Buffalo Bill Dam


Buffalo Bill Dam, on the Shoshone River about 6 miles upstream from Cody, WY, is a concrete arch structure of constant radius. The structural height is 350 feet and the volume is 87,515 cubic yards. It is one of the first high concrete dams built in the United States. The reservoir impounds 646,565 acre-feet of water. The Shoshone Powerplant is near the base of Buffalo Bill Dam. 

Competent granitic rock of pre-Cambrian age. Some major to minor jointing and occasional thin shear seams are present. No critical unstable rock masses are known to be present in the immediate vicinity. Very little plucking of rock fragments occurred in the old unlined spillway tunnel.

RegionFacilities in Great Plains | Great Plains Home Page
Dam Type
ReservoirBuffalo Bill
WatercourseShoshone River
Location Six miles upstream from Cody, Wyoming.
Net Generation56,288,100 kWh
Original Construction1905-1910
Modified Construction1915, 1922-1923, 1959, 1986-1994 (dam height raised 25 ft)
National ID NumberWY01300
Hydrologic Unit Code

Structural Height350.00 ft
Hydraulic Height (Normal Operating Depth at Dam)265.00 ft
Top Parapet (Elevation)
Spillway Crest Elevation5,295.00 ft
Crest Elevation5,395.00 ft
Crest Length200.00 ft
Crest Width10.00 ft
Base Width108.00 ft
Volume of Dam Construction Materials87,515.00 cu yd (does not include spillway structure)
Streambed at Dam Axis
Top of Exclusive Flood Control Pool (Elevation)
Top of Joint Use Pool (Elevation)
Top of Active Conservation Pool (Elevation)5,393.50 ft
Top of Inactive Conservation Pool (Elevation)5,259.60 ft
Top of Dead Storage Pool (Elevation)5,158.00 ft

Hydraulics & Hydrology
Total Water Storage at Elevation646,565.00 acre-ft at 5,393.50 ft
Maximum Water Surface Elevation
Normal Water Surface Elevation
Spillway TypeControlled concrete lined tunnel through left abutment.
Auxiliary Spillway
Spillway Capacity at Elevation84,725.00 cfs at 5,410.00 ft
Auxiliary Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Uncontrolled Spillway Capacity at Elevation
Outlet Works Capacity at ElevationLeft abutment: 3,358.00 cfs; Lower level: 450.00 cfs at 5,393.50 ft
Diversion Capacity at Elevation
Drainage Area
Hydrometeorological Report (HMR)
Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) Report

Contact Information
TitleFacility Manager
OrganizationBig Horn Basin Field Office
Address#4 Reclamation Road
CityCody, WY 82414
Phone (Office)307-527-6256 (ext. 260)
TitleFacility Manager
OrganizationBig Horn Basin Field Office
Address#4 Reclamation Road
CityCody, WY 82414
Phone (Office)307-527-6256 (ext. 260)

Last updated: Apr 30, 2013