Raucous Cody revels in its Wild West image (the town is named after legendary showman William 'Buffalo Bill' Cody, who founded it). Summer is high season, and Cody puts on quite an Old West show for the throngs of visitors making their way to Yellowstone National Park, 52 miles to the west.
Fans of Western history won't want to miss little Lincoln. Twelve miles east of Capitan along the Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway, this is where the gun battle that turned Billy the Kid into a legend took place. It's hard to believe that in Billy the Kid's era Lincoln was home to a bustling population of nearly 900.
Twenty-five miles south of Reno, this national historic landmark is the site where the legendary Comstock Lode was struck, sparking a silver bonanza that began in 1859 and stands as one of the world's richest strikes. During the 1860s gold rush, Virginia City was a high-flying, rip-roaring Wild West boomtown.
From Mexican Hat, Hwy 163 winds southwest and enters the Navajo Reservation and – after 22 miles – Monument Valley, on the Arizona state line. Though you'll recognize it instantly from TV commercials and Hollywood movies (it was where Forrest Gump stopped his cross-country run), nothing compares with seeing the sheer chocolate-red buttes and colossal mesas for real.