Copywriter: Krista McLellan

Cody might be best known as a thrilling summer destination for lovers of the great outdoors, with the world’s longest-running nightly rodeo and access to the unrivaled beauty of America’s first national park, but Cody Yellowstone has a well-kept secret for the discerning traveler: it’s also a wonderland of winter adventure.

Start right at the top by visiting Sleeping Giant, one of North America’s oldest alpine ski areas. This laid-back, affordable, family-friendly destination offers skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing in the breathtaking Absaroka Mountain Range. With 900 vertical feet of ski slopes and 184 acres of terrain, there are bunny hills and exhilarating slopes for every skill level.

If you prefer your skiing to be cross-country, you’re in luck. There are more than 30 miles of groomed trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing between Sleeping Giant Ski Area and Pahaska Tepee at Yellowstone’s East Gate. And over around Meeteetse, visitors can explore the Wood River Valley Ski Touring Park. Operated by the Meeteetse Recreation District, this park features more than 15 miles of groomed trails. There are trails for everybody here, from the gentle South Fork Trail for first-timers and folks who prefer a slower pace, to the expert-challenging Brown Creek Trail.

Yellowstone National Park

You can’t come to Cody Yellowstone without exploring Yellowstone National Park. The East Gate closes in November, so one of the only ways to explore in winter months is on a guided snowmobile tour with Gary Fales Outfitting. From the East entrance near the town of Cody, make your way past the serene Yellowstone Lake west to catch one of nature’s real wonders at the Old Faithful geyser, or go north from the lake to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone where towering waterfalls crash into icy waters. As you tour the park, keep your eyes peeled for glimpses of elk, moose, bighorn sheep, or even America’s national mammal, the mighty bison. The quieter winter months and blankets of white snow provide amazing opportunities to spot the area’s celebrated wildlife.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of icy scenery, snow-capped mountains, and untouched wilderness when you climb one of more than 250 frozen waterfalls in the South Fork Valley during the Wyoming Ice Festival, held January 4-7. Ice climbers of all skill levels can work with expert instructors to experience the thrill of this winter sport.

Western Small Town

When you’ve had your fill of the great outdoors, find out why Cody Yellowstone is The Best Western Small Town in America as voted in The USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards. Its welcoming warmth and famous Western hospitality aren’t limited to the summer months. Sheridan Avenue, Cody’s main street, provides opportunities to cozy up with delicious coffee, excellent shopping, and world-class dining. 

Cody Yellowstone

Those looking for the perfect après ski (or snowmobile, or ice climb) destination should call in at Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel, with its ornate cherry wood back bar gifted to Buffalo Bill Cody from Queen Victoria in 1900. Or stop into the luxurious Chamberlin Inn, where legendary author Ernest Hemingway’s signature is immortalized in the guestbook. As a regular visitor to Wyoming’s best fishing and hunting destinations, Hemingway stayed at the Chamberlin in 1932. Be sure to try the Death in the Afternoon, a cocktail named in honor of one of his most famous works. 

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The spirit of the celebrated showman and town namesake, Colonel William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, is alive and well all around Cody Yellowstone. Explore all kinds of unique attractions, from lovingly preserved historic properties to the myriad of memorable activities that bring you face-to-face with the rugged landscape of northwestern Wyoming. History buffs will find plenty to love — and learn — in Cody Yellowstone, beginning at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. This is more than a museum — it’s five museums all under one roof! In addition, the center hosts a variety of special exhibitions. It’s the perfect activity for when the winter weather won’t cooperate. 

For the mavericks, wanderers, and explorers. The nature lovers, thrill-seekers, and the relentlessly curious. For those who know just how much can be found when you get a little lost — there’s Cody Yellowstone. Request your vacation guide and start planning your Great American Adventure at or by calling 1-800-393-CODY.