Celebrating Fall in Cody Yellowstone

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September 3, 2019

An angler with beige waders and a fishing vests casts a line in a lake as hills gently rise in the horizon.

Fall in Cody Yellowstone County brings new adventures and spectacles.

When fall comes to Cody Yellowstone County, celebrations of the season take many forms. Artists paint fall landscapes. Cowboy crooners sing about the season’s beauty. Anglers cast about for perfect fishing spots. Bears fatten up on pine nuts. And rutting elk share their amorous intentions with the world by emitting wild, hair-raising bugles.

A musician in his 50s or 60s is flanked by two younger famale musicians, holding a mandolin and fiddle, respectively.

Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue

“Yellowstone in the fall is for mature audiences, and not just because of the R-rated behavior of some of our four-legged full-time residents,” said Claudia Wade, director of the Park County Travel Council, the tourism marketing arm for Cody Yellowstone Country. “With kids back in school and many weeks of temperate weather left before winter comes, fall is a perfect time for adventurous adults to experience the authentic Western vibe of the region.”

Here’s what visitors to Cody Yellowstone can expect in the fall:

Western art. The most prestigious event of the year in Cody is Rendezvous Royale, a multi-day celebration of authentic Western art Sept. 16-21. Highlights of the week include online and live art auctions, workshops, showcases and a black-tie gala.

Wildlife. The forests, river valleys, mountains and canyons of Cody Yellowstone are home to bears, elk, wolves, moose, bighorn sheep, bison, pronghorn, deer, eagles, river otters and many other mammals, birds and other species.

Blue-ribbon trout fishing. An abundance of top-flight fishing spots including North and South Forks of the Shoshone River and rivers and streams in Yellowstone National Park. Local fishing outfitters offer guides, maps and advice.

Fall bounty. Local and sustainable food offerings have continued to expand in Cody, and several restaurants and stores offer beef and bison from northwestern Wyoming ranchers and farmers as well as local produce, beer and wine.

Driving. Cody Yellowstone road-tripping in the fall is a memorable way to enjoy fall color, with five scenic drives leading into Cody that take travelers past some of Wyoming’s most breathtaking valleys, mountain passes, rivers and forests.

A sepia-type photo of Buffalo Bill at quarter profile.

A true original: “Buffalo Bill” Cody

History. The Heart Mountain WWII Interpretive Center at the site of the Heart Mountain Internment Camp offers a glimpse of the lives of some 14,000 Japanese-American citizens who were incarcerated there during World War II. Opened in August 2011, the center explores that difficult period of the country’s history with thoughtful exhibits that encourage visitors to ask the question “Could this happen today?”

More history. The storied life of the town’s founder, Colonel William Frederick Cody, is presented in the Buffalo Bill Museum, one of five museums that comprise the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. There are also museums dedicated to firearms, fine Western Art, the Plains Indians of the region and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

Music. Dan Miller’s Cowboy Music Revue continues its performances of cowboy music, poetry and comedy Monday through Saturday night through Sept 30. The Cody Cattle Company provides a casual evening at picnic tables with music and a chuckwagon dinner through Sept. 21.

Tours. The Cody Trolley Tours’ “Best of the West” tour is offered through Sept. 22. This informative one-hour tour covers 22 miles and helps orient visitors to where things are and what they might like to go back to see.