Nothing in any of my travels prepared me for the beauty I found in Wyoming. I had heard stories, and seen pictures online, but I never truly understood how a place could capture your heart until we crossed the Wyoming state line. It was on our sixth stop on the 70 day road trip that the boys saw real snow for the first time. The GPS took us up a steep mountain climb onto a snow covered peak, and we stopped and played for hours. If that weren’t enough to make us fall in love with Wyoming, the views from our campsite at Buffalo Bill State Park that evening were enough to convince us that we may not ever want to leave.
Buffalo Bill State Park
In the heart of the “Wild West” just nine miles outside of Cody, WY. lies Buffalo Bill State Park. It has two campgrounds, the North Shore, and North Fork campground where we stayed. It surrounds a reservoir formed by the Buffalo Bill Dam, which is located just a few miles away and has free admission to view the Dam and visitor’s center. Built from 1905-1910 and standing 325 feet high, it was the tallest dam in the world at the time it was completed.
This reservoir provides for great fishing and swimming opportunities to those visiting the Buffalo Bill State Park in the summer. Hiking trails are not available, aside from the one short nature trail leading from the North Fork Campground, but you can enjoy a scenic ride in your car on the Stagecoach Road if you don’t mind a bumping gravel road.
Campsites at Buffalo Bill State Park come with electricity, water, picnic table and fire pit. More primitive tent sites are also available. This is one of only two state parks in all of Wyoming to have showers, and they are $1 for 6 minutes. Rates for campsites without power are $17 per night and with power it will run you $22 per night.
Just a short distance away is the town of Cody, WY. named after Buffalo Bill Cody who helped to found it. There, you can still see and stay at the historic Irma Hotel, and explore other great attractions and sights like the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Old Trail Town. We had the chance to experience some of these attractions, and I look forward to sharing them with you in a future post.
If I could pick one place in all of the United States to move to tomorrow, Wyoming would likely be it. I still have more of the nation to explore, but this is one area that has captured a piece of my heart forever.