Boysen State Park, Thermopolis, WY, and Buffalo Bill State Park

Boysen State Park and Reservoir was our next destination as we headed toward Yellowstone. Just south of Thermopolis, WY, this state park is vast and surrounds most of the lake with a portion belonging to the nearby Indian Reservation. A popular place on the weekend for camping and boating with a quieter crowd during the week. Lots of water activities with tubing and jet skiing being prime.

boysen state park, wyoming
The view of Boysen Reservoir from our campsite.

We stayed for a few nights and enjoyed the local activities including a hike through Wind Canyon and a swim in the lake with some water floats courtesy of my folks. Thanks! It was pleasureable just casually hand rowing out to the island and floating back. I saw some large fish on the journey and I’m confident fishing would have been most worthwhile. Another location with trains close to the campground but these were not noisy or obtrusive as the ones in Colorado. A very quiet and peaceful area, I would return if I were in the area again.

boysen state park, wyoming
A sunset view of the island we floated out to.

Driving up north we passed through Wind Canyon, a very scenic area with very curvy roads to pass through. Thus, much of the billion years old geologic area was being well preserved and though we heard there were Big Horn Sheep living in the area, we never managed to see any. The view was still spectacular.

Wind canyon, wyoming
Car view of Wind Canyon

Thermopolis is the home of the world’s largest mineral hot spring. It is not too far from Yellowstone and some scientists think the hot spring waters flow from the same region but this theory isn’t one hundred percent confirmed yet. We stopped here to view the park and take a dip in the water.

hot spring stat park, thermopolis, wyoming
Never ending hot spring in Thermopolis

Three water facilities are housed here. Two with multiple pools and hot soaking areas and one, The State Bath House, which was in our price range, free. They allowed for 20 minute sessions in either the indoor or outdoor soaking area but did not limit on the number of times you could return. One session was plenty of time to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the mineral soak.

Hot springs state park, thermopolis wyoming
The State Bath House outdoor soaking area

The region was full of tourists viewing the hot spring water flowing exquisitely over the rocks and down to the river below. A picturesque site. This hot spring bath was enchanting and I cannot wait to return.

hot spring state park, thermopolis, wyoming
Hot spring water flowing over the rock bed

After we felt wonderfully relaxed, we headed to our next sleeping site, Buffalo Bill State Park, outside of Cody. This town, Cody, is a shining example of what I picture a cowboy town should be and by sitting on the outskirts of Yellowstone, it was a happening place as well.

buffalo bill state park, cody, wyoming
Camping along the Shoshone River

The town hosts nightly rodeos everyday in the summer as well as gunfight reenactments in town streets. Quite thrilling! A couple of museums showcased the man who named their town, Buffalo Bill Cody. I read a little of his life adventures of which his passion in life was being an entertainer.
At the height of his career, he founded the town and helped bring water in the dry area with a dam construction of the Shoshone river, the largest in its day only now surpassed by the Hoover Dam. Quite a frightening thing to see, one is able to look straight down, around 325 feet. Definitely a moment of heights terror.

buffalo bill dam, cody, wyoming
A look straight down at Buffalo Bill Dam

There are two campground in this state park and they were both nearly empty during the day and full at night. Listening to the campers, it sounds like they were either coming or going to Yellowstone and this was the popular stopping point. The highway was not far and noise seemed to bounce off the canyon and gravitate our direction. With this and other campers enjoying themselves, it was not a quiet, private area.

buffalo bill state park, cody, wyoming
Enjoying a walk along the Shoshone river

Sprinklers are in order in this area and we managed to pick a spot and give our tent a nice shower. Another noise maker. The river however was beautiful to walk by and some nice paths made up the area. Magpies were abundant and quite mischievous, trying to take our things and what sounded like a secret plan to get in our tent.

buffalo bill state park, cody, wyoming
Mischievous magpies

We relaxed here a few days and appreciated time in town as well as the canyon hikes. We devised a plan for Yellowstone and are more excited than ever to head out. This was a lovely stopping point for Yellowstone Park but too much excitement to delight in the nature of the area.

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