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Tampa, Florida
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Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Our "base" is Teton Village in the Jackson Hole area. We'd like to go to Cody to see the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. I know the distance is only about 117 miles or so (which here in Florida isn't far), but I realize distance is different in mountainous areas. Is this just too much to do in one day, i.e. would we spend most of our time sitting in the car? If it's an okay drive, what route is recommended (doesn't look like a big choice)? Also, what time is "dark" in early August? Thanks for any input!

Worcester...
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1. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Is there any way you can move a day to sleep in Cody? Seems a shame to be rushed and miss the rodeo.

Billings, Montana
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2. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Where are you getting 117 miles?

From Jackson to the south entrance it is 64 miles, to West Thumb junction 29 miles, to Fishing Bridge junction 21 miles, to east entrance 27 miles, to Cody 53 miles for a total of 194 miles. That's not counting the Teton Village to Jackson miles.

Inside the park the speed limit is 45 mph with many areas posted as lower. You will also need to deal with possible animal jams that will slow you down. The rule of thumb for driving in the park is to double the miles and that is how many minutes. It will probably take you just under 2 1/2 hours just to drive from the south entrance to the east entrance. Double that for the return trip and there is 5 hours of the day used. It takes me just a tad under a hour to drive from the east entrance to Cody so there is another two hours. I would assume a little over a hour to get from Jackson to the south entrance so there is another two hours.

Grand total- approx 9 hours in the car. You would need at least 3 hours inside the museum to do it justice. More is ideal as it is huge. You could spend just 3 hours in the Native American wing. Admission is $18 per person but is good for two days so it is a shame to spend that much for just a few hours. Put in meal breaks and you would have a long, long, long day.

If you could stay overnight in Cody it would be a great trip.

The only other way to Cody is to go north from Jackson to Moran Junction and turn east to Riverton, them up to Thermopolis and then northwest to Cody but this route is 300 miles.

Deb

Deb

Edited: 31 March 2012, 16:01
Tampa, Florida
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3. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Thanks, Adriana and Deb. Your information is just what I feared, i.e. a brutal driving day and not enough time in Cody . Fortunately, we are still in the planning stages of our trip and (if 4 of us can agree on it), we might be able to work out a night's stay in Cody. Would it make sense to visit YNP and then exit the park at Cooke to get to Cody, spend most of the day, and then drive back to Jackson Hole area? We love travel, but it never seems to fail there is always more to do than we have time for...

Billings, Montana
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4. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

If your plans were to visit the northern part of the park (Lamar Valley and Cooke City) then yes it would make sense to go out the northeast entrance to the Chief Joseph Highway and then down to Cody. It would be a long day from Jackson but doable only if you stay overnight in Cody. If you're up to it and interested go to the Cody Nightly Rodeo that night. The next morning go to the museum as soon as it opens and then drive back to Jackson via the east entrance. Both long days but much more enjoyable then your first plan.

Are you spending any other time/days in Yellowstone Park or is the Cody trip the only time you will be going through the park?

Deb

Fruita, Colorado
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5. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

The reason the ticket for the museum is good for 2 days is because the museum is huge and has lots of interactive displays. If you want to you can spend lots of time with docents, or watch filmstrips of Buffalo Bill Cody's Wild West Show. Forest Rangers talk about the National Forest and the grizzly bears and you can learn about all kinds of animals that you might see in YNP. To rush over to Cody and then have to rush through the museum would be a shame. Plan on giving it at least a full day if possible.

Leaving from Cooke City would be a good idea, much easier drive as mentioned.

Tampa, Florida
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6. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Hi! again, Deb:

Personally, I want to visit the Lamar Valley because I love seeing wildlife and have read it is more abundant there. If I can convince my fellow travellers, we might work out our plans to exit YNP via Cooke and then go on down to Cody (understand the Chief Joseph Hwy. is quite exciting and scenic), spend the night (IF we can find a room), and then make the trek back to Jackson after seeing the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. We planned on spending at least another day in Yellowstone. Maybe we'll take a break between day 1 and Cody and go back another day. Of course want to see Grand Teton National Park which will be easy since we're practically staying in it. Definitely want to do a float trip on the Snake too. Too little time... Thanks for your input!

Tampa, Florida
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7. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Hello, SusieLou:

Thanks for your helpful comments. The more I read about Cody and the museums, the more I want to go! Since we're still in the planning stages we might be able to work this in.

Billings, Montana
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8. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

August is usually the warmest month for Yellowstone so a lot of the animals have started to go up higher. The early mornings (sunrise to around 9am) and late evenings will bring you the best chance for viewing the bigger animals such as wolves and bears. It will be afternoon by the time you get to Lamar Valley from Jackson so you probably won't see a whole lot. If the wolves are out there will be people at pullouts with scopes. Stop and visit with them. Many will offer you a look through their scopes. Most wolf packs will be bedded down in the afternoon on far ridges so scopes are necessary.

Dunraven Pass has been decent for bear sightings around July and August especially if there is a sow with cubs of the year. They like to keep them close to the road for safety from big, mean boars. Black bears are more common around the Tower/Roosevelt area.

Actually, over the years (I go to the park multiple times each year since I live so close) I have had better luck with seeing bears and wolves in Hayden Valley and the area east of Fishing Bridge (Sedge Bay to Lake Butte Overlook). Most of the times I enter the park I come over Beartooth Pass and go through Lamar Valley to get to where we camp each time. In my experience, the wildlife in Hayden Valley are closer to the road than in Lamar.

Only 1 of the grizzly bears in this photobucket album of mine was taken in Lamar Valley (well actually in Little America which is right before you get to Lamar Valley) last June. All other grizzly bears were in Hayden and east of Fishing Bridge.

…photobucket.com/albums/…

Black Bears around Tower/Roosevelt junction last June.

…photobucket.com/albums/…

Last summer there were two grizzly sows (mother and daughter) with 3 and 2 cubs of the year in Grand Teton. Lots of photo ops close to the roads. Half-ways through the summer one of the 3 cubs went to be with the other sow. It was a very interesting developement. It will be interesting to see what the family dynamic is like when they come out of hibernation.

Deb

Edited: 31 March 2012, 19:48
Bucks County...
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9. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

Deb-- thanks for your informative post about wildlife sighting-- I'll be adding this thread to my trip research folder to refer back to. I really enjoyed your bear photos and my challenge will be to avoid squealing with delight when I see bears, especially the cubs, so I don't scare them away and anger all my fellow viewers....

10. Re: Feasibility of day trip to Cody from Jackson Hole area?

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