The drive from Cody to the East Entrance of Yellowstone offers a large variety of progressively changing scenery. Starting at Cody with the tunnel that leads West toward the Buffalo Bill Dam/Reservoir, the road follows the Shoshone River and offers views of a valley that slowly narrows to a canyon as you near the steady ascent into Yellowstone. The red-rimmed cliffs with their oddly shaped rock formations are a beautiful spectacle. The mountains that border the eastern boundary of Yellowstone offer a looming welcome as you move toward Yellowstone Lake and Fishing Bridge. Don't get caught in a rush here. Be sure to enjoy the scenery as you move toward your Yellowstone visit.
Beautiful drive. Teddy was right. Usage is not "light" as it says in the trail info, except perhaps October to May. June to Spetember is quite heavy. Be sure and stop at the dam - it has a great (free) film on the building of the dam/resevoir and a good bookshop with resources for exploring the area.
Cody essentially is a crossroads with shops in the middle of town (not as cozy as Jackson), but its character comes from wild west shows and rodeos and the Buffalo Bill historical center, which includes the Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Cody Firearms Museum, and the Buffalo Bill Museum. We traveled toward the east entrance of Yellowstone, up the road that Teddy Roosevelt called the most scenic 50 miles in America through Pahaska (long hair in Sioux), saw white travertine cliffs along the Shoshone River, red rock formations at wayside turnouts, stopped briefly at the Buffalo Bill Dam with a good view of the gorge. Further up and after a brief rain shower, we arrived at Yellowstone Lake and Fishing Bridge.
Some of the trail descriptions really baffle me. This is a 49 mile road, not 5 miles. Anyway, it is full of the mountains, forests, streams and lakes that make this area so beautiful. We didn't see any notable wildlife, unless you count squirrels, but I don't think that is the usual experience. The last 20 miles, from Wapiti to Cody is a little less breathtaking, but there is always something worth seeing. Most memorable and funny was the oddity of seeing a propane company right next door to a fireworks company. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center was a very worthwhile stop. Cody has a nice small center, steeped in Old West atmosphere. The afternoon cowboy gunfight in Cody was fun. We even enjoyed the nightly rodeo. Before the other animal lovers criticize this, we had never actually seen a rodeo, and didn't want to jump to conclusions without first-hand evidence. I will admit that I found some aspects of the rodeo cruel, but I also found that there were ample opportunities to root for the animals. When the cowboy gets tossed, as they aften do, nobody knows if you're cheering for the animal who just "got even".