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Buckle your toe clips, cowboys and cowgirls. Here comes the Wild, Wild West! From Cody, Wyoming, head west into Bighorn National Forest, then northeast through Shoshone and Custer National Forest, then back again to Cody. Ride through lands where coal mines, gold rushes and gun battles defined the landscape and legendary turf wars were won and lost. Bicycle the first protected national forest in the United States, where you'll find the country's largest population of bighorn sheep. Learn about the Shoshone, the Arapaho, the Sioux, Chief Joseph's Nez Perce - and the early settlers pushing west. If you've time to extend your education, stay on to explore Cody, Wyoming.
Note: Trip Fee Includes Pre- and Post-Trip Lodging! 2017 trip fee includes one night pre-trip plus one night post-trip at the Cody Hotel.
National Parks on This Tour: Yellowstone National Park
Pre-trip night (included with this tour.) Meet-and-greet at the Cody Hotel this evening.
Fly in at your convenience today. Make your way to the Cody Hotel, included with your reservation. Tonight: meet your guides and fellow guests and get a look at how your week will shape up!
Basin to Ten Sleep - 47 miles.
Meet in Cody, Wyoming. Named for William Frederick Cody - a.k.a. Buffalo Bill - led a Wild West life beginning at age 14 as a rider with the Pony Express, Cody is the perfect place to begin your Wild West adventure. In the morning we shuttle to the tiny town of Basin, Wyoming to begin our riding. Follow the winding Bighorn and Nowood Rivers toward Ten Sleep, in the western foothills of the Bighorn Mountains.
Note: If you can, come in a day early to visit the Buffalo Bill Historical Center: The highly acclaimed “Smithsonian of the West”, is five museums in one -offering learning opportunities about Buffalo Bill, the Plains Indians and Yellowstone, an unparalleled collection of Western Art and one of the largest collections of firearms in the world.
Bicycle from Ten Sleep to Buffalo through the southern portion of Bighorn National Forest. 65 miles.
Ride across the southern portion of Bighorn National Forest today. Over a million acres of lush grasslands, alpine meadows, crystal-clear lakes, glacier-hewn valleys, rolling hills and sheer mountain walls make for spectacular cycling. The Bighorn Mountains - sister range to the Rockies - are to the north. Buffalo, Wyoming is tucked into the Bighorn's foothills. The town's main street has more than a dozen historic buildings, including the Occidental Hotel where Owen Wister's Virginian finally "got his man" and the impressive Jim Gatchell Museum, with over 15,000 artifacts from the American Old West.
Ride from Buffalo past Lake de Smet and Sheridan to Ranchester. 64 miles.
Head north today with the Bighorns on your left. Ride past Lake de Smet - which the Sioux believed to have magical healing powers - and through Sheridan to finish in tiny Ranchester, site of a battle between the Powder River Expedition and Chief Black Bear's Arapaho camp.
Ranchester to Lovell. 84 miles.
Point your steeds west, cowboys and cowgirls - back across the northern portion of Bighorn National Forest to the town of Lovell, 'Wyoming's Rose City.' Plan for some climbing today (8,526 ft of gain;·8,446 ft down) as you head through the Bighorn Mountain Range.
Lovell to Red Lodge, Montana, gateway to Yellowstone National Park. 79 miles.
Bicycle northwest today. Follow the squiggly curves of Silver Tip Creek through Byron and north into Montana. Fields of corn, sugar beets and alfalfa are interspersed with tiny towns in this valley that lies between Yellowstone National Park and the Big Horn Range. Tonight: stay in Red Lodge, Montana, a raucous 1890s coal town that calls itself the 'Gateway to Yellowstone National Park.'
Charles Kuralt called the Beartooth Scenic Byway "...the most beautiful drive in America." Ride the breathtaking scenery from Red Lodge toward Yellowstone National Park, then into Shoshone National Forest. 55 miles.
Ride west to Hunter Peak - situated on the Clarks Fork River in the 2.4 million acres of the Shoshone National Forest. A stone's throw to the Beartooth and Absaroka Wilderness Areas, the Clarks Fork is Wyoming's only Wild and Scenic river. Shoshone National Forest has virtually all the original animal and plant species that were there when white explorers such as John Colter and Jim Bridger first visited the region. The forest is home to grizzly and black bear, cougar, moose, tens of thousands of elk as well as the largest herd of bighorn sheep in the U.S. The streams in the forest are considered to have some of the best game species fishing opportunities in the U.S. including Yellowstone cutthroat trout.
Hunter Peak to Cody. 61 miles.
Bicycle the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway back to Cody today: there's plenty of downhill following the overlook at Dead Indian Hill: 4,804 ft of climbing to 6,318 ft of downhill. Tonight's lodging in Cody is included in this tour.
Post-trip day: Visit the Buffalo Bill Center for the Wild West, if you didn't have time before. Or sleep in, then head to the airport when you wish.
Your post-trip day might be a good time to check out the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, if you weren't able to get there prior to the start of your Wyoming adventure. Flying out today? The shuttle from the Cody Hotel to the airport runs from 7 am to about 10 pm, so just alert the desk when you'll want to jump aboard.
As an optional extra, a person traveling solo on any inn-to-inn trip may reserve a room for his or her exclusive use. This will guarantee you a private room and private bath every night. Unlike other tour companies, if you're willing to share a room, there is no extra charge for coming solo, no matter when you sign up for the tour - even if you wind up with a private room by default.