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Pictograph Cave State Park, Billings

Categories: State Parks, Historic Sites, Nature & Parks, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
3.5/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web
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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  • This is a fun state park to visit so be sure and make the short drive to see it when you visit Billings, MT The caves are very close to the visitors center so not a strenuous hike at all. Lots of info...  read more »
  • The site includes 3 caves, reached by a short walk. Native Americans visited the site and drew pictographs for approximately 9,000 years. It's very interesting--start in the visitor center which has g...  read more »
  • The pictograph caves depict writings and drawings of Native Americans within the area. This is a beautiful area, it has multiple caves all of which are a hike to get to. This area is perfect to visit ...  read more »
  • This place should be a world heritage site. Absolutely amazing, beautiful, well staffed, clean and friendly. I'll be bringing my entire family back. The bad reviews on here must be from someone who thinks 6$ a car load is too much to ask for the preservation and viewing of the oldest evidence of human existence on the northern plains. This place is what every state park should be: engaging, educational, relaxing, and astonishingly beautiful.
  • Beautiful park with great views. Enjoyed the visitors center, they have a nice exhibit showing various artifacts found in the caves and describing the archaeological work done at the site.
  • Take the short drive outside of Billings!! This site is fading with time. The pictographs are almost gone. The history is well documented and the area is beautiful. There are a few caves and worth walking around to each one. Not really handicap accessible to all the caves, but the main cave IS accessible.
  • Very interesting to view the history in this area. I was especially interested in the arrowheads and tools that have been found at the site. If you are just there looking without reading the information and imagining the people who lived there you may be disappointed. Imagining myself living in those caves gives it a whole new perspective. I found the staff to be courteous, helpful, and friendly. It is interesting that the 3 negative reviews are from people who did not actually tour the park. 2 commenting on an incident which they did not actually observe, It seems that being offended is the new national pastime.
  • Very nice all mountains and plain areas with greeneries,very much scenic,marvalous.
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