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“Cool Place” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Pictograph Cave State Park

Pictograph Cave State Park
3401 Coburn Road, Billings, MT 59101
+1 406-254-7342
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Ranked #6 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.
Franklin Park, Illinois
Top Contributor
274 reviews 274 reviews
94 attraction reviews
Reviews in 136 cities Reviews in 136 cities
593 helpful votes 593 helpful votes
“Cool Place”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2011

A nice little park, with a walk along the trail and you can see the pictographs along the walls and also a couple of caves. A fun little trip if you enjoy seeing ancient cave drawings and cool caves.

Visited July 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Billings, Montana
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Beautiful interpretIve center”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2011

Interesting setting and easy to visualize primitive people living there.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gillette, Wyoming
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“See the Pictographs before they are gone”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2010

Our family of 6 decided to take a quick trip out to see Pictograph Cave State Park, and while the kids were a bit unruly that day after we got them settled down they really seemed to enjoy the hike. The fee for the park was $5.00 paid at the visitors center, however I think many folks bypass the fee by just skipping the visitors center and doing the hike up to the caves. We like visitor centers and the lady inside was very informative and gave us great insight into the park as well as maps to other areas that we might be interested in checking out. We did not mind paying the $5.00 fee. The $5.00 fee also lets you into other State Parks for that day so if you are going to see some other State Parks on that day it is a good value.

There are two trails one is paved and a relatively easy hike up to one of the caves. I am not in the best of shape with a bum ankle and so decided to stick to the paved trail. The walk was not too strenuous however there was a bit of an incline. There are plenty of places to stop along the way up, some with benches to rest on and take in the scenery and read the informative plaques about the site and local flora and fauna (plants and wildlife). Along the way up I took in the heavenly scent of wild roses and sage brush. I love plants and enjoyed the hike very much. Once we got to the cave at the top of the trail I was a bit disappointed to see that due to natural erosion and time most of the prehistoric cave drawings were faded and hardly viewable anymore. You really had to look hard for them and the ones that were still viewable were much later drawings (after guns were introduced to the native Americans) however it was still interesting to see. I headed back down the trail while my husband and 4 children (13 to 5) took the unpaved trail to visit the other cave(s). They enjoyed the hike and the caves.

This was a pleasant excursion for some fresh air and a little hike. I think we were there for about 2 hours. The drive to the caves was nice as well.

See the caves before the pictographs are gone. While the State Park system has taken measures to prevent erosion and damage as much as possible they are fading and won't be around forever.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sale, Australia
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“An Excellent Place to See Rock Paintings!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 6, 2010

The Pictograph Caves are just a 5 minute drive from my parents house, and are an excellent place to see rock paintings and learn a little bit about the local Native American people. A little trail leads from the parking lot around to another smaller cave, or you can go straight to the main cave. They have also built a new visitors center. Another place that is just before you get to the caves is Four Dances Recreation Area, it's on top of the cliffs, but if you go for a hike around below the sandstone cliffs (trails leading down) there are more rock paintings, including a large pictograph from which the park gets its name. This is also an excellent place to view Billings from (opposite the Rimrocks) and the Beartooth Mountains, on a clear day.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
FLORIDA
Senior Contributor
40 reviews 40 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“What a walk”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2007

What a beautiful place! The drive to the site is quite scenic.
It was a hike-- bring water and take it easy.
Its not a race.
I especially liked the ghost like figures in one cave.
Spooky.

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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