I’m really fortunate in that I get to visit with lots of folks as they come through Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country. It’s funny, though, how many people ask the same questions! So I thought I’d run down some of the more frequently asked questions and give you the answers, so you’ll be in the know when you come to visit!
1. How far is it to Yellowstone National Park?
– Answer: It’s 53 miles from Cody to the East Entrance in Yellowstone. However, once you get into the Park, you don’t run into any services until you get to Fishing Bridge, which is another 27 miles. So don’t expect to just get in the entrance to the Park and be greeted by a friendly Yogi-type bear… you’ll have a ways to go before you can stop for a meal and a tank of gas!
– Answer: There are some absolutely fabulous lodges and campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park, all operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts! (My personal recommendations: Old Faithful Lodge and the Lake Hotel – AMAZING historic buildings!) Reservations can be made by calling Xanterra at (866) 439-7375. Better contact them early, though – they sell out many nights during the summer!
3. What are the hours at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and how much does it cost?
– Answer: The BBHC, one of the top attractions in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, is open daily from May 1-September 15 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. A two-day admission for adults is $18, seniors and college students are $16, youth ages 6-17 are $10, and ages 5 and under get in free. And believe me, you’ll want to use the two-day admission – you’ll be blown away by how huge the facility is! (And by the way, it’s open year round!)
4. Tell me about the Cody Nite Rodeo.
– The Cody Nite Rodeo is the longest-running outdoor nightly rodeo in the country! Every evening from June 1-August 31 visitors will see real rodeo action, with cash prizes awarded every night. Tickets are sold at the Visitor Center, but can also be purchased at the gate. If you’ve got kids with you, they can get down in the arena and chase a calf around and win a prize!
– Wow, there’s so much to do! Go river rafting; visit Old Trail Town; eat dinner at the historic Irma Hotel and take in the Dan Miller Cowboy Music Revue; see a gunfight; get a chuckwagon dinner with musical entertainment; shop downtown; learn about the history of this region at places like Tecumseh’s Miniature Village, the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum, the Cody Murals, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center, and the Heart Mountain Relocation Camp; go mountain biking; take a trolley tour; hike a trail in the Shoshone National Forest; fish the Shoshone River with a seasoned guide; take a horseback trail ride; the list goes on and on!
– The road conditions in this mountainous region vary based on the season or weather conditions. My advice is to stop in and chat with the well-informed staff at the Visitor Center before you make your plans for the day – or you can call Yellowstone National Park’s dedicated phone number for road conditions: (307) 344-2117.
7. Where can I get supplies?
– Believe it or not, the town of Cody (population around 9,000) is the shopping mecca for the Big Horn Basin – because we have the Super Wal-Mart! We also have a K-Mart, Walgreens, Albertsons, banking services, several pharmacies, sporting goods stores and other places to stock up on necessities before heading on down the road.
8. Is there someplace I can connect to the Internet?
– Many fast-food restaurants and most of the coffee shops offer free wi-fi for folks who have their own laptops. Also, the Park County Library has a bank of computers that are available for use by the general public. And many local lodging properties offer Internet hookups, as well.
Then there are those questions that AREN’T asked frequently. I asked Karen Miller, who runs the Visitor Center here in Cody, to list a few of the more unusual questions that have been asked. Here’s what she came up with:
- Where are the fences to keep the animals in at Yellowstone?
- When do they let the animals out in Yellowstone?
- Who controls the button that sets Old Faithful off?
- How do you see Mount Rushmore from here?
Since, obviously, the animals roam free in Yellowstone, Old Faithful is “faithful” naturally, and Mount Rushmore is a good 7 hours and two mountain ranges away, these questions are always answered pleasantly and with a smile…
If YOU have questions about visiting Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country, you can find out more at www.yellowstonecountry.org, or call (800) 393-2639.
Until next time, I’ll be telling more folks about all there is to do here in Buffalo Bill’s Country…