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Find the latest, greatest breaking news on all things Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, right here. Check back often so you never miss a beat of the Wild West. Find out what’s new with attractions, events and the towns that make up Park County.

Old Trail Town turns 50.

Summer of Milestones in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

 

CODY, Wyo., June 22, 2017 – The summer season in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is in full swing, and this year is expected to be especially festive, with milestone anniversaries at some of the famous town’s most beloved attractions.

One of the anniversaries this year is the centennial of Buffalo Bill Cody’s death. The legendary showman’s death in Denver on January 10, 1917 and his controversial June burial – funded by The Denver Post and local legislators – is still a matter of legend and intrigue today. Some long-time Cody residents are convinced the town’s founder is buried on Cody’s Cedar Mountain – as was his wish — not in a grave in suburban Denver.

Other anniversaries and milestones in Cody include:

  • 100th anniversary of the formation of the Buffalo Bill Memorial Association, which started the Buffalo Bill Museum, the first of five museums of Buffalo Bill Center of the West.Formed just weeks after Cody died, the association’s modest museum has morphed into a world-class facility with five museums and an acclaimed research library under one massive roof. The museums include the Buffalo Bill Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is five museums in one.Western

    The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is five museums in one.

    Art Museum and Cody Firearms Museum. The Center is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. A recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2013, 2014 and 2015, the Center was recently named the “Top Western Museum” by True West magazine.

  • 50th anniversary of Old Trail Town. This enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings includes one used by Butch Cassidy and his infamous Wild Bunch Gang. One of the town’s many gravesites belongs to Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 film “Jeremiah Johnson.”
  • 15th anniversary of the Draper Natural History Museum. With internationally acclaimed exhibits focusing on the ecology and natural history of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the Draper museum’s exhibits are presented as the “Greater Yellowstone Adventure,” with three interconnected galleries – the Expedition Trailhead, Alpine-to-Plains Trail and Seasons of Discovery. The Draper was the first

    The Irma Hotel is 115 years old.

    American natural history museum established in the 21st century.

  • 115th anniversary of the Irma Hotel. In 1902, seven years after he founded the town of Cody, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody built the Irma Hotel on the town’s then main street – 12th Street – and named it after his youngest daughter. The Irma is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

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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.

 

Related hashtags:

#YellowstoneCountry

#CodyWyoming

#CenteroftheWest

#BuffaloBill

#Yellowstone

#Wyoming

 

Media contact:

Mesereau Travel Public Relations

(970) 286-2751

mona@mesereaupr.com

tom@mesereaupr.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scenic Routes in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

 

nr1

The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.

CODY, Wyoming, June 12, 2017 – Though we’ve evolved from station wagons to SUVs, and paper maps to Google maps, the great road trip vacation has not changed that much over the years.

And that’s a good thing. Especially in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country where wide-o“No matter which route you take, there will be something special to see outside your window,” said Claudia Wade, executive director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of Cody and the surrounding region. “Travelers may experience their first bison jam or find out what it means to be in the badlands. There are free-roaming horse and humorously named rock formations, an ancient and mysterious stone circle and free-flowing hot springs.”pen spaces meet the Absaroka Mountains, where melting snow creates valleys teeming with wildlife, where the views feature unusual rock formations such as “Laughing Pig Rock” and where the next fun activity is a short drive away.

 

nr2

The Heart Mountain Interpretive Center depicts life for World War II Japanese Americans who were incarcerated.

With Scenic Byways leading The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway to the town’s two closest entrances to Yellowstone National Park and multiple roads with historic sites and natural wonders heading into town, the region is a road tripper’s dream.

Here are some reasons why Yellowstone Country is a must-take driving trip:

Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and Yellowstone’s Northeast Gate. Driving in or out of Yellowstone National Park’s northeast gate can be a remarkable wildlife-viewing opportunity as the road travels through Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley, called “America’s Serengeti.” 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. Stops between Cody and the park include the small towns of Silver Gate and Cooke City, Mont. and 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 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.

nr3

Rock formations along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway are fun to spot.

Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway and Yellowstone’s East Gate. The road between Cody and the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park also affords some of the best wildlife viewing in the region, and the rock formations and lava flows with names – provided by imaginative locals – such as “Old Woman and Her Cabin,” “Laughing Pig Rock,” “Snoopy the Dog,” and “Chinese Wall” provide some geological levity. This road trip takes travelers along U.S. Highway 14-16-20 through the valley east of the park in Shoshone National Forest, the country’s first designated national forest and home to the oldest ranger station and past Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge. Travelers see the eastern half of the park with easy access to Yellowstone Lake, Hayden Valley, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Dunraven Pass and Lamar Valley. Road trippers often combine this route with the aforementioned Chief Joseph Scenic Byway.

Bighorn Basin. South of Cody are badlands and Meeteetse, a tiny Western town known for its charm and lately, its chocolate. Cowboy, dedicated chocolatier and local celebrity Tim Kellogg’s shop, The Meeteetse Chocolatier, serves up preservative-free truffles in wide-ranging combinations. South on Highway 120 is the town of Thermopolis, home of the world’s largest free-flowing hot springs.

Bighorn Mountain. This road makes its way through the towns of Powell and Lovell and the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area as well as  the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, home to more than 120 free-roaming wild horses. Along the way is the mysterious 74-foot stone circle called the Medicine Wheel, which some people think had religious or astronomical implications to ancient tribes and the town of Greybull, named for a legendary albino bison bull that was sacred to American Indians in the region. Some of the world’s finest dinosaur fossil beds are nearby, too. Head out to the Heart Mountain Interpretive Center, just north of Cody. This educational facility is located on the site of a Japanese American internment camp that housed some 14,000 people during World War II.

For complete details about all five scenic drives, visit http://www.yellowstonecountry.org/things-to-do/scenic-byways/.

 

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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.

 

Related hashtags:

#YellowstoneCountry

#CodyWyoming

#CenteroftheWest

#BuffaloBill

#Yellowstone

#Wyoming

Media contact:

Mesereau Travel Public Relations

(970) 286-2751

mona@mesereaupr.com

tom@mesereaupr.com

longmire

Robert Taylor is “Longmire”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Longmire Comes to Cody; Small Town Celebrates July 4 in a Big Way, and Actors Robert Taylor and Adam Bartley are Leading the Way this Year

 

CODY, Wyo., May 23, 2017 – Any troublemakers thinking about giving Cody’s finest a hard time this Independence Day might want to think twice, or they may end up face to face with Longmire and “The Ferg.”

Adam Bartley is "The Ferg"

Adam Bartley is “The Ferg”

Actors Robert Taylor and Adam Bartley, who play Sheriff Walt Longmire and Deputy Archie “The Ferg” Ferguson in the A&E “Longmire” series, will join the likes of John Wayne, Steven Seagal, Wilford Brimley, Red Steagall and Chuck Yeager as grand marshal of the July 4 Cody Stampede Parade. And by the time the popular actors lead Wyoming’s largest Independence Day parade down the length of Sheridan Avenue, the town will be well-primed.

July 4 is the fifth and final day of Cody’s annual birthday bash for the country, a 98-year tradition.

The celebration is called the Cody Stampede, and nearly every event – from the rodeos to the parades – reflects the equestrian heritage of this tiny northwestern Wyoming town. Horses have been a big part of Cody’s heritage ever since Buffalo Bill rode through this region and envisioned a town there.

The Cody Stampede Parade is a major event in the state of Wyoming

The Cody Stampede Parade is a major event in the state of Wyoming

This year’s events kick off on Friday, June 30, with the Cody/Yellowstone Bull-Riding Event. The fun continues Saturday, July 1 through July 4 with four Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)-sanctioned Stampede Rodeos; a Kiddies Parade July 2; Stampede Parades July 3 and 4; a 5K/10K run/walk July 4; and the three-day Wild West Extravaganza Craft Fair July 2 – 4. There are also musical performances by regional acts in outdoor venues throughout town.

The Stampede Parade on the morning of July 4 is especially fun, with at least three marching bands from around the country parading down Sheridan Avenue, Cody’s main street.

Following the Cody Stampede Rodeo on July 4, Cody caps the annual celebration with the Cody Skylighters Fireworks Show.

Previous grand marshals included John Wayne

Previous grand marshals included John Wayne

“It doesn’t take much of an imagination to picture Walt Longmire and The Ferg marching purposefully down Sheridan Avenue to deal with the crime of the day, so we think they are perfectly suited to lead our Independence Day parade,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council. “As a town that has remained true to Western traditions, the addition of ‘Longmire’ to lead the parade promises to be a day of family-friendly frivolity. I can hardly wait.”

The Start of the Stampede
In April 1920, a group of local leaders including a lawyer, dude ranch owner, newspaper editor and a publicity-savvy and nationally known female novelist met to talk about how to transform the town’s small annual July 4 celebration into an event that would showcase Cody’s authentic Western dude ranches and other attractions as well as its proximity to two entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Among the most vocal of those leaders – and the only female present – was Caroline Lockhart, whose best-selling novels in the early 1900s had earned her fame and fortune. Once the group settled on naming the event the Cody Stampede and sketching a general framework, Lockhart took the reins as president. She set about publicizing it in the Park County Enterprise – Buffalo Bill’s newspaper, which was later renamed the Cody Enterprise, and is still in operation today. She also organized fundraisers and invited famous rodeo performers to demonstrate their skills at the nightly rodeos.

These town leaders had little idea that they would create an annual event that would be enjoyed and remembered by generations of Cody residents and visitors from around the world.

Visiting during the Cody Stampede
Wade advises travelers to plan far ahead if they want to experience the Cody Stampede. The town’s inns, lodges, hotels and guest ranches offer more than 1,600 rooms, and most of those sell out during the Cody Stampede.

Visitors will find an array of activities to keep them engaged when not enjoying Cody Stampede events. Among them, the Sleeping Giant Ski Area Zip Line, Cody Firearms Experience, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Old Trail Town and the Cody Trolley Tour. There are also many outdoor adventures such as hiking, rock climbing, fly fishing and whitewater rafting.

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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.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyStampede
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

 

horseback riding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting Outdoors in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

Biking jpeg

Yellowstone Country features many miles of trails for bicyclists.

CODY, Wyo., April 27, 2017 – With its wide open spaces, miles of forests, soaring mountains, crystal clear streams and seemingly never-ending trails, Buffalo Bill’s Cody Yellowstone Country attracts outdoor enthusiasts looking for peaceful, exciting, modern and authentic experiences.

“There are still plenty of places where you can leave the electronics behind and enjoy a completely natural experience that usually ends with you wondering why you don’t do it more often,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council. “This is one of those places.”

Here are some those activities that Wade recommends:

Try your hand at Cody’s blue-ribbon trout fishing in one of Cody’s many streams, lakes and rivers. Local guides can be hired to take anglers to their own favorite spots. Fishing licenses: $14 daily for non-residents.

Absaroka Bikefitters and Backcountry Guides

It is easy to get away on hike in the region.

Raft the Shoshone River. With an above-average snowpack this year, local outfitters are predicting flows of 5-6,000 cfs above the Buffalo Bill Reservoir with Class III-IV rapids. Below the dam water levels will approach 8,000 cfs with solid Class III rapids. And the large snowpack should allow for a longer season. Cody is home to several outfitters offering float and whitewater raft trips that last from just a couple of hours to a half day. The town’s rafting outfitters offer partial- and full-day tours that pass through breathtaking red rock canyons with white-water rapids with names like “Hole in the Wall,” and “Sundance Kid.”

Go two-wheeling. Mountain-biking in Yellowstone Country provides visitors with a chance to take in the scenery at their own pace while getting some exercise in the fresh Wyoming air. Riders won’t want to miss the new Beck Lake Mountain Bike Park and Trail System southeast of Cody.

Hit the links. Park County features two mature 18-hole championship golf courses. Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club opened in 1970 and has been rated by Golf Digest as one of the “Best Places to Play.” It contains a fully staffed golf shop with PGA professional and features a practice range and putting green on site. The full-service restaurant is open year-round and the course is open April 1 through November 1: Powell Golf Club measures up to 7,000 yards and is open April through October: daily, 8am-dusk. Call for pricing and tee times.

Rafting jpeg

Rapids up to Class III are found on the Shoshone River.

Hit the trails. Head in any direction and go for a day or an overnight backcountry hike. Much of the land in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country is public land and part of the Shoshone National Forest, Bureau of Land Management and Yellowstone National Park featuring astonishing rock formations, broad sweeps of forest, wide open meadows, rivers, lakes and abundant wildlife.

Saddle up. With its wide streets, nightly rodeo and history, Cody was home base to Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. Horseback riding still is the authentic activity in Cody/Yellowstone Country. The area’s guest and dude ranches as well as the area’s horse riding concessioners provide the experience of reliving life in the rugged west.

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Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

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.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

irma


The Cherrywood bar in the Irma Hotel Dining Room was presented to Buffalo Bill Cody by Queen Victoria. Buffalo Bill charmed the queen when his Wild West Show performed in London. The bar is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Living History in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

 

scout

“The Scout” at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

CODY, Wyo., April 14, 2017 – Making history is something Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country has been doing for quite a long time. Long before Buffalo Bill Cody founded the once-raucous frontier town that bears his name, and long after the final incarcerees were released from a World War II Japanese-American internment camp at Heart Mountain, this northwestern corner of Wyoming has been a living testament to colorful history of the American West.

“We don’t have to hit our visitors over the head with history because the past is an authentic part of a modern-day Cody adventure,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region comprised of the towns of Cody, Meeteetse, Powell and the valley east of Yellowstone National Park. “From the buffalo horn bonnets on display in the Plains Indian Museum to the rodeo clowns that have been protecting Cody Nite Rodeo performers for nearly a century, history plays a part in nearly every Cody experience.”

Here are some places to experience the history that helped shape Yellowstone Country’s character:

Jeremiah johnston

Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston.

Collections of tribal artistry at the Plains Indian Museum, one of five Buffalo Bill Center of the West museums. This acclaimed museum includes creations of many Plains peoples such as eagle feather bonnets, bear claw necklaces, buffalo hide tipis and tipi furnishings, shields, cradles, peace medals and moccasins.

Paintings of the day-to-day life of incarcerees at Heart Mountain Interpretive Center. This award-winning museum opened in 2011 and includes poignant exhibits of incarcerees at the internment camp. “All You Can Carry,” the introductory film at the center, includes the paintings of Estelle Ishigo, a Caucasian woman who chose to remain at her Japanese-American husband’s side when he was imprisoned during World War II. A talented artist, Ishigo chronicled the day-to-day lives of the camp’s 14,000 residents with sketches, drawings and watercolors depicting the brutal conditions of the camp and camp life.

The Visitor Center at the Buffalo Bill Dam. Once the tallest concrete dam in the world and a National Civil Engineering Landmark, the Buffalo Bill Dam was operating before Buffalo Bill Cody’s death in 1917. The visitor center’s exhibits show how the dam fulfilled the forward-thinking showman’s goal to bring a reliable water source to the Bighorn Basin.

register

The register at the Chamberlin Inn features Hemigway’s signature.

The Cherrywood bar at the Irma Hotel. In 1902, seven years after he founded the town of Cody, William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody built the Irma Hotel on the town’s then main street – 12th Street – and named it after his youngest daughter. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel’s famous room-long Cherrywood bar – still in use today in what is now the hotel dining room – was presented to Buffalo Bill by England’s Queen Victoria, who was charmed by Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show when the company performed in London.

“Buffalo Bill – The Scout” at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Created by famed New York sculptress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, The Scout has greeted visitors to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West since 1924. The sculpture is mounted on a stone base that represents Cedar Mountain, where Buffalo Bill wished to be buried, and it was created at the behest of Caroline Lockhart, editor and publisher of the Cody Enterprise. The famous heiress funded the cost of the sculpture, and her son Cornelius later funded the creation of the Whitney Western Art Museum.

Hemingway’s signature in the guest register at the Chamberlin Inn. In 1932 “Ernest Hemingway of Key West, Florida” had just completed the manuscript for Death in the Afternoon and was enjoying some time fishing the Clark’s Fork River by day and swapping stories with the locals in the Irma bar at night. The register is displayed at the inn and open to the page containing Hemingway’s signature. And the room in which Hemingway stayed is available to overnight guests.

Indian Trade Musket at the new Cody Firearms Experience. Opened last year, the Cody Firearms Experience provides visitors with a chance to shoot the guns that won the West in a safe, supervised and educational setting. Visitors can choose from a replica of an Indian Trade Musket, US Model 1795, Flintlock Musket, Colt Walker Revolver and Winchester Model 1873 Rifle and fire them in a state-of-the-art indoor shooting range.

Buffalo Bill’s hunting lodge, Pahaska Teepee. Located just outside the East entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Cody brought his hunting pals – including Theodore Roosevelt and the Prince of Monaco – to this rustic lodge. Cody was named “Long Hair” by American Indians in the region, which in their tongue was pronounced “Pahaska.” The rustic log lodge displays many gifts given to Cody by guests. Modern cabins, a restaurant and gift shop make this a great stop for travelers before they head into the park.

Cabins and gravesites at Old Trail Town/Museum of the Old West. This enclave of 26 authentic frontier buildings includes one used by Butch Cassidy and his infamous Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. One of the town’s many gravesites belongs to Jeremiah “Liver Eating” Johnston – portrayed by actor Robert Redford in the 1972 film.

The teller’s cage at Meeteetse Bank Museum. Butch Cassidy once lived in Meeteetse, and despite his reputation as a prolific and highly successful bank robber, he pledged not to rob the Meeteetse Bank so he and his friends would have a safe place to stash their ill-gotten cash. That bank is now the Meeteetse Bank Museum, and it still displays the original teller’s cage, vault and many other artifacts.

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Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.

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.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

4TH OF JULY

Photo courtesy of the Cody Enterprise

JOHN WAYNE

John Wayne was grand marshal of the parade in 1976.

Celebrate July 4 in a Big Way in the Small Town of Cody, Wyoming

CODY, Wyo., March 28, 2017 – It takes Cody, Wyoming five days to celebrate the Fourth of July, and town leaders are already fine-tuning plans for the country’s big birthday bash this year. Just as they have been every spring for the last 98 years.

The celebration is called the Cody Stampede, and nearly every event – from the rodeos to the parades – reflects the equestrian heritage of this tiny northwestern Wyoming town. Horses have been a big part of Cody’s heritage ever since Buffalo Bill rode through this region and envisioned a town there.

PARADE

The parade will feature multiple marching bands.

This year’s events kick off on Friday, June 30, with the Cody/Yellowstone Bull-Riding Event. The fun continues Saturday, July 1 through July 4 with four Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA)-sanctioned Stampede Rodeos; a Kiddies Parade July 2; Stampede Parades July 3 and 4; a 5K/10K run/walk July 4; and the three-day Wild West Extravaganza Craft Fair July 2 – 4. There are also musical performances by regional acts in outdoor venues throughout town.

RODEO

Four PRCA-sanctioned events will be held.

The Stampede Parade on the mornings of July 3 and 4 is especially fun, with at least three marching bands from around the country parading down Sheridan Avenue, Cody’s main street. The parade’s 2017 grand marshal will be announced soon. Last year’s grand marshal was storyteller Red Steagall, and previous years the town has welcomed John Wayne, Steven Seagal, Chuck Yeager and Wilford Brimley.

Following the Cody Stampede Rodeo on July 4, Cody caps the annual celebration with the Cody Skylighters Fireworks Show.

“Right around now, the town’s residents begin sketching plans for parade floats, training for races and rodeo events and speculating about who will be named this year’s parade grand marshal,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council. “The Cody Stampede is one of the longest running July 4 celebrations in the country, and after nearly a century the goals of the event’s original planners have remained the same.”

The Start of the Stampede
In April 1920, a group of local leaders including a lawyer, dude ranch owner, newspaper editor, and a publicity-savvy and nationally known female novelist met to talk about how to transform town’s small annual July 4 celebration into an event that would showcase Cody’s authentic Western dude ranches and other attractions as well as its proximity to two entrances to Yellowstone National Park.

Among the most vocal of those leaders – and the only female present – was Caroline Lockhart, whose best-selling novels in the early 1900s had earned her fame and fortune. Once the group settled on naming the event the Cody Stampede and sketched a general framework, Lockhart took the reins as president. She set about publicizing it in the Park County Enterprise – Buffalo Bill’s newspaper, which was later renamed the Cody Enterprise, and is still in operation today. She also organized fundraisers and invited famous rodeo performers to demonstrate their skills at the nightly rodeos.

These town leaders had little idea that they would create an annual event that would be enjoyed and remembered by generations of Cody residents and visitors from around the world.

Visiting during the Cody Stampede
Wade advises travelers to plan far ahead if they want to experience the Cody Stampede. The town’s inns, lodges, hotels and guest ranches offer more than 1,600 rooms, and most of those sell out during the Cody Stampede.

Visitors will find an array of activities to keep them engaged when not enjoying Cody Stampede events. Among them, the Sleeping Giant Ski Area Zip Line, Cody Firearms Experience, Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue, Heart Mountain WW II Interpretive Center, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Old Trail Town and the Cody Trolley Tour. There are also many outdoor adventures such as hiking, rock climbing fly fishing and whitewater rafting.

###

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.
Related hashtags:

#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyStampede
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

BISON

WOLVES

Wolf pups begin to emerge from their dens as early as April.

Yellowstone Country’s Babes in the Woods; Spring is the Best Time to See Young in the Wild

 

CODY, Wyo., March 15, 2017 – Spring is a time of rebirth, and many wildlife species in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country embrace that idea literally.

Although the first official day of spring is March 21, for most residents of northwestern Wyoming’s Cody – situated east of Yellowstone National Park – the season truly begins when the babies make their debut. For some species, that is still a couple of months away.

“When the first bear cub or bison calf is spotted, you know that spring has finally bumped winter aside and wildflowers, songbirds and summer-season visitors are close behind,” said Claudia Wade, executive director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region. “Around here the arrival of Yellowstone Country’s next generation is a time for celebration.”

ELK

Elk are frequently found in the East Yellowstone Valley.

Observe safely
Wade advises visitors to keep binoculars handy and to strictly observe recommendations to stay at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves and 25 yards away from all other wildlife. “Every year we remind visitors throughout Greater Yellowstone to keep their distance from wildlife for their own safety and for the safety of the animals,” said Wade. “While most visitors respect these common-sense rules, there occasionally are visitors who are injured or whose behavior causes the injuries of animals, so these rules bear repeating.”

Tours and tips
The best place to start when embarking on a Yellowstone Country wildlife excursion is the Draper Natural History Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in downtown Cody. Celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, the museum offers award-winning exhibits that showcase the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem and provides travelers with knowledge about what to look for and where to look.

SHEEP

Rocky mountain bighorn sheep are often spotted along the road to Yellowstone National Park.

Cody is home to several tour companies that offer wildlife tours in Yellowstone National Park and throughout the region. Visitors who prefer to self-guide are guaranteed a scenic ride along one of the five wildlife loop tours from Cody.

Travelers will find an array of overnight accommodations, from boutique inns to guest ranches, that provide a comfortable home away from home.

Yellowstone Country wildlife
Bison calves are often the first of the young ones to make their debut. Reddish-colored, fuzzy-furred bison calves are quick studies, and they can keep up with their mothers as soon as two hours after birth. It takes a village to protect a bison calf, and all adult bison surround young calves when predators such as wolves and bears are near.

BEARS

Grizzlies and black bears will soon emerge from hibernation.

Black bear cubs were born during the winter, and they spend the first couple of months of their lives nursing and dozing while their semiconscious mamas continue to slumber in their dens. The bear cubs finally see daylight around the month of April. Mothers spend the next 16 to 18 months teaching their babies how to survive in the wild.

Moose cows aren’t quite as patient with their young. Once they give birth to a new calf – typically in May or June – they chase away the previous season’s calves. While not known for their intelligence, moose are predictably unpredictable, particularly when protecting a calf. Moose cows will chase human observers and other wildlife if they perceive a threat. Moose are frequently spotted near the northeast and east entrances to Yellowstone.

Bighorn sheep produce one or two lambs annually. Born in May or June, the lambs immediately begin the multi-year process of growing their horns. For this species, size matters. The horns on male Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep can weigh as much as 40 pounds, and the size of horns can influence a ram’s rank in the herd.

Elk thrive throughout Yellowstone Country, particularly in East Yellowstone Valley along the north fork of the Shoshone River. Usually born in late May and June, elk calves like most ungulates can walk within an hour or two of birth. An elk cow’s protective strategy when predators are near is to run away in hopes the predator will follow her and not notice the newborn lying motionless in the grass.

Wolf pups begin appearing in April and May, and their packs will remain with them for three to 10 weeks as they learn bit by bit how to be a wolf in Yellowstone. Their playful antics with their littermates make wolf-watching in spring especially fun. While wolves roam throughout the greater Yellowstone region, the best sightings are often in the Lamar Valley inside the park.

River otters are also born with an entertainer’s spirit, but they are a little harder to spot. Born in March and April, these aquatic nomads stay with their moms for a year as they learn how to find fish and other food and swim underwater for minutes at a time.

Eagles emerge in mid-April and fly from their nests three to four months after that. This remarkable once-endangered bird is one of 19 raptor species in the park. Northwestern Wyoming is home to bald eagles and golden eagles. Bald eagles feed on fish, and their nests can often be found in trees close to water. Golden eagles are more frequently spotted in valleys where they can accommodate their preference for rabbits and other small mammals.

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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.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyStampede
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

Cody, Wyoming Marks Buffalo Bill’s Birthday with Three-Day Celebration

 

William "Buffalo Bill" Cody

Buffalo Bill Cody’s birthday is Feb. 26.

CODY, Wyo., Feb. 17, 2017 – Buffalo Bill Cody’s 171st birthday is on Feb. 26, and even though he died a century ago, the town he founded still celebrates his birthday every year. With gusto. Three days of gusto.

“An annual birthday celebration for a man who was larger than life when he was alive seems fitting in the town he founded,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm of Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. “Plus, it is just plain fun.”

The weekend celebration kicks off with free admission to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on Friday, Feb. 24. The museum will also offer visitors free food including birthday cake, live music and family activities starting at 3 p.m. At 4 p.m. staffers will open a time capsule to mark the centennial of the acclaimed museum.

On Saturday, Feb. 25., the local Knights of Columbus hosts the Buffalo Bill Birthday Ball, a fundraising event that benefits local charities and service programs. The event is staged in the Cody Auditorium, which has been converted into a replica of the Wolfville Hall, once the largest dancing and gambling establishment in town and a favorite haunt of Buffalo Bill’s.

bbcw

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West will offer cake, music and activities.

On Monday, Feb. 24 at 11 a.m., the Cody High School FFA chapter will host its annual wreath-laying ceremony at Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s famous sculpture Buffalo Bill – the Scout.

More information is available online.

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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.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

From White House to Wyoming. The Presidents Who Came to Call in Yellowstone Country

ford

Gerald Ford as a Yellowstone ranger in 1936.

CODY, Wyo., February 16, 2017 – All but two U.S. presidents since Ulysses S. Grant have visited the state of Wyoming before, during or after their terms in office. Of those presidents, several have ventured to the state’s northwestern region known as Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, which includes the town of Cody as well as parts of Yellowstone National Park.
“With the abundance of history, culture and outdoor recreational offerings in our corner of the state, it is fitting – and not all that surprising – that so many U.S. presidents have chosen to spend time here for business or pleasure, and sometimes a little of both,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the marketing arm for the region.

Here are a few examples of presidential visits to Yellowstone Country:
· President Calvin Coolidge visited Cody on July 4, 1927 for the opening of the Buffalo Bill Museum, one of five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

· President Gerald Ford was the most familiar with Yellowstone of all presidents. When he visited in official capacity in 1976, he was returning to the stomping ground he knew as a 23-year-old National Park Service Ranger in 1936. One of his duties as a ranger was to welcome VIPs to the park. He also helped protect park rangers who fed the bears at a garbage-filled feeding truck, which was a regular source of entertainment for park visitors at that time.

· One of the 19th-century presidents who spent the most time in northwestern Wyoming was President Chester A. Arthur. In 1883, he and his large entourage visited Yellowstone Country intent on having an authentic Western experience. Arthur was known to be bit of a dandy, and in a nod to Western style during a two-month vacation during his term, he covered his business suit with knee-length leather leggings. Arthur kept in touch with the outside world and engaged in presidential business by one daily mail courier on horseback who delivered and received Arthur’s messages.

· President Bill and Hillary Clinton took a stroll around Old Faithful Geyser in 1995.

obama

President Obama and his family visited the park in 2009.

· President Barack Obama and his family visited Yellowstone in 2009 and had lunch in the park’s Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

· President Jimmy Carter fished in Lake Yellowstone and then returned to the park after his presidency and dined in the employee pub at the park’s Lake Lodge. He even signed the wall of the pub, and his signature is still visible today.

· President George H.W. Bush visited Yellowstone in 1989 to survey the devastation of the 1988 fires. Park officials briefed the president about fire science. Bush also fished in a river near Cody and visited Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill Cody’s hunting lodge.

· Theodore Roosevelt was a big fan of the state, and he made several trips during his presidential tenure and returned to Wyoming to vacation after he left Washington. The robust president was far more of a natural in Western-style clothing and activities than some of his predecessors. He was a frequent visitor to Yellowstone Country, and he made his final visit to the park in 1903 during a two-week vacation. During that trip, he laid the cornerstone for the park’s Roosevelt Arch, bearing the inscription: “For the benefit and enjoyment of the people.” Although the arch is in the state of Montana at the northern entrance to Yellowstone, Wyoming celebrates the grand structure too, as most of the park is in Wyoming.

· Years later, Theodore’s fifth cousin Franklin took office, and he also left his mark on Yellowstone Country. Some would argue it wasn’t a positive mark, as it was Franklin Delano Roosevelt who signed Executive Order 9066 on Feb. 19, 1942. As a result, some 14,000 Japanese-Americans were incarcerated at the Heart Mountain Confinement Site during World War II. Another interesting tidbit about the publicity-conscious president: When he visited the park, he avoided the park hotels, many with multiple floors and no elevators, and instead was a guest of the lodge manager in his single-floor park home, which could better accommodate his wheelchair while at the same time keeping it from public view.

President W Harding at Mammoth Hot Springs; Photographer unknown; 1923

President Harding visited as well.

· President Warren Harding visited the park in 1923, shortly before he died. Upon learning of his death, staff in the park named a geyser after him and observed a moment of silence in his honor.

· Although he never visited Yellowstone, the country’s 18th president, Ulysses S. Grant, arguably had the most lasting impact on the region. In 1872, Grant signed the bill that designated Yellowstone as the world’s first national park, a move which is often called the best idea America ever had.

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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.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill
#Yellowstone
#Wyoming

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
1-970-286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com

Three Perfect Winter Days in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country

 

ice climbing

Because of its porous soil and ample snow, the region is an ice climber’s dream.

CODY, Wyo., January 9, 2017 – Although rodeo cowboys, shootout performers and bears take a much-deserved break during winter in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, the destination is still very much alive with topnotch winter activities as well as many of the region’s favorite year-round attractions like the renowned Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Winter has arrived in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, and the shops, galleries, museums, hotels, restaurants, ski area, icy waterfalls, skating rink and backcountry trails are primed and ready to welcome winter-season visitors. And although these travelers visit this northwestern Wyoming destination for a variety of reasons, Cody promises a memorable experience for everyone, especially if they are adventurous, curious or a little bit of both.

Sleeping Giants boasts two terrain parks

Sleeping Giant Ski Area features a terrain park constructed of salvaged materials.

“Some days are made for meandering through galleries and museums, and others are perfect for outdoor adventure,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the tourism marketing arm for the region. “With a great balance of indoor and outdoor activities, visitors can choose activities based on their interests and weather and never run out of fun things to do.”

In fact, Wade often makes her own recreational choices based on the weather conditions. She enjoys snowshoeing on days when the sun is shining and there is a blanket of snow on the ground but wind is at bay. And on days of more rugged winter weather, she will wander at leisure through the five museums of the world-famous Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

snow-shoeing

Snow shoeing is popular in the area.

Yellowstone Country is comprised of the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as the valley east of Yellowstone National Park.
To illustrate the range of winter offerings, here is a sample three-day itinerary. The Park County Travel Council also offers an online vacation planning tool.

Day One
Morning:
Have breakfast in your hotel or visit one of the town’s popular coffee shops or breakfast restaurants.

Go outside and play. Yellowstone Country is a prime destination for Nordic skiing, alpine skiing, ice-climbing, ice skating, fishing, hiking and wildlife-watching. Pack a picnic lunch if you’re planning a day in the backcountry. Many local restaurants provide to-go meals.

Here are some details about each option.
· Ice-climbing. World-class ice-climbing is available along the South Fork of the Shoshone River. The area provides one of the highest concentrations of waterfall ice-climbing in the United States. Non-climbers are welcome to watch as the skillful climbers make their slow treks up the waterfalls. Enjoy a picnic lunch at the base of a waterfall. The 19th annual Cody Ice Festival is set for Feb. 10-12, 2017.

· Nordic skiing and snowshoeing. The area offers an abundance of Nordic skiing trails including the Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park located 22 miles southwest of Meeteetse, North Fork Nordic Trails located near the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park and Yellowstone National Park itself, which features miles of groomed trails. The Park County Nordic Ski Association posts trail, road and weather conditions and is a resource for trail information. Skis can be rented at stores in town.

· Ice skating. Outdoor ice-skating – with a warming hut, skate shop and concession with hot drinks and snacks – is available at Homesteader Park in Powell, and indoor skating is offered at the Victor J. Riley Arena and Community Events Center in Cody. Both locations provide ice skate rentals.

· Fishing. Yellowstone Country features some of the best blue-ribbon trout stream fishing in North America, and the fish do not know it is winter. Professional fishing guides and outfitters accommodate anglers of any ability. A listing of professional fishing guides and fly-fishing shops as well as year-round fishing information is available online.

· Hiking, horseback-riding and wildlife watching. Depending on the level of snow and the location, it is possible to enjoy a cold-weather hike with snowshoes or regular hiking boots. Cody Pathways is a system of multi-use trails surrounding Cody. Travelers need not go far before they are in prime wildlife viewing territory. The road from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone is full of wildlife-viewing opportunities. It is not unusual to spot moose, bison, elk, eagles and big horn sheep.

Afternoon:
Return to Cody. Cody has a variety of lodging options, including hotels, motels, inns and Bed and Breakfasts.

Evening:
Enjoy dinner at the Irma Hotel. Built by Buffalo Bill, the hotel is an authentic Cody landmark that captures the essence of western hospitality. It was named after Buffalo Bill’s youngest daughter, Irma, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Locals brag that the prime rib is the best in the West.

After dinner stop at Cassie’s Supper Club and Dance Hall for a drink and glimpse of Cody’s nightlife. Cassie Waters, a Cody madam with a huge heart, opened Cassie’s Supper Club in 1933. The popular night club offered dancing, liquor (a bourbon and water was 50 cents) and eventually, food. Today, Cassie’s Supper Club is the place where real cowboys (and girls) dance to the sounds of current owner Steve Singer’s band “West the Band.”

Day Two – Stay in Town
Morning:
Have breakfast in your hotel or visit one of the town’s popular coffee shops or breakfast restaurants.

Tour the five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Founded in 1917 to preserve the legacy and vision of Buffalo Bill Cody, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is the oldest and most comprehensive museum of the American West. Its five museums are the Buffalo Bill Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Cody Firearms Museum and the Draper Museum of Natural History. The facility also includes the Harold McCracken Research Library. Visitors at the museum on Feb. 26, 1917 can celebrate the birthday of the town’s founder at the museum’s annual Buffalo Bill’s Birthday Bash.

Lunch:
Enjoy lunch at the museum’s café, The Eatery, or stop at a local lunch spot.

Afternoon:
Visit the award-winning Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center. Located northeast of Cody, this Japanese-American internment camp housed 14,000 citizens during World War II. A stop in winter is especially poignant as visitors can truly appreciate the bleak conditions endured by incarcerees.

Late afternoon:
Go gallery hopping and shopping. Most galleries and shops are located on Sheridan Avenue, Cody’s historic main street.

Evening:
Relax with a hometown brew at Pat O’Hara Brewing Company and have dinner at a local restaurant. A popular choice is the Wyoming Rib and Chop House. This restaurant is popular among locals for its baby back ribs and steaks, and reservations are recommended.

Day Three
Morning:
Have breakfast in your hotel or visit one of the town’s popular coffee shops or breakfast restaurants.

Spend the day at super-friendly Sleeping Giant Ski Area, a community-run ski area located to the west of Cody near the East Gate of Yellowstone National Park. Sleeping Giant features three chairlifts, snowmaking equipment, magic carpet and two terrain parks with a wide range of features – including quarter pipes, rails, boxes and jumps – that were constructed largely of materials found on the mountain. The resort has 184 skiable acres with a total of 49 runs, a base elevation of 6,619 feet, vertical drop of 810 feet and an average snowfall of 150 inches.

Lunch:
Warm up with lunch and a hot drink at the Grizzly Grill at the base of the ski area.

Afternoon:
Get in some more turns or take a lesson before returning to town.

Evening:
Enjoy a cocktail in Chamberlin Spirits, the conservatory in the Chamberlin Inn, one of Cody’s popular boutique inns.

Follow with a final dinner at a local restaurant. Cody features Mexican, Japanese, Italian, Chinese and American restaurants.

***

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.

The Park County Travel Council website lists information about vacation packages, special events, guide services, weather and more. Travelers wishing to arrange vacation can also call the Park County Travel Council at 1-800-393-2639 or connect with Cody on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Related hashtags:
#YellowstoneCountry
#CodyWyoming
#CenteroftheWest
#BuffaloBill

Media contact:
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
(970) 286-2751
mona@mesereaupr.com
tom@mesereaupr.com