Pictograph Cave State Park, Billings

3.6
#2 of 9 in Parks in Billings
Pictograph Cave is a 23acre area of three caves (Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost caves) located 5mi south of Billings, Montana, United States.Excavation of the three caves began in 1937, and they were the site of some of Montana's first professional archeological studies. Over 30,000 artifacts have been identified, with at least 20,000 animal remains recovered from the site. Species range from large mammalian species, including bison (Bos bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus), to various species of herpetiles (reptiles and amphibians) and avies (birds). The presence of these remains result from human predation, processing and consumption as well as non-human (carnivores and raptors) predation and individual species who lived and died in and around the site.Paintings known as pictographs are still visible in Pictograph Cave, which is the largest of the three caves. The pictographs are thought to be between 200 and 2,100 years old. However their interpretations are still debated over. The oldest pictograph is that of a turtle, radio-carbon dated to be approximately 2,100 years old. These pictographs are paintings of animals, warriors, and even rifles that document the story of the Native Americans of the area for thousands of years.The site was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964.
Pictograph Cave State Park is just one of the many highlights you can arrange to see using our online itinerary creator, Billings Edition.
Source
Create an itinerary including Pictograph Cave State Park
map
Pictograph Cave State Park Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
305 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • The park is short drive from Billings on paved road and country side is scenic. The drawings in the caves are fading with time but the site provides some interesting history. The trail thru the park i...  more »
  • There is a paved trail to the main cave and a gravel path to the two other caves. There is a fairly steep climb to the caves but I am 63 years old with a bad knee and made it. As with other cave art, ...  more »
  • Nice little state park. They have a mostly paved path that you can get out and walk up to the caves.  more »
Google
  • Definitely pack some water and good hiking shoes. The walk up is quite steep but quick. Great views. Doesn't take very long to walk through the whole thing. The drawings on the caves are pretty faded so don't get your hopes up for seeing a ton of images, but still a nice little trip.
  • It's a REALLY good hike!!....For those who sit on the couch all the day eating potato chips!! In the summer when your there you'll definitely need a water bottle, cuz you're going to die of heat!... so I'd recommend going inside the building, because they have air conditioning inside!! But for those of you that haven't gone you should go!! You could get really great pictures the View once you hike!!
  • I brought my nephews here and definitely had a lot of fun. Its like a small adventure/travel through time kind of place. It doesn't require a lot of hiking so if you just need an easy walk with beautiful scenery, its a great visit.
  • Beautiful! The pictograghs are hard to see with the naked eye anymore but my camera saw them and captured them very well, the scenery and the remoteness are unbelievably gorgeous!
  • The caves were amazing. What a beautiful state. Sadly, the park ranger at the visitors center was one of the rudest people I've ever met and I was appalled at the way I was treated once he learned I wasn't a resident of Montana. I paid my day pass fee, he literally threw my recent down at me. I would never expect to be treated with such indignity when taking my friends 10 year old son to a state park for a day outing.

Plan your trip to Billings

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Where to stay in Billings

Browse hotels, guesthouses, and unique homes and book your stay on the world's leading accommodation sites.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Billings by other users

46 days in United States & Canada BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 46 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 17 days in Montana BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Crow Agency & Billings BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, outdoors, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Missoula & Billings BY A USER FROM THAILAND February, popular PREFERENCES: February ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 10 days in Billings BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, culture, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 30 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA May, teens, outdoors, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, teens, outdoors, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in West Yellowstone & Billings BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 24 days in California, Las Vegas & Billings BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 25 days in United States BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 47 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
View more plans