Experience history where it took place
Billings provides access to many State Parks and National Monuments. Make sure you carve out some time to visit the locations below. They'll provide you with breathtaking views and a learning experience unlike any other.
Length of Trip: Approx. 215 mi. / full day
Start your day at the Visit Billings Visitor Information Center where you can gather information and ask a local any questions you may have. Open Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Head up to Pictograph Caves State Park. Explore three caves and see evidence of habitation from 2,000 years ago. Visit their Visitor Interpretive Center and explore ancient artifacts. This is an excellent place to get out and hike around or just peruse at your leisure. ($6 per nonresident)
Extra: Want to experience the breathtaking Yellowstone River? Stop at Four Dances Recreation Area on your way back to Billings.
Enjoy the scenic drive to Chief Plenty Coups State Park, where you can discover the history of the Apsáalooke people’s last traditional tribal chief with an informative visitor’s center and a 1/2 mile walk of the grounds. Visit Chief Plenty Coups’ home and learn about Native culture, history, and legacy. ($6 per nonresident). Consider bringing a picnic lunch!
After Chief Plenty Coups State Park, head to the third most visited attraction in Montana, the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. This battle, also known as Custer’s Last Stand, has more books written about it than any other battle in history. Take in history on the grounds where it took place; where the Sioux and Cheyenne battled Custer and the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry in one of the last e orts to preserve the Native way of life. (Standard National Park fees apply)
Enjoy the rolling hills and sweeping planes while you drive to Pompeys Pillar National Monument. Clark’s inscription is still the only remaining visible, physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s passing on their actual route. This historic carving on the sandstone butte, that Clark called a “remarkable rock,” has inspired generations of visitors for more than 100 years. Climb atop the Pillar to experience the Yellowstone River and see Clark’s final view of the Rocky Mountains. Stop in at the interpretive center and gift shop before heading back to Billings. (Standard $7 fee for all noncommercial vehicles)
Make your way back to Billings, Montana’s Trailhead and enjoy dinner at one of our many restaurants.
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