If you yearn for outdoor adventure, Billings provides nearly limitless opportunities thanks to our pristine lands, scenic beauty, and rugged, rustic charm. If you’re interested in cultural events, Billings will astound you with its impressive selection of music, theater, museums and dining. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find it in Billings, Montana’s Trailhead.
- Buffalo Bill Historical Center
- The Buffalo Bill Historical Center offers five fantastic museums under one roof!
The Buffalo Bill Museum examines both the personal and public lives of W.F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, and seeks to interpret his story in the context of the history and myth of the American West.
The Whitney Gallery of Western Art presents an outstanding collection of masterworks of the American West. Original paintings, sculptures and prints trace artistic interpretations of the West from the early 19th century to today.
The Plains Indian Museum features one of the country's largest and finest collections of Plains Indian art and artifacts. Explore the cultural histories, artistry and living traditions of Plains Indian peoples, including the Arapaho, Crow, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Comanche, Blackfeet, Sioux, Gros Ventre, Shoshone and Pawnee.
The Cody Firearms Museum contains the world's most comprehensive assemblage of American arms, as well as European arms dating to the 16th century.
The Draper Museum of Natural History integrates the humanities with natural sciences to interpret the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and adjacent intermountain basins.
The Harold McCracken Research Library advances the understanding, appreciation and study of the American West.
720 Sheridan Avenue
Cody, WY 82414
- Chief Plenty Coup State Park
- Situated within the Crow Reservation in south-central Montana, 40 minutes south of Billings, this park was the home of Plenty Coups, last chief of the Crow. This day-use park preserves the log home, sacred spring, and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups. Plan at least an hour to walk the grounds and browse through the small visitor center that traces the story of Chief Plenty Coups' life, and of the chief's efforts to lead his people in adopting the lifestyle of the white man. For more information visit www.nezperce.com/pcmain.html. Note: this site is not affiliated with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks.
- Custer Battlefield Museum
- A registered historic site, Garryowen, the only town within the Battlefield is located at I-90 Exit 514 just south of the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument and Custer National Cemetery. The site is just one-hour’s drive from Billings, Montana or from Sheridan, Wyoming. The Battle of the Little Bighorn began on this quiet riverbank when 7th Cavalry troops attacked Sitting Bull's camp in the first military action of the West's most famous battle. This grassy riverbank is where Major Marcus Reno's troops attacked Sitting Bull's camp on the afternoon of June 25th, 1876 under Lt. Col. George A. Custer's command. For a century the battle was known as "Custer's Last Stand" or the "Custer Massacre.”
From Garryowen, visitors can view all of the famous locations associated with the Battle of the Little Bighorn, including the site where Custer was last seen alive, Major Reno's hilltop defense site, Weir Point, Last Stand Hill, Medicine Tail Coulee, the Crow's Nest, and Wolf Mountains.
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is the burial site of one of the first casualties of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The granite tomb was dedicated during the Burial of the Hatchet Ceremony in 1926 at Garryowen, during the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn after the discovery of the Unknown Soldiers body when building the interstate. White Bull Sioux Indian and General Godfrey performed the ceremony in front of 50,000 observers. The Granite "Peace Memorial" behind the Tomb was dedicated on the 125th Anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
The town is now privately owned and operated by Christopher Kortlander. It is the site of the Custer Battlefield Museum, a Federal Post Office, Conoco Gas Station, convenience store, Subway sandwich shop, Historical Rarities and rest area.
The Custer Battlefield Museum houses extensive new exhibits including hundreds of Custer Battlefield artifacts from the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Plains Indian War period.
Documentaries are shown hourly in the theatre adjacent to the museum and give logistical battle bearings to visitors before they begin the historical voyage through the Museum, then move on to the Little Bighorn Battlefield. Important Indian War period artifacts and manuscripts related to Custer, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and the 7th Cavalry, as well as an acclaimed collection of highly historic photographs by D.F. Barry, are part of the exhibit. Preserved, for example, is the contract for Sitting Bull's appearance in the famous Buffalo Bill Wild West Show. This is the only contract signed by Sitting Bull known to exist.
The exhibit area houses a lock of Custer's Hair, Captain Tom W. Custer's Kerr revolver, Little Wolf's battle-worn eagle feather war bonnet, war clubs and trade knives, cavalry spurs and a U.S. Cavalry pistol dropped on the Reno retreat route - still fully loaded.
Significant collection of battle vintage beaded clothing on exhibit adds to bronzes, paintings, and other memorabilia to create an educational tour through the vanished American frontier.
For tourist and lodging information about Garryowen please feel free to call 406-638-1876.
Custer Battlefield Museum, Town Hall,
Garryowen, MT 59031
- Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
- This area memorializes one of the last armed efforts of the Northern Plains Indians to preserve their way of life. Here in 1876, 263 soldiers and attached personnel of the U.S. Army, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer, met death at the hands of several thousand Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is the site of the June 25, 1876 battle between the U.S. Army's 7th cavalry and several bands of Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho.
- Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame
- A committee was formed in 1998 to establish a permanent memorial to Montana professional cowboys and cowgirls who achieve national recognition in the sport of rodeo. The Montana Pro Rodeo Hall and Wall of Fame was formed to honor the achievements of Montana professional rodeo participants. The larger than life bronze statue, sculpted by Western Artist R. F. Rains, depicts ban Mortensen, six-time World Champion Bronc Rider riding Tee Box. The statue was unveiled October 15, 2002, along with the memorial wall containing the names of previous professional rodeo champions. The statue is located at the entrance to the MetraPark Arena located on the Yellowstone County Fairgrounds in Billings, Montana. There is no admission, and it can be viewed 24 hours a day as the statue and memorial wall are well lighted.
To be built in 2009 is a second monument wall that will recognize all Montana PRCA cowboys and cowgirls who have (1) qualified to compete in the NFR, (2) won a Montana Circuit Championship, (3) Rodeo legends, (4) Miss Rodeo Montana, (5) Rodeo Committees, and (6) Contract Personnel.
Available are 12 x 12 granite blocks of Montana Ranch Brands that will be placed on the exterior wall of the Rimrock Auto Arena. Proceeds from the sale of these brand blocks will fund the construction of the second wall, and then ongoing funds to be placed into the Scholarship Endowment Fund.
- Moss Mansion Historic House Museum
- Step into history with a one-hour guided tour of the Moss Mansion Historic House Museum. The tour captures early turn-of-the-century life as the Preston Boyd Moss family lived it. Visitors see original draperies, fixtures, furniture, Persian carpets and artifacts displayed in the 1903 red sandstone structure. Designed by the New York architect, Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, designer of the original Waldorf Astoria, Plaza Hotels, Willard Hotel, and Copley Hotel. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Moss Mansion has been included as a chapter in the book Great American Homes, published by Reader's Digest, on the A & E Network program on America's Castles entitled Frontier Castles, and in the National Geographic Guide to America's Great Houses.
914 Division St.
Billings, MT 59101
- Museum of Women's History
- The purpose of the Museum of Women's History:
To establish a museum for the preservation of women's history; To provide for study and research activities and for the dissemination of information about women's history; To facilitate the understanding of historical processes and events from the perspective of women; To accept and display artifacts which depict or illustrate the evolution of women's history.
The Museum of Women’s History was founded in May 1995 at Montana State University-Billings by Dorothy McLaughlin with the support of Chancellor Ronald Sexton. The Museum's first location was in the basement of McMullen Hall at Montana State University-Billings. The Museum quickly outgrew its space at the University and moved to the present downtown Billings location where it now has more room for exhibits, archives, and artifacts. There is also a research library and Museum office.
The Museum is open to everyone and the exhibits proudly reflect the lives of women everywhere -- not just Montana. It is a museum of all ages, for all ages. Exhibits feature women from all walks of life, all professions, all ethnic groups and perspectives locally and internationally. Admission is free and donations are gratefully accepted.
2822 3rd Ave N # B3
Billings, MT 59101
- Pictograph Cave State Park
- First there was the land, the mountains and the rivers. 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 pictographs are more than 2,100 years old. Their interpretations are still subject to great debate. Do they simply document hunts, or do they honor people or their scripts? The images of animals, warriors and even rifles tell a story that has lasted thousands of years. The three main caves - Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost cave complex was home to generations of prehistoric hunters. They were carved from the Eagle sandstone cliff by the forces of water and wind erosion. The first major discovery of artifacts and paintings in the caves was made in 1936.
Approximately 30,000 artifacts, ranging from stone tools, weapons, paintings and the instruments used, have been identified from the site. The red, black and white pigments used provide key information and evidence suggesting that the caves were first used by nomadic hunters seeking shelter. The artifacts discovered allow researchers to pinpoint which peoples used the caves and when they inhabited the region.
The park has paved trails to the caves, with interpretative displays along the route identifying and explaining the natural features, the prehistoric paintings and vegetation found in the area. The Pictograph Cave is the deepest of the three main caves, at approximately 160 feet wide and 45 feet deep. Visitors are advised to bring binoculars to get a better view of the rock art. Allow at least an hour to complete the pleasant .25-mile loop of the ancient rock paintings. Also an excellent site for bird watching. There are picnic facilities available for day use only, but no camping is permitted.
It is a National Historic Landmark. The park is 23 acres in size and 3,500 feet in elevation. It offers vault toilets, grills/fire rings, picnic tables, trashcans, and drinking water.
Bikes are not permitted on the trails, and the trails and cave are not disabled accessible (only the restroom, water fountain, and parking area.) Binoculars are very helpful in viewing the pictographs.
For non-resident visitors, the day use fee is $5 per vehicle.
Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks
Billings, MT 59105
- Pompeys Pillar National Monument
- Pompeys Pillar is a rock outcropping that rises 200 feet above the Yellowstone River 30 miles east of Billings. Pompeys Pillar is like a sandstone history book that reads like a who's who of western frontier history. Look on the rock face for the remains of animal drawings created by people who used the area for rendezvous, campsites, and hunting. In 1806 Captain William Clark carved his signature and the date in this rock. It is the only site on the trail where visible evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition may be viewed by the public.
Interpretive tours are available.
Admittance Rate: $3.00/vehicle Starting Memorial Day weekend and ending at the end of September.
- Swords Park and Black Otter Trail
- Swords Park and Black Otter Trail feature historic sites, scenic drives, jogging trails, a bike path and underdeveloped nature areas.
Download Swords Park Trail Map
- Western Heritage Center
- The Western Heritage Center is a regional museum whose collections, exhibits and programs tell the stories of life in the Yellowstone River Valley. Located in historic downtown Billings, the building that houses the Western Heritage Center is the former Parmly Billings Memorial Library, a Richardsonian Romanesque structure listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, the Western Heritage Center provides both long term and changing exhibits with interactive components, as well as educational programs for visitors of all ages. The museum cares for over 16,000 artifacts and an extensive collection that illustrates and documents the history of the Yellowstone River Valley.
Guided tours are available for groups with reservations.
2822 Montana Avenue
Billings, MT 59101
- Yellowstone County Museum
- Yellowstone County Museum was organized in 1953 and sits atop the rims at Logan International Airport overlooking the city of Billings and the scenic Yellowstone River Valley. Entrance to the more than 15,000 artifacts representing the area’s history is through a pioneer log cabin. The museum is free of charge and open 11 months of the year. It is truly a treasure chest of Montana's past and is supported by funding from Yellowstone County and private donations.
A wealthy cattleman’s den, a log cabin, built in Billings in 1892, houses a collection of items from the Yellowstone Valley. Included in the collection a ‘Roundup Wagon’ or ‘Chuck Wagon’ a sheep wagon, Native American artifacts, and cowboy and western artifacts. The museum is much larger than it appears as over 5,000 square feet of display area is located in the lower level.
1950 Terminal Circle
Billings, MT 59105
- Yellowstone National Park
- Welcome to Yellowstone National Park!
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park. Located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk. Preserved within Yellowstone National Park are Old Faithful and a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.