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Pictograph Cave State Park

3401 Coburn Road, Billings, MT 59101
+1 406-254-7342
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Ranked #9 of 31 Attractions in Billings
Type: Historic Sites, State Parks, Landmarks/ Points of Interest
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... more » 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. « less
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109 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Wainwright, Canada
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 26, 2014 NEW

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

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Falls Church, VA
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 25, 2014 NEW

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
40 helpful votes 40 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.

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Sheridan, Wyoming
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 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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Contributor
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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East Wenatchee, Washington, United States
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2014

It was awesome to see a part of history although Mother Nature is slowly dissolving it from view. It is very faint, but cool to see.

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Moose Jaw, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2014

The tour is self-guided and the cave pictographs are hard to see. There is explanations at each of the caves to give you and idea of what you are seeing. Good place for a short walk, approximately 20 minutes. Visit the information centre first.

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Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2014

Being an archaeologist I was excited to visit this location. Unfortunately the visit was disappointing, and I have no desire to go back. The history is fascinating and the archaeological record is extensive. The pictographs on the other hand are few and a small part of the site. The stop caters to local elementary schools but not adults nor history... More

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Billings, Montana
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2014

It has been 24 years since I was last at the pictograph cave and my husband and I wanted to see the new museum which had been added to the site. I have COPD so the climb to view the actual site was more than I could do in the July heat, but I throughly enjoyed the museum which had... More

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Miami
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
4 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2014

The drive out here is worth the trip and it is very close to Billings, so if there is only a couple hours it can be done. There is a nice paved walkway to the cave, but it is uphill. We went on a very hot day--I recommend going at a cooler time of day! There is room for tent... More

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