Submitted by Mona Mesereau
Mesereau Travel Public Relations
CODY– The unprecedented flooding in Yellowstone National Park has affected residents and guests, especially in the northern section where fast-flowing rivers have taken out chunks of the roadway and even buildings. The park itself is closed, and many travelers are scrambling to make new plans on the fly while others who have upcoming vacation plans are wondering how those plans will be affected.
Meanwhile, Yellowstone National Park gateway towns like Cody, Wyo. 50 miles to the east of the East Gate of the park are busy fielding questions from potential visitors. Cody has set up helplines at 1-307-586-1574 or 1-307-586-1571 for assistance booking accommodations in hotels and campgrounds. Information is also available by calling 1-307-587-2777 or online at https://www.codyyellowstone.org/travel-alerts.
Here are some examples of the questions being asked:
- Is Cody affected by the flooding? No. The Shoshone River certainly has strong flows right now, but the Buffalo Bill Dam can control just how much water to let out of the reservoir upstream. Additionally, the river is more than 200 feet below the town.
- Did Cody receive a lot of rain? Not compared to other places. The town is more than 100 miles from the park’s North Gate where the Yellowstone and Gardner Rivers converge and the worst of the flooding occurred. At close to 2.2 million acres, Yellowstone is huge. There are four separate mountain ranges in the park which means that weather can vary greatly. Weather reports for the next several days call for a lot of sun and a small chance of rain in Cody.
- What park gates do Cody visitors typically use? Cody is convenient to Yellowstone’s East Gate and Northeast Gate. Day trippers from town often make a large loop using both gates in a single day.
- Have these gates been affected? The Northeast Gate is located next to the towns of Cooke City and Silver Gate, Mont. which have been isolated because of the rain. This gate is in the northern part of the park where there is no definite plan for reopening. To the west of this gate road damage also occurred in Yellowstone’s Lamar Valley. The East Gate is considered part of the southern section of the park which is on track to open soon. Park visitors should check with the National Park Service before heading to the park to make sure specific roads are open.
- What is there to do? While Yellowstone is the top draw in northwest Wyoming, there are plenty of other things to do and see. Cody is a destination in its own right with a rich history and a solid lineup of activities and attractions. The town features world-class museums and family-friendly activities. It is the Rodeo Capital of the World with the Cody Nite Rodeo operating every day June 1- August 31. Outdoor recreation is big with 1,000 miles of trails outside the park equaling the amount inside the park.
- Where can I stay in Cody? Cody has some 40 hotels and motels, 26 guest houses/lodges, 21 RV parks/campgrounds, 14 dude/guest ranches, seven B&Bs and numerous vacation rentals. Many have received cancellations in wake of the Yellowstone floods, and availability has increased.
- How do I get more information or make a reservation? Cody Yellowstone is the marketing organization for the region and is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. You can go to https://www.codyyellowstone.org/ or call one of the helplines.