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Pictograph Cave State Park, Billings

(260+ reviews on the web)
State Park
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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • I hate to fault the people who work so hard to maintain this historic site, but there really isn't much left to see there. All I could find were a few blotches of dark paint; no animals or warriors or...  more »
  • My kids (ages 9 and 8) and I spent an hour walking here and enjoying the caves. It is pretty tough to see some of the pictographs; however, there are some very informative plaques that help your imagi...  more »
  • Great to explore and a short hike. Gravel paths. Tepe on site. Dog friendly . Two caves to view from path.  more »
Google
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Its amazing and full of natural wonder. Really something anyone who appreciates native history should see.
  • The caves we're naturally hollowed out areas about 30' deep. The drawings are almost impossible to see when dry.
  • Nice, but not spectacular enough to make any special trip here just if you happen to be passing by close.