I'm your dam tour guide.

Big Timber Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 12 › view all entries
The view on the way to the dam.

     Got up this morning after another great night of sleep at the CCV, there was a killer wind the previous night and I absolutely loved hearing the wind howl outside. There were tumbleweeds all over the place in the morning and I felt like I was in a scene from an old west movie.  We had to leave Cody today, this town/city was amazing and I definitely have it on my list of places to return to. Isn’t it funny how that works, you see places and all you end up doing is deciding that there is a ton more there that you need and want to see!

     During the trolley tour the previous day we had driven out to the Buffalo Bill Dam and decided we wanted to spend some more time there. The dam is only 5-10 miles outside of Cody and although I’m not a huge dam fan the scenery at the dam was well worth the visit.

They pick you up in the parking lot and drive you in golf carts up to the visitor center. I was anxiously awaiting the "I’m your dam tour guide talk" but alas non guided tours.  Construction on the dam started in 1903 and took years to complete along with several contractors and many mishaps. There are videos to watch in side the visitor center that narrates the building of the dam from the early 1900's up until the 1980's and 90's when the dam modification project was completed. Also in the visitor center are many pics of Buffalo Bill Cody as well as displays of various plants, animals and fish found in and around the dam. Once you finish looking around inside you can walk out on the dam and look back into the reservoir and also over the dam. All in all a pretty cool visit.

     We then officially left Cody and headed back up towards Montana, since we were heading up to Glacier National Park we decided to head north and then come down via Missoula and Gardinier into Yellowstone. I have to tell you it took everything in my power not to go to turn the car west to head into Yellowstone at that time. As is turns out the only part of Yellowstone we didn’t get to see was the Lamar Valley so I guess my next trip to Cody will include that side trip. We were headed up to Big Timber for the night and had decided that on the way we wanted to stop at Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park and Natural Bridge Falls in the Gallatin National Forest.

The cool tunnel on the way to the Dam.

     Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park is off the Greycliff exit of I-90.  Montana has these state parks where if you have a car with a Montana license plate you get in for free but if not you pay a small fee. It’s an honor system really, you get an envelope and put the money in it, rip off the permit for your windshield and put the money in the slot. I believe the fee for Prairie Dog Town was $ 2.00 per car so definitely affordable. Basically you drive around this area that has been set aside for the Priare Dogs and watch them. They have various stopping areas where you can get out and there’s informative signs to read. Praire Dogs are absolutely adorable. I understand most people feel that they are a nuisance but they are still adorable.

The resevoir.
They have this really intricate den system, areas that are designated for food storage and sleeping quarters, it’s quite interesting. Not to mention the fact that when they decide they don’t want you there they make this cute and surprisingly loud sound as a warning to others in the colony that danger is there.

     After we left there we decided to head to Natural Bridge Falls, unfortunately for us the directions were not clearly marked so we drove up and down I 90 and up and down Frontage Road ( we also came to the conclusion that every town has a Frontage Rd in Montana ).  I temporarily lapsed into my father and kept driving up and down the same area until finally sensible heads prevailed ( Kerry and my mom ) and we decided that we had better stop in the hotel and check in and if possible get directions.

Once we got directions it was pretty much a straight shot. The scenery on the way there was very pretty and the road was nice until the last several miles when it went to gravel and dirt. The Natural Bridge Falls is just that...or should I say was just that, the natural bridge no longer exists it collapsed but the falls and the rock formations are still gorgeous. They have pictures up of the area before the bridge collapsed as compared to now. There are hiking trails all around there and various places where you can look back and down on where you just came from. The area was gorgeous and we were the only ones there for most of the time so it was amazingly quiet except for the rushing water and occasional bird call. It was definitely worth the trouble to find the place.

     After we left we went to eat at the Country Skillet, which was surprisingly good for a kinda truck stop place, and then headed back to downtown Big Timber to The Grand Hotel. I say downtown Big Timber but there really wasn’t a downtown area. Big Timber is the kind of place I like to stay in, not over crowded or stuffy just a slice of American pie. The Grand was a historic hotel that showed with the decorations and furnishing. But old or not I loved it, it even had the glass above the doors with the room number painted on, very cool. Kerry and I then got ready and headed down to the hotel bar and had a couple of beers before heading back upstairs to get some sleep before another big day of adventure.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The view on the way to the dam.
The view on the way to the dam.
The cool tunnel on the way to the …
The cool tunnel on the way to the…
The resevoir.
The resevoir.
The remnants of a flood earlier in…
The remnants of a flood earlier i…
Figures we dont see the Cody sign…
Figures we don't see the Cody sig…
And the welcome to Wyoming sign un…
And the welcome to Wyoming sign u…
Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State P…
Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State …
Too cute!!
Too cute!!
On the way to NBF.
On the way to NBF.
Heading to the falls.
Heading to the falls.
The walk to Natural Bridge Falls.
The walk to Natural Bridge Falls.
Looking down on the falls.
Looking down on the falls.
Awesome scenery.
Awesome scenery.
Check out all the game trails down…
Check out all the game trails dow…
Where the natural bridge used to b…
Where the natural bridge used to …
How it looks now.
How it looks now.
A not so successful timer pic.
A not so successful timer pic.
Big Timber.
Big Timber.
The Grande.
The Grande.
The lounge area of The Grande Hotel
The lounge area of The Grande Hotel
Our room.
Our room.
Our room.
Our room.
The old time bathroom.
The old time bathroom.
The cool old hallway.
The cool old hallway.
Big Timber
photo by: texasbelle_80