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Super boondocking spot near Cody WY


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UPPER SUNSHINE RESERVOIR.

7971766F-9060-4549-BB77-5C4C5F9FF7D4.thumb.png.0e9f1ca1c46ce2e4f7da60981492cca7.png

The area around Cody is insanely busy in summer, and finding a place to stay that doesn't require a reservation and $50 per night is very hard, especially if you do not have a fixed arrival date. It is one of the main "feeder towns" that tourists go through on the way to Yellowstone and Tetons. We wanted to revisit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and avoid the Parks, but we could not find a place to camp. A little research turned up this gem....

 

About 30 miles south lies Meeteetse WY, and due west are a couple of irrigation reservoirs; while both offer camping and water access, the jewel is the Upper Sunshine Reservoir, the western-most one. It takes about half an hour to drive there from the town, along a stunning valley with views of the jagged glaciated mountains south of Yellowstone. Most of the access road is high speed WY highway. The last 4 miles are well maintained gravel and dirt (possibly very slick when wet, definitely dusty when not). Location map:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Upper+Sunshine+Reservoir/@43.968422,-109.1090158,11z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x534c5725b1e82ec9:0x278afb15aaf5ba06!8m2!3d44.0490298!4d-109.0627262

 

Run by the Wyoming Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is a well maintained area with lots of dispersed camping, a boat ramp, pit toilet and lots of fish. It is definitely brown bear country, and you must take appropriate food precautions, but all we saw were antelope and a little Jack Russell terrier that repeatedly weeweed on Mouse's wheel. It is very popular on weekends. Midweek, it is not crowded. Most of the day-fishermen pack up and leave by 400 pm.

 

We elected to camp on the shoulder near the (non-busy) boat ramp because we were worried about thunderstorms. Some of the dispersed spots would be very greasy after a heavy rain and we needed to be gone by 700 AM to get to the Buffalo Bill museum by 800 am when it opened.

 

IMG_6728.thumb.jpg.2622ffa7bbe0c0dcc8aaffdff2f3156f.jpg

IMG_6733.thumb.jpg.0518493f6d037a2bee069481db32e7f3.jpg

 

Even in summer there were a lot of birds including some American Avocet, which has a cool "Doppler Shift" call and curved up bill, and we had never encountered any of those before. The sky was threatening and overcast, and we had a brief downpour at midnight, so we could not do any star gazing, but it should be a great location for that in better weather.

 

Timelapse sunset:

 

https://youtu.be/N8ejZg49EWQ

 

Highly, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you are in the Cody area! Five stars, well maintained, isolated, free. Meeteetse is a pleasant, prosperous little community with a Conoco and a chocolatier, so it is a good spot to refuel the truck and the wife before heading to the Cody Mess.

 

The highlight of the Cody Firearm Museum for me was:

 

The Colt Navy 1861 revolver, serial number 1:

 

[attachment file=IMG_6752.jpg]

 

...and the Longmire tv show display. Here is Walt's badge:

 

IMG_6745.thumb.jpg.cbb895d1b4acf5f444b89324fa0a11a7.jpg

 

...and the entire display with his Winchester and 1911, and Vic's Glock and badge;

 

IMG_6748.thumb.jpg.06be6d72be49b6c2e804752e75172048.jpg

 

I need to rewatch the series now.....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

IMG_6752.thumb.jpg.58985a1e6de327fdc716b5fb640658f4.jpg

Edited by John E Davies
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  • 2 weeks later...

That spot sure beats the spot i had in the Cody Walmart last summer.  You can easily spend the day in that museum, we spent about 5 hours there and had to move on.  I highly recommend it if you are in the area -  https://centerofthewest.org/explore/buffalo-bill/

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Is not Meeteetse a great find!  Love that area.  Fished the Greybull river.  Fantastic cutthroat trout fishing.  Did not get to that reservoir.  Will keep it on my to do list next time up there.  And of course the Cody Buffalo Bill museum is Fantastic.  Wife and I spent two days going thru it and wished we had more time.  The gun portion is marvelous.  What a collection.

 

Thanks for the boondocking tip.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Dang!  I thought that I was the only one that knew about Meeteetse.  Besides the Greybull River there are a number of other very nice fly fishing spots near here (PM me if you're interested).  The Cowboy bar in downtown serves an acceptable burger and the beer is cold.  The motel/RV place just over the bridge on the northwest side of town is right on the highway, has cable, WiFi, electric, water and sewer if that is what you are looking for and their prices sure beat Cody's.

 

That reservoir that John mentions is busier in the winter for ice fishing than it is in the summer.

 

Bill

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  • 7 months later...
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I've just returned to North Carolina from 2 months in Wyoming.  One of the place I stayed was in Meeteetse.  I took a look at both the upper and lower Sunshine reservoirs.

The spot on the upper reservoir that JD mentions above is right by the water and has a pit toilet very near.  However, it involves a drive on a dirt road of something over a mile and was very crowded when I arrived there Saturday in early July.

The Lower Sunshine Reservoir is a bit closer to town, and involves driving on a dirt road for as little as a couple hundred yards.  There is also a pit toilet but it is near the water while most of the camping sites are well up the hill.  Since I'm told that the fishing is not as good in the Lower Reservoir it was much less crowded - in fact, there were only three campers there and that included me.

Neither the upper or lower have electric or water (other than the lake.  However, there is both a water supply and dump in the town of Meeteese - on your left just north of the bridge as you head out of town towards Cody.

P1020593.JPG

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On 7/24/2018 at 7:01 AM, John E Davies said:

UPPER SUNSHINE RESERVOIR.

7971766F-9060-4549-BB77-5C4C5F9FF7D4.thumb.png.0e9f1ca1c46ce2e4f7da60981492cca7.png

The area around Cody is insanely busy in summer, and finding a place to stay that doesn't require a reservation and $50 per night is very hard, especially if you do not have a fixed arrival date. It is one of the main "feeder towns" that tourists go through on the way to Yellowstone and Tetons. We wanted to revisit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and avoid the Parks, but we could not find a place to camp. A little research turned up this gem....

 

About 30 miles south lies Meeteetse WY, and due west are a couple of irrigation reservoirs; while both offer camping and water access, the jewel is the Upper Sunshine Reservoir, the western-most one. It takes about half an hour to drive there from the town, along a stunning valley with views of the jagged glaciated mountains south of Yellowstone. Most of the access road is high speed WY highway. The last 4 miles are well maintained gravel and dirt (possibly very slick when wet, definitely dusty when not). Location map:

 

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Upper+Sunshine+Reservoir/@43.968422,-109.1090158,11z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x534c5725b1e82ec9:0x278afb15aaf5ba06!8m2!3d44.0490298!4d-109.0627262

 

Run by the Wyoming Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is a well maintained area with lots of dispersed camping, a boat ramp, pit toilet and lots of fish. It is definitely brown bear country, and you must take appropriate food precautions, but all we saw were antelope and a little Jack Russell terrier that repeatedly weeweed on Mouse's wheel. It is very popular on weekends. Midweek, it is not crowded. Most of the day-fishermen pack up and leave by 400 pm.

 

We elected to camp on the shoulder near the (non-busy) boat ramp because we were worried about thunderstorms. Some of the dispersed spots would be very greasy after a heavy rain and we needed to be gone by 700 AM to get to the Buffalo Bill museum by 800 am when it opened.

 

IMG_6728.thumb.jpg.2622ffa7bbe0c0dcc8aaffdff2f3156f.jpg

IMG_6733.thumb.jpg.0518493f6d037a2bee069481db32e7f3.jpg

 

Even in summer there were a lot of birds including some American Avocet, which has a cool "Doppler Shift" call and curved up bill, and we had never encountered any of those before. The sky was threatening and overcast, and we had a brief downpour at midnight, so we could not do any star gazing, but it should be a great location for that in better weather.

 

Timelapse sunset:

 

https://youtu.be/N8ejZg49EWQ

 

Highly, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if you are in the Cody area! Five stars, well maintained, isolated, free. Meeteetse is a pleasant, prosperous little community with a Conoco and a chocolatier, so it is a good spot to refuel the truck and the wife before heading to the Cody Mess.

 

The highlight of the Cody Firearm Museum for me was:

 

The Colt Navy 1861 revolver, serial number 1:

 

[attachment file=IMG_6752.jpg]

 

...and the Longmire tv show display. Here is Walt's badge:

 

IMG_6745.thumb.jpg.cbb895d1b4acf5f444b89324fa0a11a7.jpg

 

...and the entire display with his Winchester and 1911, and Vic's Glock and badge;

 

IMG_6748.thumb.jpg.06be6d72be49b6c2e804752e75172048.jpg

 

I need to rewatch the series now.....

 

John Davies

 

Spokane WA

IMG_6752.thumb.jpg.58985a1e6de327fdc716b5fb640658f4.jpg

Thanks JD, I'll put this in my memory. Darn I bet you scared a few folks with the Pics...love that rifle  

 

Cindy,  Russell and  "Harley dog" . Home is our little farm near Winchester TN

2018 Oliver Legacy Elite II - 2018 GMC 2500 Duramax 

"Die young - As late as possible"

ALAZARCACOFLIDMTNVNMOKORTNTXUTWAWYd56201524964bac5483378b34b491562080842sm.jpg

 

 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, topgun2 said:

Neither the upper or lower have electric or water (other than the lake.  However, there is both a water supply and dump in the town of Meeteese - on your left just north of the bridge as you head out of town towards Cody.

Top gun, how long did you stay in this spot? Any time restrictions?

Sherry

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

This link comes up with the message " video is private .," Can't open it.

Sherry

Try it now, for some reason it was a Draft and never was published. I think it is fixed, let me know please. And thanks for bringing that to my attention.

Time Lapse Sunset, Upper Sunshine Reservoir, near Meeteetse WY

 

John Davies

Spokane WA

 

 

Edited by John E Davies
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Tow Vehicle: 2013 Land Cruiser 200, 33" LT tires, airbags.

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Posted (edited)

Sherry - 

I talked with the owner of the 4 Bears Bed & Breakfast that is located nearby and he told me that even though the stay limit is 14 days, there is no enforcement of that rule.  I stayed there 6 nights.  It is a central location for fishing all three branches of the Wood River and for fishing the Jack's Fork area of the Greybull River.  As JD mentions, it is also only just over 30 miles of easy driving to Cody, is a bunch quieter and cheaper.

Nearby is the ghost town of Kirwin, the partially constructed cabin of Amelia Earhart and the DD Ranch which she liked visiting.  Meeteetse is also near the location of a colony of black footed ferrets that were thought to be extinct until found here just a few years ago.  Butch Cassidy spent a night in jail here too.

But don't trespass!

 

P1020600.JPG

Edited by topgun2
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