Cody, Wyoming Camp on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir

My camp above the Buffalo Bill Reservoir near Cody, Wyoming.

My camp above the Buffalo Bill Reservoir near Cody, Wyoming. 

After I got done with the drive through the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway, I needed a camp near Cody, Wyoming because I had one more Scenic Drive in the area, the Buffalo Bill Scenic Drive which starts at Cody and heads due West up into the Yellowstone National Park. It’s the last of the five entries into Yellowstone I needed to drive.

I wasn’t familiar with the area at all so I stopped at the BLM Ranger office in Cody and asked about dispersed camping. I explained I wanted to see the tourist attractions in Cody and then drive up the Buffalo Bill Scenic Drive, but I had to have cell and data signal. She said she had just the spot and it was on the Scenic Drive I wanted to take! If you take 14-16-20 West out of Cody in about 15 miles you’ll come to the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and at the west end of the lake you can take a road south and then curve around on Stagecoach Drive and it follows the shore for a long time. It’s a wide dirt road that was a little wash boarded but while I was there they graded it which improved it.

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Looking west at Stagecoach Drive toward Yellowstone.

Much of the way you are alongside the Buffalo Bill State Park mixed in with private property. After a mile or so I was on BLM land so I just started looking for little 2-track road leading off into the sagebrush. I came across one going off to the left toward the lake and it looked really good but it was rather steep. I knew the van could handle it because it was so short. Once over the top it split off into another road and I took the one to the right to get further away from the main road. After a few more up and downs the road ended and it had just enough of a semi-level spot for me to tuck the van into.

There were lots of mice and rabbits for Cody to chase; here he's digging for something.

There were lots of mice and rabbits for Cody to chase; here he’s digging for something.

I was totally in love with this campsite! I had an amazing views of the lake below me, I was far enough off the road I couldn’t see or hear it and I had a great view of the mountains looming behind me and toward Cody. But best of all, had a great Verizon 4g data signal. I had stopped at the Walmart in Cody to get online and I had a better signal in camp than I did there! I liked it enough that I ended up spending about 2 weeks here in-between trips around the area. I could easily spend a summer at this camp because the town of Cody has everything you need to spend extended time there like a well-stocked Super Walmart and plenty of tourist attractions and many beautiful drives within a day’s drive of camp. If you are a fisherman, the Reservoir is stocked and has good fishing and the Shoshone River runs right through the area and has very good fly-fishing.

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There was a small herd of antelope in the area and they were amazingly tolerant of Cody and I. As long as we didn’t try to approach them they just ignored us. I greatly enjoyed having them around! I also ran into a rattlesnake that let me get much too close to him before he rattled. I was easily within 4 feet of him which was close enough for him to strike me. I’ve tried to watch closer for them but they blend into grass and sagebrush so well it’s very difficult to see them.

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One thing I’ve consistently run into in most of my campsites this summer is they tend to be off level making sleeping more difficult, . Some were just a little off-level so I could ignore it, but some were pretty bad and I had to do something about them; this one is also pretty far from level. For a very long time I’ve carried a 10 pack of Camco stacking blocks which are intended to stack under the tires to level the van. Get them from Amazon here: Camco Leveling Blocks – 10 pack

The road leading into my camp.

The road leading into my camp.

I’ve never been very happy with them. They are an inch thick and so if you put two of them together you lift that tire by 2 inches and the van rolls up on them just fine. The problem comes if you need to lift a tire by more than two inches—which I often do! The tire will roll up on two blocks, but it will not roll up on three, instead it just pushes it ahead of the tire or pulls them apart. The solution is to use 3 blocks beside each other and put one block over one joint and two over the next one, which creates a ramp. Generally that will work but you just used 6 blocks of the ten you have and you only gained 3 inches on one tire. What if you need to raise that tire by 5 inches and the other tires also? You’re out of luck!

The Tri-Levelor is in in front and the blocks in back. This is all I have left of the package of 10. Two of them were destroyed and the one on top is warped and won't nest with the others. I', 100% sur if I tried to drive up on that awkward stack they would just fall apart.

The Tri-Levelor is in in front and the blocks in back. This is all I have left of the package of 10. Two of them were destroyed and the one on top is warped and won’t nest with the others. I’m, 100% sure if I tried to drive up on that awkward stack they would just fall apart.

One other problem I’ve had with them is that I almost always camp on Public Land and the ground I’m using the blocks on is rocky and uneven. I’ve broken quite a few of the blocks because the ground was uneven or there was a rock in just the wrong place. When the weight of the van rides up on them, they cracked and sometimes splinter into pieces

Because I have a trailer that I live in, I need to have the blocks to go under the jack up front and the leveling jacks in back, so I don’t regret carrying them, but I have always wanted to find a much better way to level the van. I’m glad to say I finally found it! Get the leveling blocks from Amazon here: Camco Leveling Blocks – 10 pack

I love this thing and wouldn't be without it! It's super easy to level the van and it is virtually indestructible!

When Judy saw mine, she ordered two from Amazon for $15 each. It's as simple as driving up on it until you're level, and then you stop. Super easy!

When Judy saw mine, she ordered two from Amazon for $15 each. It’s as simple as driving up on it until you’re level, and then you stop. Super easy!

Last fall I was in an RV store and came across the Camco Tri-Leveler leveling system. It was expensive but it looked perfect, so I bought it. I’m so glad I did! Because it’s wedge-shaped the tires drive right up on it and I’ve never had it slide away from the tire. The three levels allow you to decide what is the right height for that particular location; if you want it higher just keep driving forward or stop in the middle. Another big advantage it has is that it spreads the weight over a larger surface so it doesn’t sink into the ground like the blocks do. Best of all, it is very strong. I’ve used it virtually every day this summer and it still looks very good.

I’m sure I paid $40 for it at an RV store but as I’m writing this Amazon has it for $15. That’s such a great deal I’m ordering a second one and would encourage you to do the same thing.
Camco Tri-Leveler

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Bob
About

I've been a full-time VanDweller for 12 years and I love it. I hope to never live in a house again!

21 comments on “Cody, Wyoming Camp on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir
  1. Lucy says:

    Cody, Bob, keep cool up there we’re roasting our buns in Southern California, the heat is unbearable, don’t venture south !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Lucy.

    • Bob Bob says:

      No problem there Lucy, I’m near Leadville CO at 10,200 feet and it’s in the 60s every day and 30s every night. Next week we’re planning to go to near Taos, NM to warm up.Its about 80 every day and 40s at night.
      Bob

  2. Dick Kelly says:

    Nice pictures! I’m planning on heading out that way next June so I’ll take a look at the Buffalo site and maybe camp there in the Prius.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Dick, I’m not sure if the Prius can get in there because of it;s low clearance. But I am always amazed at where my friend Suanne can take hers so you probably can make it!
      Bob

  3. Ming says:

    my kind of campsite! Thanks for the leveling recommendations, I will look for something like that to replace the rocks and pieces of wood I am carrying.

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Ming! I really like the Tri-Levelor!
      Bob

      • Ming says:

        I’ll have to see if they’ll ship to Canada, sometimes amazon.com won’t.

        • Bob Bob says:

          Ming, I understand getting things to Canada can be difficult and expensive!
          Bob

        • hotrod says:

          If i may …i wld like to say that It is most difficult dealing with Canadian orders. Briefly my horror story. ….Bought a wifi antenna and wanted to return it.

          1. You must declare the cost of the item. Why? So they can tax you on export !!!! The seller told me just claim $1.00. I received a email stating they rejected my claim and must fax a new claim at a higher value. I did and yes they taxed my for it. My advice is to not buy anything from out of this country. Easy to give my money away but hard to get it back.

      • tommy helms says:

        Would it be easier to level the bed instead of the van?

        • Bob Bob says:

          Tommy, if all you do in the van is sleep, then maybe. But if you move around at all in it, then no.

          I think leveling the bed would be much more complicated than putting the Tri-Levelor under the tire and driving forward a foot or two. For me, it really can’t get much simpler than that.
          Bob

    • Lucy says:

      LOL,LOL…that was @ good one Ming !!!

  4. Mel says:

    Enjoy your updated. Thanks for the adventure. I just ordered 2 Trilevel’s.
    Next time you are in Cottonwood AZ send me an email.
    mel
    Mel recently posted…Cody, Wyoming Camp on the Buffalo Bill ReservoirMy Profile

    • Bob Bob says:

      Thanks Mel. I have a pretty busy fall scheduled so I don’t expect to get back to Cottonwood before next spring. But you are welcome to join us in the Quartzsite area!
      Bob

  5. Martha says:

    I always enjoy seeing inside someone camper or RV. It’s a great way to get ideas. This was no disappointment. Martha

  6. Pish says:

    great lever….. I use the Anderson lever, which is fantastic – tho $40 from stores that sell them…I’ll check out Amazon next time I need one!..

  7. Chris Barclay says:

    You mention fishing for trout at the Buffalo Bill Reservoir and yes they are in there. But there is a side benefit if you are fishing for your dinner. Someone stocked some illegal Walleye and they have been trying to get rid of them ever since. As far as I’m concerned, they can’t be beat on the dinner table. As I understand it, there are no restrictions on Walleye in that lake.

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