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.
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Pictograph Cave State Park Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
289 reviews
Google
4.1
TripAdvisor
  • August 12, 2017
    My buddy and I got the chance to hike around the caves and see the pictographs and we couldn't help but be in awe of such awesome history in front of us and how it has remained for thousands of years....  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    This park is about a 20-30 minute drive through the country from the city of Billings. There is a very nice visitor's center with knowledgeable rangers and self-guiding walk out to the pictograph cave...  more »
  • August 9, 2017
    It's a nice park with very old pictographs on shallow cave walls. Many of the pictures are very difficult to see even when you know exactly where they are. Time and people have taken their toll on the...  more »
Google
  • June 19, 2017
    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.
  • July 5, 2017
    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!!
  • June 6, 2017
    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.
  • July 4, 2017
    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!
  • March 25, 2017
    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.

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