The city of Cody, Wyoming was founded in 1896 and named for Colonel William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody. If you plan to pass through there on your way to or from Yellowstone National Park (it is just 50 miles from the east gate), set aside some time to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. Even if you are not a huge fan of museums, you will be glad you visited. Admission is good for two consecutive days, and you will soon understand why.
Museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Historical Center include the Buffalo Bill Museum, where you will learn the icon’s story in the context of the history of the American West, and also come to know William F. Cody the man. The Whitney Gallery of Western Art is an outstanding collection of paintings and sculptures that trace artistic interpretations of the west from the early 19th century to the present. ThePlains Indian Museum is one of the country’s largest and finest collections of Indian art and artifacts. Explore the cultural history and living traditions of the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Blackfeet, Sioux, Gros Ventre, Shoshone and Pawnee Indians. The Cody Firearms Museum houses the world’s most comprehensive assemblage of American arms, as well as European arms dating back to the 16th century. The Draper Museum of Natural History interprets the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, while the Harold McCracken Research Library advances the understanding and appreciation of the American West. The Buffalo Bill and western history museum is currently undergoing extensive renovations, and will reopen this month, making the summer of 2012 a perfect time to take our Beartooth Highway, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton trip.
While you are in Cody, historic Old Trail Town is well worth a visit. Local archaeologist Bob Edgar moved 26 buildings built between 1879 and 1901 to the current location which once was the site of Old Cody City. Walk the boardwalks and take a step back in time. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’s “Hole-in-the Wall” cabin is located here. In the graveyard at the end of the town lies mountain man Jeremiah Johnson, also known as ” liver-eating” Johnson, and other notorious western characters.