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7 Ways to Experience Winter in Cody, Wyoming

Our love for the American West–and particularly places like Cody, Wyoming–runs deep all year long. That’s why we’ve rounded up seven of the best ways to experience a Cody’s wide-open spaces this winter. Located just east of Yellowstone National Park and founded by William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, it’s no wonder this western town is a treasure-trove of outdoor activity, making ‘natural distance’ easy. We think you’ll find there’s something fun for the whole family, no matter what the forecast says!

This story was created in partnership with Cody Yellowstone.

Sleeping Giant Ski Area Lives On

1. CATCH A LIFT AT SLEEPING GIANT SKI AREA

This season brings great news for gravity enthusiasts; as of 2020 Sleeping Giant Ski Area has been purchased by a private investor whose plan is to make sure the legacy of one of the nation’s oldest ski areas lives on. Nestled into the Absaroka Mountain Range, Sleeping Giant boasts 184 acres of terrain and 49 runs for skiers of all abilities. The best part, though, is that day passes are among the most affordable in America. With an average snowfall of 150 inches, this historic ski area guarantees a good time.

Pin for winter in Cody, Wyoming experiences

Bonus: While you’re driving to the lifts on Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, you are sure to see some of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem’s winter wildlife such as elk and bison. Keep the kids busy by having them look for fox—their red fur and bushy tails are easy to spot against the white snow.

Cross Country Skiing Cody Wyoming

2. TRY YOUR SKILLS ON SKINNY SKIS

Nordic skiing, or cross-country skiing, is a favorite pastime for those who enjoy a slower paced winter holiday. Cody offers several groomed trail systems to glide around on during the winter months: Sleeping Giant Ski Area, Pahaska Teepee Resort, and Wood River Valley Touring Park near Meeteetse. Each have their own advantages, so the true Nordic lover might want to sample them all! After you’ve clocked a few miles come inside to warm up. Sleeping Giant’s T-Bar, dubbed Wyoming’s smallest bar, serves beer and wine, and Betty’s Grill will take care of hungry bellies. Go ahead, you’ve earned it.

Ice Skate Cody Wyoming

3. ICE SKATE, INDOORS OR OUT

Perhaps the most nostalgic of winter sports, ice skating takes us back to our youth. Whether you’re visiting with kids in tow or want to relive your younger years, there are several ways to get on the ice this winter in Cody! Visit Homesteader Park in Powell, a short drive from Cody, for open-air skating. The rink is lit at night and there’s a warming hut so you can stay out late and enjoy the stars! Wind picking up? Visit the Victor J Riley Arena, near downtown, to skate indoors. Rentals are available at both locations on weekends.

Snowmobile Cody Wyoming_stock image

4. TAKE A SNOWMOBILE TOUR TO OLD FAITHFUL

Ready to enjoy the thrill of winter, without having to do it under your own power? Cody is the perfect place for a snowmobile adventure! Sleds are permitted within designated areas of Shoshone National Forest for those with their own equipment, and rentals are available in Cody. Or, coordinate a trip with Gary Fales Outfitting and you’ll be zooming around Yellowstone National Park in no time. Your guide will take you to Old Faithful, Yellowstone Falls, and beyond for a truly unique great American adventure.

Ice Fishing in Cody Wyoming_stock image

5. CAST A LINE IN CODY’S BLUE-RIBBON TROUT WATERS

We’re not talking ice fishing, either. Dedicated anglers who are willing to brave low temperatures will reap the rewards in the winter months! Cody is home to some of the best blue-ribbon trout stream fishing in North America. Several professional fishing outfitters in town can help you catch (and release) the trout of your dreams. Know your way around a fly rod? Stop by to get the tips from Cody’s friendly guides before heading out. Don’t forget to dress wisely.

Snowshoeing Local Trails in Cody Wyoming

6. HIKE OR SNOWSHOE THE LOCAL TRAILS

If you only have a morning to spare or prefer to keep things simple, head out for a hike on Cody’s local trails. Of course, depending on snow conditions you might want to bring a pair of snowshoes along. You will find a variety of multi-use trails surrounding town on Cody Pathways. Not only are these trails a great way to generate some winter warmth, but you are very likely to encounter some of Cody’s wildlife during a quiet stroll. Just give them their distance to keep everyone content and safe in the sun and snow. Keep in mind that you can also snowshoe at all of the cross-country ski areas listed above!

Cody Wyoming World-Class Ice Climbing

7. SCALE CODY’S FAMOUS FROZEN WATERFALLS

Ice climbers have long sought Cody’s frozen waterfalls for wintertime sport, and it’s easy to see why. With a typical season creating over 150 pitches, the South Fork Valley of the Shoshone River is home to the highest concentration of natural waterfall ice in the lower 48. A number of guiding services in the region are available, so even novice climbers can experience the challenge of ice climbing. To take advantage of this world-class ice, be sure to visit during February and March when conditions can set up just right.

We love winter in Cody, Wyoming, and the secret isn’t really out yet, so enjoy it without the crowds soon!




It’s easy to social distance in Carbon County, Wyoming!

Coloradoans like myself are seeking the outdoors more than ever. An unprecedented number of people are playing outside, occupying trails, and seeking fresh air. Though I have always considered myself sociable and courteous on trails, having to step off constantly and let others pass by while friendly trail banter is murmured under face coverings is somewhat tiring. Fortunately, our neighbor to the north is not only full of stunning countryside, but is also the least populated state in the USA. Just over the Colorado border, Carbon County, Wyoming has all the travel amenities one could need, plus a vast outdoor landscape to explore.

This story was created in partnership with Carbon County, Wyoming Visitors Council.

Find quiet on the trails

Empty two track at sunset in Carbon County, Wyoming

Photo: Andrew Morgan via Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming

The Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest straddles the Colorado-Wyoming border and features loads of alpine lakes and towering granite peaks. My favorite way to escape in the Medicine Bow mountains is via a hike to a high alpine lake where my husband and I can throw a few casts. In previous years we have spent some winter nights cozied up in Saratoga and found plenty of solitude on our cross-country skis. I expect we’ll be doing more of that this coming winter!

Man walks down a trail through Carbon County Spring Wildflowers

Photo: Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming

Catch fish and fresh air

Man flyfishing in Carbon County, Wyoming

Photo: John Blough via Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming

Aside from pristine, alpine lake fishing, there are streams and rivers where the (affectionately named) hogs hang out–big fish that is. Actually, I nabbed one of my biggest catches ever on the North Platte River! North French Creek, which parallels the scenic highway 130, is chock-full of brook trout, making for a fun afternoon.

Scenery from behind the wheel

View from passenger seat on road trip in Carbon County, WY

Photo: Emily Sierra Photography

I have come to appreciate the beauty in vast, open prairies and simply the feeling of wide landscapes. Approaching and driving through the hills of Carbon County really allows my mind to wander and feel free. Leaving the prairies in the rear view mirror and heading up the mountains toward the Snowy Range is always a treat. Striking mountain peaks and magnificent lakes are right off the highway, making for always-memorable journeys.

Carbon County, Wyoming safe travel pin

Businesses are open!

Shops, bars, restaurants, and museums—they’re ready to see your face! Dine-in is allowed at restaurants (indoors and out), plus you’ll find plenty of parks nearby where you can bring your take-out for a picnic. Every business may have different regulations though, so it’s always important to check in for specific hotel, restaurant or business guidelines.

Woman holding ice cream cone

A few reminders for safe travel during COVID-19

Remember that visiting a small town during a pandemic is beneficial to the local economy but make sure you visit in a safe and respectful way. If you, or anyone in your party has symptoms of Covid-19, you should stay home until you feel better. To help control the spread of the virus during your travels, wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible, wash your hand often, and remember that kindness is the key. Taking these simple steps shows respect to other travelers and the locals working hard to help you enjoy your stay.

With that, enjoy this wildlife photo of some baby foxes. Wishing you happy, safe travels!

Three fox kits playing near their den in Carbon County, Wyoming

Photo: Calvin Hazlewood via Carbon County Visitors Council, Wyoming