Pictograph Cave State Park

Quick Facts

Pictograph Cave State Park

Montana

(406) 245-0227

Map Directions

Things To Do

Overview

Humans are but recent newcomers to this place now called Montana. However, when and how they arrived is still a mystery. Pictograph Cave State Park is a place to contemplate the origins of human habitation of Montana. The park is an ideal spot to enjoy a shady picnic, add to your birding life list, attend an interpretive program, or just take a stroll in the quiet outdoors. The Pictograph, Middle and Ghost cave complex was home to generations of prehistoric hunters. With its abundant wildlife and vegetation, the fertile river valley provided an ideal campsite for travelers. Located just 5 miles south of Billings, the Pictograph, Middle and Ghost cave complex was home to generations of prehistoric hunters. Over 30,000 artifacts have been identified from the park. A short paved trail allows you to view the rock paintings, known as pictographs, that are still visible in Pictograph Cave, the largest of the three. Interpretive signs tell the story of Montana's first professional archaeological studies and excavations. This site is a National Historic Landmark. A new, sandstone-hued interpretive center rises at the foot of rimrocks where Pictograph Cave has drawn human beings for over 3,000 years. Designed for high energy efficiency, the center features a classroom, restrooms, gift shop and indoor exhibits with replicas of artifacts - such as a wooden paint applicator and a bone turtle effigy - found during a Works Progress Administration excavation.

Map of Pictograph Cave (MT)

Latitude, Longitude: 45.737968, -108.431668

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Activities

  • Bicycling

    Explore the park by bike on roads and designated trails.

  • Hiking

    The park contains half a mile of hiking trails for visitors to explore the area by foot.

  • Historic Sites

    These caves were the site of Montana's first professional archaeological studies and excavations beginning in 1937. Over 30,000 artifacts have been identified from the park. A short paved trail allows visitors to view the rock paintings, known as pictographs, that are still visible in Pictograph Cave, the largest of the three. Interpretive signs tell the story of the archaelogical studies. Stop by the visitor center for more interpretive services.

  • Picnicking

    An unsheltered picnic area provides an ideal spot to enjoy a shady picnic. Tables and grills are provided.

Seasonality/Weather

June through August, Park is open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm, visitor center is open 9:00 am to 7:00 pm seven days a week. September, April and May, Park is open 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, visitor center is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week. October through March, Park is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, visitor center is open 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, Wednesday-Sunday.

Directions

Driving

In Billings on I-90 at Lockwood exit, then 5 miles south on Coburn Road. Phone number at the park is 406-245-0227.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(406) 245-0227

Links