For many visitors to Yellowstone National Park, Cody is the last main town before finally arriving at the park. It is about 50 miles east of Yellowstone and makes for a nice spot to start or end your Yellowstone vacation. For me, it was another drive-through location, as I had left Yellowstone around 4:00pm on a Saturday afternoon.
Heading out of the East Entrance area, the drive is actually quite beautiful. I think even better than the route I took to get to the park, coming up from the south and into Grand Teton National Park. There were huge rock and cliff formations as well as rivers and swiftly moving creeks. The waterfalls streaming down the hillside along the road were worth a stop for photos when the opportunities presented themselves.
Before reaching Cody, there is the Buffalo Bill State Park. It was a vast area largely consisting of a campground and boating area on the Shoshone River. The dam that creates the reservoir is a USPS National Historic Site, but they were getting ready to close when I arrived just before 5:00pm. I did stop by to check it out, but did not have time enough to take the self-guided tour. Admission was free, with a $3 fee for the audio headset for the tour.
From there I headed on into the Town of Cody. I knew I had arrived as I passed the Cody Stampede Rodeo Grounds on the outskirts of town. I briefly contemplated stopping in Cody for the night in order to attend that evening's 8:00pm rodeo, but felt I really should push on and try to make the most of the daylight driving time.
In the town, there were a number of western themed museums and attractions. Everything was closed, even the local visitors' center. This place really looked like an interesting place for a family to spend a day learning about the American west and the history of Buffalo Bill Cody. As I stated, many visitors to Yellowstone start or end their trip with a night here, which I can completely understand. For me, it just wasn't as convenient to do so . . . so this will also be added to my "next time" list for this area.