The Rodeo Capital of the World
Cody was founded in 1901 by “Buffalo Bill” Cody and is known as the “Rodeo Capitol of the World.”
Cody is located 2.5 hours from Sheridan, Wyoming and and 2 hour from Yellowstone National Park via the East entrance. To get to Cody, you have to either go thru the Bighorns on Highway 14 from Sheridan(a spectacular drive), or around them by going south on Highway 16 from Buffalo(4 hours) or north thru Billings, Montana(3 hours). Highway 14 and 14A are pretty steep and this route will take some time for the scenic views.
Cody Stampede & Night Rodeo
Since 1919, the Cody Stampede rodeo has been held every summer for the July 4th weekend and is one of the longest-running professional rodeos. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show started Cody’s Rodeo’s history over a century ago. The Cody Nite Rodeo started in 1938 and performing nightly thru the summer, provides income for the Stampede bringing cowboys from all over the country. Tryouts for the Wild West Show were held at the Irma and Sheridan Hotel.
Cody has produced some World Champions from all over the country such as: Jim Houston, Chris LeDoux, Tom Ferguson, Deb Greenough, and Dan Mortensen. Cody’s own World Champions and Pro Rodeo Hall of Famer’s include Bill Smith, Mel Stonehouse, Cecil McMillian, Nick Knight, Floyd Stillings, John Kirkpatrick, Normal Price and Arthur Holman.
Cody Trail Town
In 1895, Western Scout and showman William F. (“Buffalo Bill”) Cody laid out the original townsite named after him. Old Trail Town is a collection of historical furnishings, artifacts and structures preserving the history of the Western Frontier. The historic buildings were from remote locations in Wyoming and Montana, dissembled and reassembled by historians. Included in these are: original cabins used by outlaws Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and “Curley” (Indian Army Scout who helped Colonel George Custer and the US 7th Calvary to the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. A saloon frequently visited by the “Hole-in-the-wall Gang”also has been moved here. Grave sites of the mountain Man John Johnson, portrayed by Robert Redford in 1972 film “Jeremiah Johnson” .
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Buffalo Bill Center of the West is a massive center – truly you needed a few days to go thru the volume of artifacts and history. The center consisted of 2 floors in the main building and five other museums consisting of: Draper Natural History Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Plains Indian Museum, McCracken Research Library, Sculpture Garden, Raptor Experience, Buffalo Bill’s family home, auditorium, dining and store. It’s the largest history, art, and natural science museum between Minneapolis and the West Coast, encompassing an area larger than five football fields.
A free and entertaining shoot-out happens Monday to Saturday at 6 pm thru the summer right on main street in from Buffalo Bill’s Historic Irma Hotel. Crowds are large so make sure to get there early.
Sheridan Ave is the main street is filled with all sorts of shops – art galleries, restaurants, candy stores, pubs, ice cream parlors, fly fishing stores (and all the stuff you need to get your cowboy on) – cowboy clothing and tack stores, cowboy boot and hat stores.
Cody Trout Ranch
Five miles from Cody, Wyoming is Cody Trout Ranch offering a special experience to sleep in a Tipi along the Shoshone River. A peaceful setting with the lull of the running river, amazing starry skies and breathtaking sunrises made this a great stay for us. You won’t have an electricity or wifi here, so plan accordingly.
We also stayed at The Cody and would highly recommend it. Great Wifi, laundry, pool, free breakfast, fitness center. You can walk to the rodeo stampede grounds and dinner.