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.
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
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 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.
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.
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
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
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
Interpretive tours are available.
Admittance Rate: $3.00/vehicle Starting Memorial Day weekend and ending at the end of September.
Download Swords Rimrock Park Trail Map
Learn more about the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site
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
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
Luther Sage (Yellowstone) Kelly was one of the most notable American veterans, scouts, and warriors of his time. Born to an affluent family in upstate New York, Kelly obtained a fine education, but yearned for the adventure of the Wild West. Sitting back and waiting was not part of Kelly’s character, so at the age of 16, Kelly lied about his age, enlisted in the military, and the adventures of Yellowstone Kelly began.
Yellowstone Kelly was an authentic character of the American West. His real-life adventures have inspired many articles, books and even a Hollywood movie. He was a scholar and author, a veteran of 3 wars, an exceptional hunter and trader, and a key player in scouting and taming the Wild West. His friends and confidants included the likes of Col. Nelson A. Miles, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and President Teddy Roosevelt. His travels and military assignments took him from New York to the Dakotas and Montana, and from Alaska to the Philippines before retiring to a quieter life in California. In his twilight years, Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly requested to have his body buried in the land where his restless spirit had experienced its greatest adventures, stating
“I feel my body will rest better in Montana, the scene of my earlier activities, than it would in the vastness of Arlington, where I purposed having it laid.”
Would you like to know more? Read “Yellowstone Kelly from New York to Paradise”, an award-winning article by Jerry Keenan published in the Summer 1990 issue of Montana – The Magazine of Western History a publication of the Montana Historical Society.
Learn more about the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site Project
Watch a video about the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site
Swords Rimrock 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.