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“Worth the trip!”

Chief Plenty Coups State Park
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Pryor
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Attraction details
Owner description: Situated within the Crow Indian Reservation in south-central Montana, 40 minutes south of Billings, this day-use park preserves the log home, sacred spring, and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups. This state park is a National Historic Landmark. Chief Plenty Coups (Aleek-chea-ahoosh, meaning "many achievements") was a man of war - and then a man of peace - whose vision has helped bridge a gap between two cultures. Recognized for his bravery and leadership, he was made a chief of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe by age 28. When Chief Plenty Coups gave up his nomadic ways in 1884, he became one of the first Apsáalooke to own and settle on a farm, which was deeded to him through the federal Indian Allotment Act. On his 320-acre tract, located a half mile east of Pryor, he opened a general store, built a home, and tilled the earth until his death in 1932 at age 84. At that time, as requested by Chief Plenty Coups and his wife, Strikes the Iron, 195 acres of his land was made into a public park. Upon his death, the Apsáalooke people voted to designate him as their last traditional tribal chief. Plan at least an hour to walk the grounds and browse through the Visitor Center that commemorates the life of this remarkable man and his efforts to lead his people into bridging the gap between two cultures and transition from a tipi and buffalo to a settled reservation lifestyle. Walk the 3/4 mile trail around the park along beautiful Pryor Creek.The tranquil, shaded picnic area is a beautiful spot to enjoy lunch and absorb the serenity of this special place. Chief Plenty Coups Day of Honor-with speakers, drummers and dancers, tours, buffalo feast and more-held annually the Saturday before Labor Day, is an event you don't want to miss. SEASON AND HOURS Park Off-Season: 9/19/16 to 5/18/17, Open Wed through Sun, 8am - 5pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Summer Season Open daily 5/19/17 - 9/17/17, 8 am - 8 pm. Visitor Center Off-Season: 9/19/16 - 5/18/17, Open Wed through Sun, 10am - 5pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday. Chief's House: Open is weather dependent. Visitor Center Summer Season: 5/19/17 - 9/17/2017, Open daily 10am-5pm. Chief's House: Open 10am to 5pm
Reviewed July 22, 2014

Chief Plenty Coups visitor center is small but packed with information about this important Crow Chief. Staff is friendly and helpful, and the gift shop is thoughtfully stocked.

The park itself is a peaceful with a nice walking path, a great place for a picnic.

1  Thank polyxenes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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11 - 15 of 15 reviews

Reviewed June 29, 2014

I had never heard of Chief Plenty Coups and saw that this park was about 40 minutes south of Billings. I couldn't tell from the Montana State Park website if a visit to the homestead was worth the time. Montana is a beautiful and scenic state so a drive anywhere is worth the time. I took a chance and found the drive to be beautiful and peaceful. I had the chance to stop and take pictures of horses peacefully grazing in their fields. The trip was already worth the drive.
The true joy of this visit was its educational and inspirational value. The Montana State Park did a fine job in its informative Visitor Center where I got to learn about Chief Plenty Coup and his remarkable life. Ironically, the Visitor Center is more informative and interactive than the one at the Little Bighorn Battlefield run by the National Park system.
Plenty Coup was the last traditional chief of the Crow people and he realized the importance of keeping traditional Crow ways while also acknowledging a changing world.
I admired his saying "Education is your greatest weapon. With education you are the white man's equal, without education you are his victim and so shall remain all of your lives." He was a man of peace and of dignity and of foresight. Having the chance to learn about this great man was well worth the drive.
Plenty Coup's homestead started as a small building where he sold supplies to his Crow brethren. He eventually built and enlarged a home next to his "store." Visitors can enter the home and see the modest displays. Take a walk to the sacred spring near the home that seems to flow out of a large tree.
If you are a history buff and you have time, it is well worth the visit. The value of visiting the Park is learning a bit about Chief Plenty Coups. This modest man loved modern technology and the visitor center had a great picture of his driving a car. He's in his chief clothing with his wife Kills Together (You have to love the name) in the backseat. The center is full of pictures of Plenty Coups meeting the politicians and celebrities of the day. The Park is simple and modest. Someone with a thirst for history will appreciate this visit. He was a visionary who shaped the future of his people with his dignity and grace.

2  Thank Jackbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2014

very informative about the local history and the people who lived in the area. the house built for chief plenty coups gives a peek into how some people lived and the conditions that were luxuary in those days.

1  Thank cumbriancowgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2014

Chief Plenty Coups State Park is a great place to visit. The visitor's center is uniquely native in design, contains interesting exhibits and a well stocked gift shop. The nature trail is great for birding as it meanders along Pryor Creek. Chief Plenty Coups historic home is open to visitors. The picnic ground are an excellent place to eat, or allow the kids to play. The staff are friendly and informative. Admittance to the park is $5 for cars not displaying a Montana license plate.

Thank Kathy E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 22, 2013

The Chief Plenty Coups State Park, 20 minutes south of Billings, MT, is a nice little park that covers 195 acres. The museum appears new, and is very well maintained. There are activities for all ages, from interesting displays to hands-on activities. The museum is closed from Oct. 1 thru (April?), but if you let them know you would like to visit, they will open it up just for your family/group!
Ranger Aaron gave our little group (12 of us) a great program on the bison and how it was like 'Walmart to the Indians'. The kids were intrigued, and it was very interactive.
We were given a tour of Chief Plenty Coups homestead, and the kids enjoyed the nice playground area.
Very enjoyable!
Free if you have MT plates, $5/vehicle for out of state plates.

1  Thank TicknorTribe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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