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“Beautiful setting but almost faded away pictograghs.”

Pictograph Cave State Park
Ranked #7 of 70 things to do in Billings
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Pictograph Cave State Park is a National Historic Landmark known for its importance to Northern Plains Archaeology. Come learn about the rock art and artifacts found here dating thousands of years old. This 23 acre park features walking trails, stunning scenery, a green-design visitor's center, picnic grounds, museum displays, everything you need for a fun and educational visit! The site is well-known for its' spirit writing. Soluble minerals leach through the sandstone veiling the rock art, but when the wall becomes wet on rare instances, that veil of minerals will lift (becomes transparent) revealing what is hidden beneath. On a dry day you may see 5-9 pictographs, but on the brief, wet occurrences, 10-15 more images may appear in better detail. The Crow people believe that many of these images are drawn by the spirits, and whichever ones you see are meant to give you a personal message or even foretell future events.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 22 May 2014

Although PICTOGRAPH CAVE STATE PARK does not fall into the MUST SEE category, it definitely is worth a visit if you have the time. It’s a pleasant, peaceful drive from Billings. As other reviewers have stated, the pictographs can be an immense disappointment if you are not prepared. It definitely is not worth the time or effort to visit the park ONLY to see the pictographs. The pictographs are so faded that basically only some red is visible on one drawing. A small sign in front of the caves displays how the pictographs looked and there aren’t many.

The joy of visiting PICTOGRAPH CAVE STATE PARK is the scenery. The main cave is a short walk from the parking lot. The cave is small and is just the underside of a rock overhanging. Small and modest but rich in Native American history. A short walk away is a smaller cave with no drawings. I had time to spare after visiting THE LITTLE BIGHORN BATTELFIELD so I stopped at the PICTOGRAPH CAVE STATE PARK a little before closing time. The view was beautiful and I watched a hawk flying along the bluffs and encountered rabbits so it was a chance to be with nature. Again, it is worth a visit if you have the time, but if your time is limited, other sites in the area deserve more attention. Just go knowing the pictographs are so faded that almost nothing is visible.

1  Thank Jackbear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"visitor center"
in 26 reviews
"short hike"
in 11 reviews
"gravel path"
in 4 reviews
"enjoyable walk"
in 4 reviews
"picnic area"
in 11 reviews
"close to town"
in 5 reviews
"interesting place"
in 6 reviews
"native americans"
in 7 reviews
"couple of hours"
in 6 reviews
"beautiful area"
in 4 reviews
"interesting history"
in 4 reviews
"faded"
in 32 reviews
"ranger"
in 24 reviews
"drawing"
in 28 reviews
"visitors"
in 39 reviews
"ghost"
in 13 reviews
"snakes"
in 20 reviews
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244 - 248 of 331 reviews

Reviewed 15 May 2014

I've been here twice and really like it. They have a great little visitors center (very new) that includes a little gift shop for your souvenir shoppers, very pleasant and knowledgeable interpretive staff, and the upkeep on the grounds is excellent.

Some of the trails are paved (if you have walking issues be forewarned- you gotta go UP to get to the caves), and there are lots of picnic benches and standing grills in the shade for a lunch stop. If you're from out of state, five bucks'll get you in and give you a chance to learn some history, admire some cave art, and stretch your legs. Beautiful place.

1  Thank RDTrpQueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2014

This is a classic Montana Park, within the bounds of Billings. It is a series of caves along the rimrocks. It involves significant inclined trails not accessible for wheelchairs. Otherwise, this is a sleeper that is worth visiting.

1  Thank algologist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 April 2014

This location is just out of town but feels like a world away from modern civilization. The canyon walls are beautiful and it is just a short walk from the parking area up to the caves. The place has a ancient feeling, but the actual pictographs are fading into time. Still it is well worth the drive if you would like a nature walk shrouded in native american history.

1  Thank Rockingpk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 March 2014

I was sad more then disappointed ! The place is still worth a visit but sadly the 'Pictographs' have seen much better days and with the combination of weathering , earlier vandalism and father time their days are numbered. As a State Park our US NP Pass didn't work but the fee was minor and it was a pleasant , cold but clear day. The visitor centre and the Ranger staff were worth the stop and gave a good deal of information on the history of the Caves and the area.

Thank Skeney57
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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