Park County, Wyoming provides real American West experience.


There was a deep passion in America during the period when the West was wide open, legends lived largely, and life was hard, yet there was a stunning beauty and limitless possibility everywhere.

The Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, named after the Nez Perce chief who fled through Yellowstone in 1877 to save his people from forced removal to a reservation, connects the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park with Cody, 80 miles away, via Beartooth Highway, Shoshone National Forest, and the Absaroka Mountains.

1. Chief Joseph Scenic  Byway

Park County is home to three of Yellowstone's lodges: Canyon Lodge, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, and Roosevelt Lodge, as well as Fishing Bridge RV Park. Mammoth, with its rainbow geothermal travertine terraces right outside its doors, is my favorite.

2. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Park County provides essential habitats for species such as bears, bison, wolves, mountain lions, and moose. Seeing any of them is wonderful, but Yellowstone's wolves, with their untamed wildness and terrible force, stir something deep inside us. Lamar Valley is the finest place to see them.

3. Wolves in Lamar  Valley

A thousand feet deep amid a landscape of shifting colors, hydrothermal features, and tumbling falls, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and the river that shaped it showcase the park's complicated geologic past.

4. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

It now combines a rustic Western look with modern facilities such as cabin rooms, a restaurant, a lounge, and an espresso bar. Hike or ride the routes where Buffalo Bill once walked.

5. Pahaska Tepee  Resort

More than a dozen Park County guy and guest ranches provide a taste of the Western lifestyle, including Shoshone Lodge & Guest Ranch, only three miles from Yellowstone's east gate.

6. Shoshone Lodge & Guest Ranch

If the scary heights don't stop you, a small boardwalk atop the 350-foot dam begs for a picture.

7. Buffalo Bill Dam &  Reservoir

Between 1942 and 1945, the forced imprisonments were motivated by propaganda, terror, and prejudice. The conditions were harsh, and the treatment was frequently brutal. Heart Mountain is a gripping portrayal of life in this internment camp today.

8. Heart Mountain Relocation Center

Cody Guns Experience allows you to put your skills to the test with vintage firearms while being led by specialists who give historical context. Shooting black powder rifles or a Colt revolver is an option. You may also crank and fire a Civil War-era Gatling gun.

9. Cody Firearms  Experience

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