Seasonal shifts are happening all around us here in Cody/Yellowstone country. Not only are the mule deer shedding antlers and everyone’s keeping their eyes open for the first mountain bluebirds to arrive, but Yellowstone is starting to shut down for the winter season with the closing of Snow Lodge in the Old Faithful area. The roads will close over the next couple of weeks and crews will begin removing snow and ice from the roadways. Then the summer season will start up after about a month’s break.
However, things in Cody and the Bighorn Basin are already starting to gear up for summer here. The Cody Nite Rodeo tickets are now on sale for the summer, and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West shifted to summer hours on March 1.
By the end of March, the Sandhill Cranes will return and the American Kestrels will be soaring on the wind in their summer territory while many migrants move through the area. Bears will emerge from their dens and hawks, eagles and owls will all be on nests. Wild Turkeys will be strutting. Wolves will still out and about and not yet ready to move to their dens to raise their pups. We should also see the first flowers and trees start bursting buds.
As the snow starts to retreat along both the North Fork and South Fork of the Shoshone River as well as in Sunlight Basin, the animals will be right behind, ready to migrate back into Yellowstone. That means the best time of year to see wildlife in the Cody/Yellowstone area is coming up as well. You’ll miss the crowds, but we don’t think you’ll mind.