-foot stone circle called the Medicine Wheel, which some people think had religious or astronomical implications to ancient tribes. Before arriving in Cody, travelers with an interest in history often stop at the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center, situated at the site of the Heart Mountain Internment Camp, where 14,000 Japanese-American citizens were confined during WWII. The visitor center celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2021.
The South. From the south on Highway 120, travelers will drive through the town of Thermopolis, home of the world’s largest free-flowing hot springs. Stop at Hot Springs State Park for a leisurely soak before continuing on to Meeteetse, a tiny Western town known for its charm, its chocolate, its museums and its discovery that it is home to the Black-Footed Ferret, once thought to be extinct.
The East. Motorists on a cross-country road trip will travel through the town of Greybull, named for a legendary albino bison bull that was sacred to American Indians in the region, and will also pass some of the world’s finest dinosaur fossil beds before arriving in town.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. 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