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“Lots of history here.”

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: The soldiers who died in Custer's Last Stand, now known as the Battle of Little Bighorn, are memorialized at this monument, featuring a statue of the legendary Custer, whose men were outnumbered and slaughtered in a battle against the Plains Indians.
Reviewed 7 August 2014

We spent between 4 & 6 hours here on a hot day in July. We arrived early because we heard the parking lot fills up fast with tour buses, and this is correct. By the time of the first ranger battle talk at 9AM, the bleacher seats were almost full. The ranger presentation was riveting, and couldn't have been better. Probably one of the best we have ever heard. We also took the Apsaalooke Reno-Benteen battlefield tour, which was enjoyable, but not nearly as informational as the ranger presentation. Our tour guide seemed really distracted and unfocused, and seemed to be having trouble remembering what she was supposed to say. I don't know if she was just having a bad day or what. We ended up driving back up to that portion of the battlefield and doing the cell phone tour and reading the interpretive boards, because we didn't feel like we really got the story. We also did the Monument walk with the ranger to the Last Stand Hill monument and the Indian Monument. Indian Monument is beautifully done, very impressive. Ranger talk was good. I did the Jr. Ranger program there, it was very interesting and comprehensive, but the ranger that gave me my badge didn't really look at what I had written in the pages, just checked to see that it was filled in. Had an interesting talk with him though, about a few other things, so very worthwhile. We saw the movie, and explored the exhibits. Both were good. I think there needs to be more bathrooms. There was always a line for the ladies room. For the amount of people that come here, I think they need a bigger Visitor Center. The movie was full, and there wasn't that much seating. The battlefield is scenery is beautiful, and its hard to imagine blood and gore and people killing each other in such a beautiful place. The history here is amazing. I have read a few books about this battle, and it seems like the full story will never been known. The ranger said they gained a lot of info about the battle from an archeological dig that took place here in the 80's after a grass fire. Interesting day here, glad we planned to do this.

1  Thank pwwtoy1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 6 August 2014

We are from an area densely populated with Civil War battlefields, and this was the first time we had been to a battlefield in the west. The museum/visitor center was small, but quaint and had a very nicely-stocked gift shop. The informational video played at different times than advertised, but we caught most of it, and it was worth seeing. We then listened to a ranger talk outside the building, but it was very similar to the narration on the film. If you have limited time, pick one or the other. The video is about 30 minutes long and the ranger talk is about 45 minutes. We opted to not drive around the battlefield loop, having seen a good idea from the monument viewpoints. Had we had more time there, we might have done so though as it didn't take too long. The Army monument was nice, but the Indian memorial was especially nice. There is a lovely piece of artwork adorning the circular memorial that features beautiful engravings of battle scenes and tribes that participated. We spent nearly 2 hours here and felt like we got a very good picture of the site.

Thank CarolTCK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2014

My companions really loved this place. The ranger talk was outstanding. Small museum area and small gift shop area. We chose to drive ourselves across the battlefield area using the signs at the turnouts and the mobile phone explanations. I imagine this is OK if you are interested in the history of the battle and what led up to it and what happened after. I personally am not a history person, but I did manage to get a sense of the battle by taking the drive. I was much more interested in the prairie, but there was not much about the flora and fauna on offer.

1  Thank AMDew1956
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 August 2014

We arrived at the monument on June 25, which was the 138th anniversary of the battle, so there were re-enactments and lots of people to talk to. I spent some time talking to one of the rangers, and got a certain perspective from him on the battle-- they no longer emphasize the mythology of Custer and his "last stand," but there's still a tendency that direction. I asked some fairly specific questions about the battle but never really got them answered. Maybe he was just too busy, what with the crowds and the re-enactments.
Then we walked around the battlefield a bit and up to the "last stand hill," and there, across the road from the monument itself, is a monument to the Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, and in front of it was a Sioux who was also a ranger. He seemed less pressed for time and we talked with him for over an hour. His perspective was a little different, of course. For him, Custer was just an arrogant killer who had disobeyed direct orders from his commanding officer and had attacked men, women and children who were camped down on the flats beside the river. They didn't even know who he was at the moment; they were simply defending their people. There was also the suggestion that Custer was, in fact, one of the first men killed as he was leading his men down the coulee toward the river-- he was in the lead when he was suddenly confronted by many warriors on horseback, and he was shot immediately but his men carried him away and up the coulee toward the hill.
The Park Service has small white markers, like headstones, where each soldier's body was found, and by following them you can clearly see the way the battle went. There is first one stone, then a couple more further toward the hill, then three or four more, then five or six more, and on up the hill to the top. At that point, unlike the myth, the native warriors hid below the crest of the hill behind other, very near hillocks, and rained arrows down on the top of the larger hill until there was no more firing from that area, and then they simply ran uphill and killed anyone still alive. We were told that it was all over "in the time it would take a man to eat a small meal.'
What I didn't know was the scale of the entire battlefield. It's actually spread out over about five miles. Custer had divided his force into roughly thirds-- one, commanded by Reno, was to ride down to the flats and attack the village. Another, commanded by Benteen, was to hold back in reserve atop the long ridge that parallels the river. The last third went farther upriver along the ridge. That was Custer's command. Reno's attack was repulsed by sheer numbers, so he retreated back up a coulee to a hill five miles from Custer's and dug in. He was eventually joined by Benteen. They were able to keep the enemy forces at bay because their hill had a longer field of fire so the warriors couldn't get close enough to launch arrows at them. They lost relatively few men. When the fighting was over at Custer's hill, the natives decamped and headed west into the mountains. Reno and Benteen and their forces then discovered the result of Custer's attack.
Custer wanted to be President. He was an ambitious and ruthless and prideful man, and the gods always punish hubris.

Thank Soggiorno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 5 August 2014

Seeing the terrain (which is unlike what most of us who are not of the West normally experience) and the large area it covered is a must in understanding the battle.
Ditto to what other reviewers have said about the excellent Ranger presentations. Suggest arriving in the morning and attending at least one if not more of the various types of presentations and short “field trips” before striking out on your own.
Except for the time it took to make a quick run into Hardin for a bite of lunch, my wife and I spent from about 10 in the morning until 7 in the evening there.
Note that some have reviewed this site under a “Little Big Horn Battlefield” listing.

Thank JiLy77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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