9+ Unusual Things to Do in Cody Wyoming

Dare to explore Kirwin, an eerie ghost town veiled in mystery near Cody. What secrets linger in its abandoned whispers? Discover...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

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Ever fantasized about stepping into the well-worn boots of a cowboy, sipping whiskey under the endless Wyoming sky, or maybe just yearning for a snap of a ghost town that’ll make your social feeds jealous? Well, buckle up, partner, because Cody, Wyoming, is your ticket to a wild ride through the Old West with a hefty side of Instagrammable moments. Famous for its proximity to Yellowstone, this small town packs a punch with its unique blend of attractions, from the eerie silence of nearby ghost towns, like the time-forgotten Kirwin, to the earthy charms of its local farmers market where the term ‘farm-to-table’ is not just a fad but a way of life.

Cody isn't just any dot on the map; it’s a treasure trove of rugged landscapes where you can find your zen on nature trails or become one with the wild at McCullough Peaks—yes, we're talking wild mustang tours that'll leave you with stories wilder than a bucking bronco! Delve into these pages and you'll soon realize that Cody isn’t just a stopover—it’s a destination steeped in culture from the Spirit of the West at Irma Hotel to the quiet whisperings of Heart Mountain’s history. Your itinerary's about to get a serious upgrade, so hold onto your hats because Cody, Wyoming, is waiting to show you a good time that's part historical,

Uncover the Mysteries of Kirwin Ghost Town

Ghost towns carry the whispers of the past, and Kirwin Ghost Town is no exception. Tucked away near Cody, this abandoned mining camp is a treasure trove of secrets and stories. So, what's so unique about Kirwin? Well, imagine walking through a town that time forgot, with remnants of yesteryear at every corner.

Kirwin isn't just your average ghost town. This place is literally frozen in history. Imagine strolling down the dirt path where miners once hustled, with the sound of your footsteps echoing off weathered wooden structures. The town is as much an open-air museum as it is an eerie time capsule, perfect for history buffs and adventure seekers alike.

It's not all about the spooks and creaking floorboards, though. The journey to Kirwin is stunning, with the Absaroka Mountains framing every photo-worthy view. You'll want to spend at least half a day here, getting lost in the lore and the landscapes.

And the crowd? Kirwin is great for anyone with a taste for adventure—families, singles, you name it. Though, maybe hold off on bringing toddlers, it's a long day and the terrain isn't exactly stroller-friendly. A pair of sturdy boots and an active imagination are essential!

Located around 38 miles southeast of Cody, Kirwin can be accessed via a scenic drive, but check the road conditions before you go—this ghost town is only visitable during the warmer months.

So pack your curiosity (and maybe a picnic) and ready yourself for a journey back in time. Just follow the whispers of the Wind River and let Kirwin reveal its mysteries to you—a true hidden gem among the ghost towns near Cody.

Savor Local Flavors at Cody Farmers Market

You know you're in Cody when the air is sweeter and your stomach starts rumbling for something fresh and authentically local. Enter Cody Farmers Market—it's not just a market, it's a festival of flavors that you absolutely can't miss while you’re here. Imagine rows upon rows of vibrant stalls, each bursting with fresh fruits, crispy veggies, and homemade goodies enough to fill your pantry and your soul!

  • Tomatoes so ripe, they practically burst with flavor at the slightest touch
  • Local honey that’s like the golden sunshine bottled up on a summer's day
  • Artisan breads that would make even Parisians envious with that perfect crust

And let's not forget the homemade jams and relishes; they're the secret heroes of any pantry, transforming the mundane into the extraordinary. You’ll think, “Where have you been all my life?" as you savor that first spoonful.

Make your way around, chat up the locals—they’ve got stories that’ll turn your shopping into an adventure. Ask them about their craft, and they'll beam with pride narrating the journey from seed to stall. You'll spend the good part of a morning here, filling your eco-friendly bags and the rest of the day dreaming about the feast to come.

Got little ones tagging along? Perfect! They’ll get a kick out of the colors, the samples, and the magic of seeing real food come from the earth, not just the grocery store shelf. Plus, you're giving them a crash course in supporting local economy and sustainability. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Come solo, bring your family, or just ride in with a bunch of friends for some epic snacking. The Cody Farmers Market is the perfect spot for foodies, families, and camera-toting tourists who love to capture life in vibrant colors. Before you know it, you'll be a regular, weaving through the stands like a pro, knowing your beet guy by first name. So, grab a bite, take a sip, and relish Cody's local treasures. You’ll certainly leave with more than just groceries—you’ll take home a slice of the authentic Cody vibe.

Find Your Zen at Paul Stock Nature Trail

Imagine a place where the only sound you hear is the rustle of leaves and the distant call of the wild. That's Paul Stock Nature Trail for you—Cody's serene escape where you can literally stop and smell the wildflowers. Let me paint you a picture: towering trees, a kaleidoscope of wildflowers, and the sparkling Shoshone River playing the perfect background score for your scenic picnic. Yup, it's like Mother Nature built a studio apartment right in the middle of Cody, just for you.

This trail isn't just a walk in the park; it's your gateway to tranquility. You pack your favorite snacks, maybe some cowboy caviar (that's bean salad for you city slickers), find a cozy spot and bam! You've got yourself one of the most Instagram-worthy picnic locations in Cody. Trust me, your friends will turn greener than the Wyoming grasslands with envy.

Now, for those of you who are all about those digits, here's the scoop:

  • Distance: Roughly a mile and a half of pure, unadulterated nature.
  • Time: Take an hour, take five; it's your mini-retreat.
  • Crowd: Ideal for solo wanderers, romantics, or families wanting a slice of peace.

And yes, whether you're rolling solo or towing kiddos, this trail has got your back. It's easy enough for the little ones, but also has those hidden spots where you can Zen out in solace. Looking to stretch those legs? Go ahead, take a hike—literally—or make it a leisurely stroll; this is all about your pace.

Before you head back to reality, make sure to soak in those panoramic views. They aren't just pretty; they're soul-filling. After all, in Cody, it's not just about seeing; it's about feeling. And at Paul Stock Nature Trail, you'll do plenty of both. So, are you ready to find your spot of Zen?

Journey through East Gate Yellowstone

Imagine winding through mountain passes with the fresh scent of pine in the air, sunlight dappling through the trees, and a sense of adventure tingling in your spine. That's the East Gate Yellowstone for you, folks! It's not just a gateway; it's a magical corridor leading to America’s first national park.

Why should you swing by? Well, if breathtaking scenery and the thrill of possibly spotting some wildlife aren't enticing enough, then the pure, unadulterated entrance to nature's wonderland should do the trick. It's where the vibrant hustle of Cody fades into the rearview mirror, and the majestic beauty of Yellowstone takes the stage.

The drive itself is an event. You're cruising on the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, folks, where every turn could reveal elk, bison, or even a grizzly bear – so keep those cameras ready! You can't find a ride like this just anywhere. The East Gate promises a beginning to your Yellowstone adventure that's as spectacular as the park itself.

And let’s talk timing: this isn't a 'wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am' type of deal. You’re going to want to carve out a good chunk of your day for this, even more if you're a true nature lover.

The crowd? It's a mix – families, solo explorers, and couples hand-in-hand. They're all here for the call of the wild. As for the adrenaline junkies, the route to East Gate isn't called 'thrilling' for nothing; it has curves and views that will get your heart racing faster than a bison stampede.

You start your journey at Cody and follow it through to Yellowstone National Park's East Entrance. Remember to breathe-that's easy to forget when you're wrapped up in all this natural splendor. Whether you’re looking to gaze, graze or just blaze a trail, East Gate Yellowstone is your ticket to an epic chapter in your travel diary. So get ready, set, and go explore the wilderness in its purest form!

Embrace the Wild at McCullough Peaks

Ever wanted to gallop alongside wild mustangs, feeling the wind whip through your hair as if you're in some epic western movie? Head over to McCullough Peaks, where mustang tours are the real deal. These rugged, beautiful badlands are a prime spot to watch colorful bands of wild horses living their best, untamed lives. And you're not just a spectator; you'll feel like part of the herd!

At McCullough Peaks, the wild mustangs are the main draw. And psst, here's a cool fact: these horses are living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West. With a knowledgeable guide, a mustang tour will not just be a sightseeing trip—it'll be a journey through time. You'll learn about the horses' heritage, their behavior, and how they're managed to keep the ecosystem balanced. It's like a dose of education with your adventure.

Don't think it's just about watching horses, though. McCullough Peaks is also jam-packed with rugged landscapes that will have you pulling out your camera every five seconds. Picture this: vast, open skies that turn into an explosion of stars come nightfall. It's so beautifully desolate you might just forget you're in the 21st century.

Tours can range from a couple of hours to a full day, so whether you're up for a quick visit or a deep dive into wild horse territory, there's something that fits into your travel agenda. This tour is great for families, animal lovers, and photographers looking to capture that perfect wild shot.

Ready for this wild experience? Make sure to book a mustang tour and get ready to embrace the untamed spirit of Cody, Wyoming!

Experience the Spirit of the West at Irma Hotel

You walk into the Irma Hotel and bam! It hits you. The place is oozing history, and no, that's not just the creaky floorboards talking. Built by none other than Buffalo Bill himself, you're stepping right into a slice of Wild West pie—flaky crust and all!

Picture this: antique chandeliers, walls that could tell a thousand tales (if only they could talk), and a bar that's seen more cowboy boots than a rodeo. It's the kind of spot that makes you wonder if a tumbleweed might roll through if you cracked a window. But that's just the start.

Get this: They have unique souvenir shops right inside the hotel, making shopping for those one-of-a-kind finds easier than snagging candy from a baby—I mean, if you're into that sort of thing.

But let's chat about who will love this place, okay? Are you a history buff with a knack for the Old West? Check. A family looking to infuse a little education into your vacation without the eye rolls from the kiddos? Double-check. Or maybe you're a love-struck couple pining for some ol' fashion romance à la Billy the Kid and Miss Kitty. Well, pull up a horse (or a rental car) because the Irma Hotel has got space for you too!

After a good wander, you'll want to belly up to the bar or snag a table at the restaurant. And trust me, you've gotta ask about the cherry wood bar gifted by Queen Victoria—it's not just a piece of furniture, it's a conversation starter.

Here’s the kicker though: You’re not just visiting a hotel, you’re time-traveling to a day when stagecoaches were the Uber of the frontier, and "checking your messages" meant seeing if your friends tied notes to a cactus or something. So, whether you're in it for the souvenir shops or just to soak up the Wild West ambiance, the Irma Hotel is your golden ticket. Yeehaw!

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, check out more about the Irma Hotel. You're in for a treat faster than a buffalo can say moo—or whatever sound buffaloes make.

Cast a Line in Pristine Fishing Spots

Cody, Wyoming, isn’t just about cowboy hats and rodeos; it’s a paradise for anglers! Picture yourself surrounded by serene landscapes with your line dipped in crystal clear waters, waiting for that thrilling tug. Yup, you're in the sweet fishing spots of the Cody region.

Now, if you’re wondering where these spots are, they sprawl across various streams and rivers around Cody, each boasting their own unique charm. Fishing spots in Cody are plentiful, but you'll want to try the North Fork of the Shoshone River. It's not just well-stocked with trout; it's a soul-refreshing experience that screams pure Wyoming.

Whether you're fly fishing or spinning your lure, there's something magical about these waters. Let’s break it down:

  • Family-friendly: You betcha! Grab the kids, pack a picnic, and teach them the ways of the angler.
  • Adrenaline-junky? Absolutely – when you feel that catch on the line, your heart's gonna race!
  • Solo serenity: It's the perfect meditation. Just you, nature, and maybe the occasional elk taking a sip downstream.

Spend a whole day if you're serious about your fishing, or just a few hours if you're dabbling in the art. There’s no rush here. Patience, as they say, is the angler’s virtue.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out the local regulations and get a fishing license. It’s all part of the experience. And if you're all about planning, peek at the handy information on fishing spots before you head out.

Remember, whether you're a skilled bass battler or just looking to dip your toes into the world of fishing, Cody's got you covered. With a pole in hand and the Wyoming sky above, you're in for the time of your life. Fishing in Cody isn’t just an activity; it’s a chapter in your adventure book waiting to be written. So, ready to cast that line?

Discover Native Culture at Heart Mountain

Picture this: you're stepping back in time to one of America's pivotal moments at the Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center. This is where you truly tune in to the resilience and stories of Japanese Americans confined during World War II. You're not just learning history; you're living it.

Heart Mountain isn't your typical historical spot. It's profound, it's moving, and heck, it's eye-opening. You'll walk through exhibits that tell a tale of courage in the face of injustice. It's perfect for families, history buffs, and, really, anyone who values understanding the many layers of America's past.

And guess what? You're not going to spend just a quick minute here. Give yourself at least half a day to immerse in the photographs, artifacts, and oral histories that bring these poignant stories to life. Don't rush it – let it sink in.

Heart Mountain speaks not just to locals but to anyone with a pulse. It's a reminder of our nation's intricate tapestry, and you'll come away with more than just pictures; you'll carry a piece of history in your heart. And, for those who love a memento, the gift shop's got some unique finds that are miles away from your standard souvenir.

Got adrenaline junkies in the crew? You're only a stone's throw away from outdoor adventures in the Wyoming wilds. But before you head out, make sure to breathe in that air of history and heroism that Heart Mountain imparts.

For an even deeper connection, follow those interpretive trails outside. They'll lead you through the same landscapes that those once confined here gazed upon – talk about a reality check.

So, all aboard the history train, folks! The Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center is waiting to unravel a powerful chapter of our nation's narrative. Let's make tracks and dive deep into the soul of American history.

Relive History at Pahaska Tepee

If you're yearning for a taste of the Old West, where legends still echo through the hills, then saddle up, partner! Pahaska Tepee, Buffalo Bill Cody's former hunting lodge and historic site, is calling your name. No, it's not a myth—this is the real deal place where Cody himself kicked off his boots after a day of adventure.

At this historic hideout, you'll swagger through Cody's personal retreat, oozing with authentic Wild West vibes. Imagine him right there, planning his next show or spinning stories about his latest frontier escapades. As you roam around, you'll practically hear the creak of leather and the crackle of the campfire.

So, what makes Pahaska Tepee a must-visit? It's not just a relic; it's a living, breathing snapshot of frontier life, nestled right next to Yellowstone National Park. Whether you're a lone ranger or the marshal of a whole family posse, there's something here that'll spark wonder in everyone. Think:

  • Whittling the hours away exploring Cody's personal artifacts—you can't get closer to history without a time machine.
  • Gazing at walls lined with memorabilia that tell a thousand tales—each artifact whispers secrets of bygone days.
  • Taking the reins and hitting nearby trails—channel your inner cowboy on a horseback ride through the same wilderness that captivated Buffalo Bill.

Plan to spend a couple of hours here—it's not a fly-by visit. And the crowd? Well, history buffs, Wyoming wanderers, and fans of the American spirit will feel right at home. Bring the kiddos, too; after all, adventure knows no age.

By the time you mosey on out of Pahaska Tepee, you'll carry a piece of the past with you. You might leave the dust behind, but the echo of Buffalo Bill's legacy? That'll stick to your boots forever.

Explore Artistic Vibes at Local Galleries

You waltz into Cody, Wyoming, and can practically taste the creativity in the air. It's buzzing, electric, and it's coming from some of the most vibrant art galleries around. So what's the deal with art galleries in Cody Wyoming? They are not just spaces to view art; they're cultural hubs where the spirit of the West meets the refinement of fine art.

Now, imagine a place where each wall tells a tale, each sculpture whispers secrets of the wild, and every brushstroke captures the untamed beauty of the West. That's exactly what you'll find as you meander through Cody's art galleries. Here, you won't just observe art—you'll feel it. These galleries showcase a range of styles, from traditional Western themes to more contemporary pieces, ensuring that there's something to tickle the fancy of any art lover.

Take your time as you explore each gallery. Allow a good hour or two because trust me, you'll want to soak in every detail. And who knows? You might just stumble upon a piece that speaks to your soul. Whether you're a die-hard art enthusiast or just looking for a touch of culture, Cody's art galleries are a must-visit. They draw both locals and tourists who share a love for the aesthetic and give you a glimpse into the heart and soul of the region through the eyes of its artists.

The beauty of art in Cody isn't confined to the indoors. As you stride from one gallery to the next, you'll find the town itself is a canvas, with public art installations and community art projects that add another layer to your cultural journey. This town is perfect for singles, families, and everyone in between, offering a gentle yet exhilarating rush that only art can provide.

And if you're wonderin', "Where on earth do I start?"—every art journey in Cody should include a visit to the By Western Hands Museum & Gallery. It's a hub that celebrates Western design and craftsmanship, giving you an authentic slice of local artistry. Whether you're an art aficionado or just looking to capture that Instagram-worthy moment, Cody's galleries are where you'll find it. So go ahead, embrace those artistic vibes and let Cody's galleries inspire you!

Now, are you ready to add a little flair to your Cody adventure? Let's do this!

Get Up Close with Wildlife Excursions

Picture this: You're in the heart of nature, with the majestic beauty of the wild surrounding you. You can almost hear the whisper of the wind telling tales of the roaming bison, the stealthy wolves, and the agile deer. That's right, we're talking wildlife viewing in Cody, and it's a big deal! It's an absolute must for your bucket list, and here's why.

First off, the variety of animals you'll encounter is just mind-blowing. Sure, you've seen a picture of a bison, but have you ever stood within a safe distance and looked one right in the eye? It's like stepping back in time to the days when these giants ruled the plains. And let's not forget about the cheeky foxes, the regal elk, or the occasional bear that might cross your path (don't worry, from a safe distance).

You're not just looking at animals; you're entering their world, understanding their habits, and respecting their habitats. It's a humbling and exhilarating experience all rolled into one. Solo adventurers, families, photographers, or anyone with a pulse and a penchant for the natural world will find themselves at home here.

Now, while the spontaneity of wildlife sightings is exciting, planning is key. Shhh, listen and look; be patient and let nature reveal its wonders. How long should you dedicate to this adventure? Well, give yourself a half-day at least - the animals aren't working on your schedule, and great sightings often come to those who wait.

Remember, you're in their territory, so a little respect goes a long way. Follow the guidelines, keep your distance, and preserve the peace that these creatures call home. Take a deep breath, because this is one experience where you truly get to connect with the world as it was meant to be: wild, free, and utterly breathtaking.

Engage with the Past at Cody Dug Up Gun Museum

Imagine stepping into a scene straight out of the Wild West. At the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum, you'll feel like you've time-traveled. You’ll find yourself face-to-face with a staggering collection of firearms, each with its own story echoing the rich history that shaped the American West.

This place isn't your typical museum; it's a treasure trove of unearthed artifacts - literally! It specializes in historical guns that have been, well, dug up. Rustic and full of character, these firearms aren’t just display items; they’re storytellers and tangible connections to the adventurers and outlaws who once gripped them.

  • Stroll through history: Wander between glass cases and wall mounts showcasing over a thousand guns dating back to the Revolutionary War.
  • Unique finds for all: Whether you’re a history buff, a gun enthusiast, or simply intrigued by the old tales of the Wild West, there's something here to spark your curiosity.
  • A no-cost adventure: Can you believe that entry to this nostalgic haven is completely free? That’s right, you can soak up history without spending a dime!

Bring the kiddos, solo wanderers, or your wild bunch of history-loving friends to this remarkable museum. It's cozy, it’s intimate and, trust me, you could spend hours here unraveling the secrets of each exhibit. Experts and novices alike are welcome. Whether you're marveling at a Civil War revolver or pondering over a World War II rifle, each item has been recovered and preserved with the utmost care. Discover tales of survival, tragedy, and triumph, all cradled in the palms of those who came before us.

And when you're done, the charming, historic atmosphere of Cody is right outside the door. Snag some unique souvenirs, grab a bite or sip on a soda as you mull over the incredible stories you’ve just uncovered. Don’t miss out on this true jewel of the West, a vivid chronicle of the past, waiting for you at the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum.

FAQ

Q: Unique things to do in Cody, Wyoming?

A: Check out the Cody Firearms Experience and the nightly rodeo if you're after something you won't find just anywhere else.

Q: Things to do in Cody, Wyoming with kids?

A: Entertain the young ones at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West or spot wildlife at the Cody Yellowstone Horse Park.

Q: Things to do in Cody, Wyoming today?

A: Drop by the Cody Dug Up Gun Museum, or if you're feeling outdoorsy, hit the trails at Cedar Mountain for a hike.

Q: 10 things to do in Cody, Wyoming?

A: From exploring Old Trail Town to a visit to the Buffalo Bill Dam, there's plenty. Don't miss the Whitney Western Art Museum.

Q: Things to do in Cody, Wyoming in winter?

A: Strap on your skis at Sleeping Giant Ski Resort or go snowmobiling for some chilly thrills.

Q: Things to do in Cody, Wyoming this weekend?

A: This weekend, catch a performance at the Cody Cattle Company or explore the Shoshone National Forest on horseback.

Q: Is Cody, Wyoming worth visiting?

A: Totally! Cody packs a punch with its western history and outdoor adventures. It's a yes from us.

Q: How many days do you need in Cody, Wyoming?

A: Spend at least three days if you want to enjoy Cody's museums, parks, and rodeos without rushing.

Q: How far from Cody to the entrance to Yellowstone National Park?

A: It's about 52 miles to the East Entrance of Yellowstone—just over an hour's drive with some pretty sweet views.

Q: Why is Cody, Wyoming famous?

A: Cody's named after Buffalo Bill Cody, so it’s big on wild west vibes and cowboy culture.

Final Words

So, you've just journeyed through ghost towns, savored local treats, and embraced your wild side at peaks where mustangs roam. You've found your zen on trails and reeled in the big one at pristine spots. From stepping into the cowboy boots of yesteryear at the historic Irma Hotel to engaging with history so palpable you can almost touch it—Cody, Wyoming, has proved it's brimming with experiences just waiting for you.

Whether you're casting a line or soaking up local art, remember, it's the spirit of adventure and the whispers of the past that make this place truly special. So go ahead, folks—immortalize your visit and make those memories. After all, these are the things to do in Cody, Wyoming, that you'll be telling stories about for years to come. Let's ride out on a high note!

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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