Description - The history of Buffalo Bill Reservoir and "Cody Country" is rooted in the rich lore of the old West. Buffalo Bill State Park was named for Colonel William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, famous as a wild west showman, promoter and developer. He first came to the region in the 1870's as a guide for a survey expedition and spent the next 20 years guiding and sponsoring hunting parties in the area. "Buffalo Bill" Cody was influential in bringing irrigation and agricultural development into the area and founded the town that bears his name. Some of the land now occupied by Buffalo Bill State Park was originally owned by Colonel Cody and was acquired from him by the federal government to implement the reservoir project. Work began on the dam in 1905. When completed in 1910 it was the highest dam in the world at 325 feet.
Buffalo Bill State Park was established in 1957 and provided recreational areas and facilities along the original shoreline. In 1993 an eight year project was completed which raised the crest of the dam 25 feet and increased the reservoir storage capacity. The enlarged reservoir inundated the former recreation areas which required the removal of the old park facilities. Buffalo Bill State Park has been redeveloped as part of the project.
Mountains dominate the scenery at Buffalo Bill State Park. Shoshone Canyon, the location of the dam, is framed by Rattlesnake Mountain to the north and Cedar Mountain (also known as Spirit Mountain) to the south. Further west, along the north shoreline, lies Logan Mountain. The north and south forks of the Shoshone River are divided by Sheep Mountain while prominent on the southern skyline is Carter Mountain. All are part of the Rocky Mountain Absaroka (Ab-Sor'-ka)Range. Elevations vary from approximately 5,400 feet in the state park to over 10,000 feet in the Absarokas. The northern sector of Wyoming is world famous for its outdoor recreation resources.
- Buffalo Bill State Park, located 8 miles west of Cody along the Yellowstone Hwy, features Buffalo Bill Reservoir including about 3,500 land acres around 40 miles of shoreline, campgrounds, day use areas and hiking trails.
Recreation - The northern sector of Wyoming is world famous for its outdoor recreation resources. With both Yellowstone and Teton National Parks nearby Buffalo Bill State Park offers an abundance of recreational opportunities. Opportunities include fishing, boating, camping, picnicking, relaxing, sightseeing, photography, wildlife viewing, wind surfing, walking/hiking, bicycling, and boating.
Climate - As throughout the Rocky Mountains, the climate varies drastically depending on elevation. Summers generally offer warm clear days with cool nights. Afternoon thunderstorms are often a possibility in the summer. In the winter, sunshine, with plenty of snow in the higher elevations, are ideal for winter activities. Harsh weather - including wind, cold, and snow - is possible throughout the winter and even throughout the year, in the highest elevations. Elevations vary from approximately 5,400 feet in the state park to over 10,000 feet in the Absarokas.
Buffalo Bill State Park, located in northwestern Wyoming, approximately 37 miles east of Yellowstone National Park.