SP Campground Review – Buffalo Bill State Park (North Fork), Cody, WY
A very scenic State Park campground just ~14 miles west of downtown Cody in Northwestern Wyoming.
Note/ This review is only for North Fork Campground. There is also a North Shore Campground ~5 miles East (same state park) that I did not review.
Link to campground here: Buffalo Bill State Park, Cody, WY
Link to map location here: Buffalo Bill State Park, Cody, WY
- Site Quality = 4/5
Very nice sites here except for a few slight dings. Sites are all large, long, very spacious paved pull-throughs with spacious “sitting areas” containing concrete picnic table and metal fire-pit. They are arranged in 2 main loops, an “upper loop” which has open 360-degree open views of the mountains and slices of river views (esp. outer sites along 49-62) as well as a large, grassy field in the middle (with playground), and a “lower loop” by the river-front which has less grand views, but more protection from the wind. Our preference is upper loop for the expansive views, but both loops are nice and sites are very well spaced. Only slight ding is there is no real privacy (sites are very open) and some of the sites are not flat. However the overall distribution and layout is excellent, and all sites can easily fit just about any-sized rig. 56 total RV sites of which 14 are reservable (in season) and the rest are first-come-first-serve. 8 sites have electric/water, whereas the rest are primitive (no hookups). There is also a separate group camping area.
- Facilities = 3.5/5
Good all-around facilities. There is are several pit-toilets, all kept nicely clean and one central flush toilet and shower facility (also nicely clean). Only main ding is that the showers are pay-only ($0.50 for 3 mins). On-site dump station and potable water.
- Location = 5/5
This is a great location to explore Cody. The State Park itself is very pretty and has a nice nature-trail nearby as well as several nearby day-use areas and other trails around the lake. The town of Cody is only ~14 miles away and has an excellent museum as well as a nice brew-pub and all the shopping/groceries you would need. Lastly the East entrance of Yellowstone is ~47 miles away allowing a longer day-trip into Yellowstone for those willing to make to the drive.
- Pet Friendliness = 5/5
Excellent place for doggie. Lots of space & green grass to hang out in by camp, plus there is a nice nature-trail on-site and other nearby trails (by Eagle Point) for further hiking. No easy access to river however, so not really any opportunity to swim for doggie unless you drive further east to the day-use area by the lake.
Overall Rating = 4.4
BONUS ALERT = Camp with 360-degree views of the mountains!
Summary: We chose this as our base to explore the town of Cody and it worked out perfectly. Buffalo Bill State Park is actually a very large state park located ~10 miles west of Cody around the huge Buffalo Bill Reservoir. It has two main campgrounds, the North Shore Campground (on the reservoir itself, around 9 miles from Cody) and the North Fork Campground (further west by the river, around 14 miles from Cody). We chose to stay at the latter since it is located further back from the main road, and we thoroughly enjoyed both the views and the quiet. In North Fork sites are all spacious pull-throughs with large green/grassy “sitting areas” containing picnic table and fire-pit. There are 2 main loops -> an “upper loop” located slightly above the river around a large green field which has absolutely outstanding views of the mountains and slice views of the river (esp. outer sites by 49-62), and a “lower loop” located down by the river which has less grand views, but slightly more protection from the wind (and it does get windy here). We preferred the “upper” for the expansive views and had a very nice site with almost no-one around us. Only slight dings? The sites do not really have any privacy (this is a very open campground) and some of the sites are uneven. Plus when it’s windy, well…you do get alot of wind here! Overall it was an excellent (and very scenic) stop for an inexpensive price and a great base to explore the area. We would certainly stay here again and recommend it to others.
Extra Info: Very good cellphone signal. We had 2-4 bars of fast Verizon LTE (unboosted) and 2 bars fast ATT LTE (unboosted). 62 total sites of which 56 are for RV’s while 6 are tent-only. Only 14 sites are reservable (in season) while the rest are first-come-first-serve. 8 sites have electric/water. Sites cost $17/night for non-WY residents. 14-day stay limit. Potable water and dump station on site.SPONSORED LINK:
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
Jill R says
Grew up in Cody and love that part of the country. Good to hear that the state park has been well maintained. It was tempting to put in for the camp host there when I found out there was one!! Give Cody a howdy for me!!
We were positively surprised by how nice this campground was. Didn’t really have many expectations coming in, but what views!! If it weren’t for the notorious winds, we’d be tempted to stay much longer (our first day was calm, but we got a taste our 2nd day of those winds whoo whee!). Plus Cody is a really cool little town. We had an all-around great experience here!
Bill (NC) says
Gmornin Nina n crew! As a RV resident of South Dakota do you have to go there for 24 hours each year? We have gotten mixed answers and don’t know. The lovely Susan, main squeeze of mine became a citizen last October.
Those pics of your beastly RV shows some mountains in the background, awesome view!
I can’t wait to get back on the road this winter!
Bill n Sadie plus Mic
Nope. In SD you only need proof of an overnight stay when you get or renew your drivers license (once every 5 years).
Thanks for you campground ratings and dog friendliness. I need to create some sort of organized something to keep all your info in. Not sure what.
Maybe just refer back to your website and type in an area lol. Love The museum there. One of my favorites. Hope you find good weather in SD.
I use Nina’s campground reviews for much of my trip planning. There is a tab at the top for all them, organized by state. There are usually blog posts about the area on the dates just before each review so I re-read those as well to get good tips on things to do and where the doggie friendly spots are. We’re sort of Wheelin’It stalkers when it comes to places we stay :-))))
Thanks for chiming in Jodee, and very happy the blog posts are useful!
I also have a camping map (lower left of the blog) which has a link to everywhere we’ve stayed over the past 5 years, including link-backs to all the actual reviews. I only update that particular map once a year (just after year end), so there will be some gaps depending on when you look at it, but I do get there eventually.
Tho ice not stayed in the park you’re referring to, I’m familiar with its location. It is indeed a great location to base out of while exploring the area. I’m glad you got,to spend a little time in Cody. It is always so much fun, at least for me it is. I’ve been there a number of times and am never ready to leave when my time is up.
Oh, yeah, and did you not mention wind there!? Oh boy! Hold to,your hat and yourself! Haha!
Nice campground write up for an awesome area. Hope you make it back for a longer stay one day. 🙂
Yup, we did encounter the wind (and I mentioned it in the review). DEFINITELY something that’ll blow you away when it comes roaring thro’
I stayed at Buffalo Bill State Park last year at this time. I was right on the Lake. The opposite shore had snow on it when I arrived. Great place and definite recommend the museum. There was a good bbq restaurant on the way back to the lake across from the rodeo grounds. I can’t remember the name, but excellent bbq.
You probably stayed in the campground ~5 miles east of this one (North Shore). Didn’t review that one, but drove by it on the way to town and it looked lovely. Sites right by the water.
Doug H says
nice review. we stayed at the North Shore campground this summer for a week. it took us 2 days to go thru the museum there. Do you know what happens to people in wyoming when the wind stops blowing? They all fall down!! It does get windy there, haha.
The winds here are notorious, no doubt!
Jerry Ericsson says
Just wondering, we are talking of abandoning our home here in SD and going on the road. Where is a good place to winter? Not sure if we are ready to sell all and make the commitment, I have began steps though, such as contacting my attorney to see if Workers Comp would raise a fit ie “if you can travel, surely you can return to work!” etc. but he says, while there is no telling what they will do for sure, he would think that they would think it healthier for me to travel then to sit on my rear here in Lemmon.
So we are open to suggestions for a good cheap winter home for our 35ft Class A,
Anywhere in the SW desert would be great for you. You can boondock all winter and spend absolutely nothing on camping fees, or stay at the BLM LTVA’s and spend only $180 for the entire 7-month season, or find a park with a low monthly rate in Yuma, Desert Hot Springs, or any other SW town. Lots and lots of options!
That is a great looking state park – and the price is certainly right!! Not a fan of those high winds, but at least they aren’t blowing snow yet! Thanks for another great review.
Jerry Ericsson says
We noticed the high winds on out trip out that way as well, however not a big thing for us, we almost always have some wind, and it is not uncommon for it to be 50mph +. Once ever couple years we have winds over 80 MPH here, and I can recall a couple of times with thunderstorm where the wind exceeded 100 mph. The price we pay for living on the high plains of the Dakota’s.
Whoo whee…100 mph winds in the plains! That’s serious business! We’ve only ever weathered something that windy in the RV on the OR coast, but we were partially protected by dense trees so we were fairly safe. On the plains there is no such protection and it hits you full force. Plains winds are something else!
Nina, your campground reviews are just amazing. Thank you for taking the time to do such a thorough review and rating of the places you stay. We’re getting ready to head down 395 mid-October, and although we’ve traveled that route several times in years past, we’ll be using your reviews to check out some new places. 🙂
Oh sweeeet! I so love 395 and can’t wait to read your version of it.
The views look amazing and the museum sounds worth the trip. Great review, thanks