Buffalo Bill State Park is located in Park county about 9 miles from the historic town of Cody, WY. It’s only 40 miles from Yellowstone and considered a convenient stop to rest a bit and camp before heading over to that large national park.
This Wyoming park surrounds a reservoir formed by the Buffalo Bill Dam and water from the Shoshone River. And the majestic peaks of the Rocky Mountain Absaroka range (Rattlesnake Mountain, Cedar Mountain, Logan Mountain, Sheep Mountain and Carter Mountain) are visible here.
There’s an old west lore about the area and the town of Cody nearby. That’s because both were named for Colonel William F “Buffalo Bill” Cody, a famous wild west showman, promoter and developer.
The town of Cody is the true Buffalo Bill Center of the west. There are 5 museums dedicated to him along with a re-created frontier town complete with 1800s log cabins and a saloon – Old Trail Town.
Visitors come to this beautiful park to boat, fish, hunt, camp and take in the sights of the mountains, river, lake, dam and abundant wildlife.
There’s a lot to see and do at Buffalo Bill State Park.
If you’re looking for a day excursion check out the Sheep Mountain Area inside of the park. You’ll find picnic tables, a playground and a volleyball court.
Need a spot for a large gathering? You can reserve one of the many group picnic shelters located throughout the park. Shreve Lodge is also available for rent for group functions and special occasions. The Lodge features a large kitchen and room for up to 200 guests to comfortably sit and eat.
Here is a list of activities available here:
Buffalo Bill Dam & Visitor Center
In keeping with the theme of the park, the Visitor Center spotlights its history and the history of Buffalo Bill Dam and of course Buffalo Bill himself. The Center is managed by the Bureau of Reclamation and is open each year from May 1 until September 30.
There’s a walkway across the top of the dam and from that fantastic vantage point you can see stunning views of the reservoir and the Shoshone River below.
Inside the Center you will find exhibits, a mini theater and a gift shop.
Boating at Buffalo Bill State Park
The reservoir is open to all types of boats, both motorized and non motorized. There are boat ramps and docks available: Lake Shore Dock and Ramp, Stagecoach Dock and Ramp, Bartlett Lane Dock and Ramp and Gibbs Bridge Raft Take Out.
Boat rentals are available through InvertSports.
Because of the windy conditions here windsurfing is very popular. And Buffalo Bill Reservoir is one of the top 10 best spots for windsurfing in the country!
The water temperature is usually too cold for swimming so keep that in mind and dress appropriately while boating on the lake.
Fishing at Buffalo Bill State Park
Great year round fishing opportunities can be found here both on the lake and on the river. Remember to pick up a fishing license on your way in. You can get one at many local stores in Cody as well as at the Game and Fish Department.
Fish you’re likely to catch in the reservoir here are: walleye, rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brown trout, lake trout, perch, suckers and carp.
Hiking at Buffalo Bill State Park
There isn’t much available currently for trails here but there is a planned trail system in the works that will run along the north shoreline. For now there is only one handicap accessible trail, Eagle Point Trail, that is located in the Eagle Point day use area.
Geocaching spots are hidden throughout the park.
Off Road Vehicles
Off road vehicles are allowed inside Buffalo Bill State Park as long as they have an ORV sticker or license plate. And you can drive on any of the park’s public roadways.
However, ORV’s are not allowed off road or below the high water line.
Hunting at Buffalo Bill State Park
Hunting with a valid license is allowed year round inside the park. You must be mindful to stay at least 400 yards away from campgrounds, day use spots and other designated facilities.
Wildlife that can be hunted here include: elk, deer, antelope, coyote and birds.
Wildlife Viewing at Buffalo Bill State Park
Wyoming has many species of mammals and birds since much of the state is undeveloped and dedicated to nature. Whether bird watching or wildlife viewing in general is your thing you’ll be sure to spot many types of each here.
Birds, including waterfowl and many species of migratory birds can be easily spotted. And keep an eye out for deer, sheep, prairie dogs, moose, bear and coyotes.
Camping at Buffalo Bill State Park
There are 2 campgrounds located inside of the park. All sites can be used for either tents or RVs and electric/water hookups are available.
Lake Shore Bay Campground lies adjacent to the lake and has 36 campsites. North Fork Campground is next to the river and has 62 campsites plus flush toilets, showers and a playground.
Buffalo Bill State Park
4192 Northfork Hwy
Cody, WY 82414
May 1 – September 30
Park open 24 hours per day, Office hours 7am-7pm
October – April
Sheep Mountain Day Use Area and North Fork Campground Closed; Remainder of park open to camping and daytime usage. Note: All water systems shut off during the winter season.
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Buffalo Bill State Park:
Park open year round October 1 – April 30:
North Fork Campground closed
Sheep Mountain Day Use closed No water available during this time