- 27.5 miles (44 km)
- Allow 45 minutes to drive this byway.
- Overnight forest service camping site fees apply.
Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway travels U.S. Highway 14-16-20 along the North Fork of the Shoshone River through Wapiti Valley to Yellowstone National Park's east entrance. As you travel the route, you'll encounter Shoshone National Forest and several parks, all brimming with exciting wildlife, diverse terrain, and a variety of recreational activities.
Shoshone National Forest covers 2.4 million acres in the Wind River, Beartooth, and Absaroka mountains. The terrain ranges from sagebrush flats to spruce and fir forests to glaciers and mountains, and wildlife here includes moose, elk, deer, bighorn sheep, grizzly and black bears, and cold water fish. Fish in one of the "Blue Ribbon Trout Streams" where 1,700 miles of streams offer plenty of space, even during the busy peak of fishing season. Or, hike or ride horseback through some of the 1,500 miles of trails that wind through the forest. To kick it up a notch, go mountain climbing in the Wind River Range, where twenty-nine of Wyoming's thirty highest peaks reside. Mostly composed of granite, you can scale steep cliffs and rock walls.
Visit Buffalo Bill State Park, named for and originally owned by Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody. The park houses mountains from the Rocky Mountain Absaroka range, Buffalo Bill Reservoir, and Shoshone Canyon. The canyon is bordered by Rattlesnake Mountain to the north and Cedar Mountain to the south. Sheep Mountain cuts the Shoshone River into two forks. Go boating, windsurfing, or fishing on the reservoir's obliging waters, then camp here overnight, enveloped by the park's peaceful panorama.
Grand Teton National Park is home to the Teton Mountains, which dominate the land with their steep, rugged ridges. Though the park is known for these famous glacial peaks, it also houses Jackson Hole, substantial forests, and wildlife. Silvery sea-foam sagebrush blows across the valley where Jackson Hole lays. Trees flourish here, from pine, fir, and spruce that rise in the high Teton altitudes to aspen, cottonwood, and willow that sprout near rivers and lakeshores. An array of wildlife makes their home inside the park, including black bears, moose, deer, red squirrels, and wolves. Explore the forest, which provides almost 200 miles of hiking trails to give you a personal view of the park.
Yellowstone, the first and oldest national park in the world, spans nearly 3,500 square miles in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Here you'll find geysers and hot springs, forests and lakes, mountains and a canyon, waterfalls and a vast variety of wildlife. See for yourself the torrential, scorching water column that bursts forth when Old Faithful erupts. Waterfalls rush off cliffs, creating clouds of cool water as they dash on the rocks below. In the winter, waterfalls freeze in their paths, creating walls of glistening ice. You'll see bison, bear, elk, moose, deer, mountain lions, and wolves wander within thick forests of pine, spruce, fir, and aspen. Spend an afternoon backpacking, kayaking, or fishing, then sleep in one of the park's eleven campgrounds.
As you drive the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, participate in the excitement that ensues at each stop. From Shoshone National Forest to Yellowstone National Park, you'll run an intense gamut of wildlife watching, scenery sightseeing, and landscape scaling.