Cody, Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park
The Buffallo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, is a very worthwhile destination near the eastern gate of the Yellowstone National Park. It combines several themed exhibitions in one modern museum building: a biographical exhibition on the life of Buffalo Bill (a.k.a. William F. Cody), an art exhibtion with Wild West-themed paintings (on permanent lease from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York), an exhibition on Native American Culture, a collection of historic rifles and a natural history exhibition on the wildlife of the American West.
Every museum is worth a visit, but if you are short on time, view at least the Buffallo Bill museum and the art museum.
Ok, so maybe I am prejudice, but you are missing out on a special place if you don’t visit Cody. Located 53 miles from the East Entrance to Yellowstone, Cody is a small town snuggled up against the mountains, with lots to do and see. The locals are friendly and helpful and will try to make your stay an enjoyable one. If you can only come for a day and see nothing else, be sure to visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This is a premiere museum, even if you are only a little interested in museums, this is a don’t miss. There are five sections to this museum. The Buffalo Bill Museum, for whom our town was named; the Whitney Gallery of Western Art with its wonderful paintings, sculptures, and art studio reproductions; the Plains Indian Museum, which is extensive and beautifully laid out, utilizing modern day technology; The Cody Firearms Museum with its huge collection of arms manufactured by Winchester and other major gun manufacturers; and the newest, the Draper Museum of Natural History. You may even catch the daily viewing the BBCW live raptors and/or Turkey Vulture. If you have more than a day there is Old Trail Town, with its collection of old early day buildings and western relics; a rodeo, float trips, and other activities. If you are interested in visiting Cody, see my VT pages on Cody.
My main photo is of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (formally called the Buffalo Bill Historical Center). Photo two is of Old Trail Town. Photo three is an 1895 S. Cheyenne dress on display in the Buffalo Bill Center lf the West (BBCW). This dress is made with deer hide, basket beads, seed beading, and cowrie shells. Photo 4 is of an 1862 – 1873 Gatling Gun on display in the BBCW’s Cody Firearm Museum. In the last photo you will see me showing off our peregrine falcon during the Greater Yellowstone Raptor Experience program at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
Though Buffalo Bill has associations throughout the west, including a museum in Gothenburg, Nebraska, he has a town named after him in Wyoming (Cody) where there is a better-known museum dedicated to his career. The Buffalo Bill Reservoir just west of town is not very scenic by mountain standards, but the arid setting is lucky to have any moisture on the ground other than the snow on local peaks. Located about an hour's drive away from the east, Cody is a good jump-off point for Yellowstone National Park.