There are many advertised attractions in the Yellowstone area, the purpose of these
pages is to offer alternate choices that may make your visit here an out of the
ordinary experience. We can contract a guide for any of the adventures listed, and
pack a lunch for you. These are just a few of the many possibilities; your imagination
is your only limiting factor.
a 30 minute drive Northeast of Cody.
Ride on top of Polecat Bench and see hundreds of tipi rings of an unknown
age. These tipi rings were formed by Indians placing rocks on the edge of their
tipi covers and reusing the same campsites for many years, some still have fire
rings. The terrain is flat and seems endless, easy to ride your horse or drive your
SUV. Excellent views of the Pryor, Bighorn, Beartooth, and Absaorka Mountains can
easily be seen from the Bench.
At the opposite end of the Polecat Bench are more trails with gullies and small
canyons, and the ruins of an old stagecoach station. The station is made
of native rock that blends into the background, it’s very hard to find unless you
know where to look. The stagecoach wheels have left grooves in the rock portions
of the road; it’s amazing to see the incline that the coach had to climb. The station
is easily accessible by horse, or by vehicle and a couple of miles of hiking. Stagecoaches
were in operation here until about 1910, the railroads brought an end to the coaches
but several of the stations still exist.
Old Stagecoach Stop
The Big Horn Mountains
A few miles away from the Bench is a small Indian medicine wheel located
atop a small hill. The stones that comprise the wheel are not found at its summit,
they are smooth river rocks that would have been carried by hand a great distance.
There is some speculation that there is a correlation between this wheel and the
huge medicine wheel found in the Bighorn Mountains. Access to the wheel is by dirt
road from the paved highway, a small amount of bold driving is required to reach
the summit. We would recommend a SUV or 4WD vehicle.
The McCullough Peaks are located between Cody and the town of Powell, and
provide many miles of horse trails in a “badlands” setting. This area is rich in
dinosaur bones and fossil finds, important discoveries have recently been made.
The “Peaks” are also home to a herd of wild mustangs that trace their heritage back
to the Spanish explorers. Today the BLM maintains the wild horse population and
has annual round ups and sales of these horses. It is normally possible to see the
wild horses when trail riding.
(Buffalo) Heart Mountain is only about 15 minutes from Cody, this mountain
is sacred to the Crow Indians and was noted in the journals of Lewis and Clark.
The Crow believe that anyone who climbed to the summit and had a vision quest would
be granted special powers in time of need. Today it is possible to horseback ride
almost to the summit and there is a vast area to ride. Outstanding views of the
Beartooth Mountains are visible to the West. It is possible to reach the summit
by using the established hiking trail; old pioneer ranches, now vacant add scenic
value to the climb.
Heart Mountain Relocation Camp is about 10 minutes from Cody. This camp is
one of three sites that Japanese-Americans were sent and detained during World War
II. Buddhist shrines from the time of use are still readily visible from the highway.
This camp was in operation from 1942-1945 and housed over 10,000 people. The camp
is just a short distance off the highway and a couple of original buildings have
been left as examples. A memorial and self-guided information is located in a circular
drive. Watch for the tall smokestack, it’s well worth stopping. A new walking trail
and interpretive center are currently in the works.