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The Most Beautiful Drive in America

Jim and Mary Jeffries traveled from Cody, Wyoming to Red Lodge, Montana with their Phoenix Camper via the Beartooth Highway, commonly called the most beautiful drive in America.

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As part of a 4,000 mile trip exploring Wyoming and parts of Montana from our home in Tucson, we found ourselves in the Old West town of Cody, Wyoming.  We love the small towns and wide open spaces of Wyoming along with its beautiful mountains.

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Above: This was our route as shown on Scribblemaps.

The highlight of our Wyoming trip turned out to be a road trip from Cody to Red Lodge, Montana, over the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway and the Beartooth All-American Road.


Cody, Wyoming and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum

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I highly recommend a visit to Cody.  Cody gives you an opportunity to glimpse the Old West, and is a gateway to mountains and different routes.  A visit to Cody could be several days or longer to see and explore the surrounding area.  For local information and booking tours, start with the Cody Visitor’s Center, with its local artist store.

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Above: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum – click to enlarge

Friends had told us about the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and I highly recommend it during your visit to Cody.  The museum is associated with the Smithsonian, and the quality of the museum is evident.  Your admission ticket is good for two days.  I’m not sure you can see this museum even in two full days.  We couldn’t.

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Above: Buffalo Bill scouting buffalo

The museum is really five separate museums housed under one roof; Buffalo Bill Center, Draper Natural History Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Plains Indian Museum, and the Cody Fire Arms Museum.

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Above: The Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum – click to enlarge

We were most interested in the Buffalo Bill Museum and the museum of the Plains Indians.  The collection of firearms was also amazing.  We especially gained insight into Buffalo Bill’s life.  He built the historic Irma Hotel still thriving in Cody, and toured the world with the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show including over 1,000 participants.

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Above: The Old Trail Town Museum – click to enlarge

Also in Cody is a wonderful collection of historic wooden buildings in the Old Trail Town Museum.  You’ll feel like you stepped into the Old West when you see these original cabins.  Mountain man Jeremiah Johnson’s gravesite is there along with other mountain men.  The Old Trail Town Museum is on the way out of town on the highway going toward the East Entrance of Yellowstone and Buffalo Bill State Park.

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Above: Buffalo Bill State Park on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir

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