If you'd rather not be a driver in the park's heavy summer traffic, guided Yellowstone National Park tours are available locally through Grub Steak Expeditions, P.O. Box 1013, Cody, WY 82414 (tel. 800/527-6316 or 307/527-6316; www.grubsteaktours.com). Bob Richard, Grub Steak's proprietor (and one of the most knowledgeable guides you'll find), is a third-generation Cody resident and former Yellowstone ranger. Full-day tours run about $500 for two people and $125 for additional adults, $75 for additional kids 15 and under.
Cody has fewer organized recreation options than Jackson does, but there is no shortage of places to go outdoors. Buffalo Bill State Park, located along the canyon and reservoir 6 miles west of Cody, is a hot spot for outdoors buffs, with opportunities for hiking, fishing, and a variety of watersports, particularly windsurfing. The park also has facilities for camping and picnicking.
If you want to explore the area on two wheels, bike rentals and advice are available from Absaroka Bikes, 2201 17th St. (tel. 307/527-5566) for $40 a day. Although there isn't a marked network of bike paths in the Cody area, you can ride on the Forest Service trails west of town off U.S. Hwy. 14/16/20 in the Shoshone National Forest. For specific trail information, call the Forest Service (tel. 307/527-6241; www.fs.fed.us/r2/shoshone).
If you favor a groomed course for cross-country skiing, try the North Fork Nordic Trails in Shoshone National Forest, near the east entrance to the park off U.S. Hwy. 14/16/20. You can circuit 16 miles of trails adjacent to the Pahaska Tepee Resort.
After slumbering for several years, Sleeping Giant Ski Area, U.S. 40 (P.O. Box 400), Cody, WY 82414 (tel. 307/527-8988; www.skisg.com) reopened for the 2009-10 winter. With two lifts, 150 skiable acres, and 500 feet of vertical drop, this is a dinky, family-oriented ski area with a mix of beginner, intermediate, and expert runs. Full-day lift tickets run $29 for adults, $24 for seniors and students 13 to 17, $12 for children 6 to 12, and free for kids 5 and under.
Yellowstone's legendary fly-fishing waters are a short drive away, though you should try the smaller but excellent angling streams west of Cody: Clark's Fork of the Yellowstone, the North and South Forks of the Shoshone, and Sunlight Creek. To the east, the warmer and slower Big Horn River and Big Horn Lake nurture catfish, walleye, and ling for boat fishers. For advice on the trout streams near Cody, ask at Tim Wade's North Fork Anglers, 1107 Sheridan Ave. (tel. 307/527-7274; www.northforkanglers.com), which stocks gear and clothing and also guides day trips for $350 to $400 for two people. If you like to troll or cast from a boat, try Buffalo Bill Reservoir, which has produced some big mackinaw, as well as rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout.
Greens fees at the 18-hole Olive Glenn Golf and Country Club, 802 Meadow Lane (tel. 307/587-5551; www.oliveglenngolf.com), are $40 for 9 holes, and $70 for 18, cart included.
There aren't lots of Class IV, serious white-water rapids on the rivers around Cody, but the upper stretches of the North Fork of the Shoshone River run pretty fast in the spring. Contact Wyoming River Trips, 1701 Sheridan Ave. (tel. 800/586-6661 or 307/587-6661; www.wyomingrivertrips.com), or Core Mountain Sports, 1019 15th St. (tel. 877/527-7354 or 307/527-7354; www.coremountainsports.com). Prices run from about $25 to $70, depending on the length and difficulty of the trip.
The most popular Cody snowmobiling trails originate from nearby Pahaska Tepee Resort, located 51 miles from Cody on U.S. Hwy. 14/16/20. Don't take the Pahaska Tepee Trail over 8,541-foot Sylvan Pass if you're afraid of heights; but if you're not, go for it: You'll connect with the Yellowstone National Park trails (guides are required within the park) and the lengthy Continental Divide Snowmobile Trail, and have some breathtaking views, including of Avalanche Peak (10,566 ft.) and Cody Peak (10,267 ft.). The Sunlight trail system is located 36 miles north of Cody and winds through the wilds to a stunning view of the Beartooth Mountains. Sledders start from a parking area at the junction of Wyo. 296 and U.S. Hwy. 212 and follow the Beartooth Scenic Byway east for 16 miles to a warming hut. To the east, there are 70 miles of snowmobile routes in the Bighorn Mountains. Snowmobiles can be rented in Cody from Mountain Valley Engine Service, 422 W. Yellowstone Ave. (tel. 307/587-6218; www.mountainvalleyengine.com).
The 8-mile-long, 4-mile-wide Buffalo Bill Reservoir, which receives wind from three mountain gorges, is one of the top windsurfing destinations in the continental United States. It's best experienced in the warmer months of June to September. There is a boat ramp near the campground on the north side of the reservoir, just off U.S. Hwy. 14/16/20. There are no places to rent a windsurf board in the vicinity.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.