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Pictograph Cave State Park

3401 Coburn Road, Billings, MT 59101
+1 406-254-7342
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Ranked #7 of 24 Attractions in Billings
Type: Historic Sites, State Parks, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: To see images painted up to 2,145 years ago, come visit Pictograph Cave State Park. Learn about artifacts left behind for over 4,500 years. This 23 acre park features walking trails, a 'green' designed visitor's center, picnic grounds and museum displays; everything you need for a fun and educational get away! This unique site is a well-known place of spirit writing. Over the course of time, soluble minerals carried by rain water have leached through the rock and slowly built up on the back wall where the rock art was created. When heavy rains or snowmelt percolates through the sandstone and the wall is saturated, that veil of minerals will lift (becomes transparent). While on a dry day you may see 10-15 pictographs, on very wet ones, 30-40 images may appear in much more detail directly from the rock. The Crow people say these images are drawn by the spirits, and whichever ones you see are meant to give you a personal message or even suggest future events.

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114 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Billings, Montana
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

How could anyone rate a piece of posterity like this. My schoolmates and I would go here on field trips often.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Billings, Montana
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

A lovely ride out to the cave and so close to town! Bring binoculars so you can see the pictographs up close.

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2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2014

Fascinating exploring the history of the area surrounding Billings, MT. Realizing how long people had inhabited the area. Most of the trail is an easy walk. Great picnic area also. There were also lots of cottontail bunnies.

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Yorktown Heights, New York
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
12 attraction reviews
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 22, 2014

Did this as an afternoon event and it was worth the trip. There are multiple caves that have Pictographs some dating back 9000 years. The visitor center was very friendly and informative. There is a self guided tour and a small gift shop. I picked up a hat. The grounds are outstanding and the history more than a little awe... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Chicago, Illinois
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 18, 2014

I took my Grand daughters ( ages 2, 4, and 8 ) here to experience nature. We had a picnic and then hiked for two hours. They all had a fantastic time. There is no playground but plenty of low hanging branches on trees for climbing in the picnic area, which they loved, including the 2 year old. A porta... More

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Wainwright, Canada
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
12 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014

We spent about an hour on our self-guided tour at a cost of $5. The park supervisor explained how people of ancient times would travel through the area to hunt or gather plant material for food or medicinal purposes and would use the caves as shelter during these trips. The scenery surrounding the area is just spectacular and very interesting... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Falls Church, VA
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
16 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014

The actual site was more interesting than the pictographs. You could only see one small part of one of them still in place. We didn't have time to see the Visitor's center as it had just closed when we arrived. That might have helped. But there was really nothing much left although the site was very interesting and reminded me... More

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charlotte, NC
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
28 attraction reviews
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 2014

If you are already in the area, this is an interesting diversion for thirty minutes or so. There is a $5 charge and not much to see. I would not go out of my way to see this again, but it was fine for a one stop visit.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Sheridan, Wyoming
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

The drive to the state park is a beautiful drive, especially in the morning. We arrived a little after 8 a.m. A comfortable time of day in August. The surface of the trails is very good and safe. The interpretive signage is great and the caves are fascinating. The visitors center and the rangers are very helpful also. Many great... More

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11 reviews 11 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 5, 2014

This was a perfect way to spend an hour or so outside on a gorgeous Montana day. Sure the pictographs are faint but we expected that with their age. The point is they exist for us to enjoy. The few artifacts in visitor center were also interesting. We enjoy history and trying to imagine life back then. Well worth our... More

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