History Buffs

History Buffs

Unique Western history and adventure await you across our state parks and national monuments. Billings is your trailhead as you prepare to take in so many of these fantastic Montana experiences — all easily accessible from town. Whether it’s history or scenery, adventure or relaxation, you’ll find it in and around Billings. You only need to get in the car and drive towards extraordinary. Plan your Great American Road Trip today.

Historic Sites

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Located less than an hour from Billings, LITTLE BIGHORN BATTLEFIELD NATIONAL MONUMENT memorializes the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn which took place on June 25-26, 1876 between the United States Seventh Cavalry Regiment led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, and the Sioux and Cheyenne under the political and spiritual leadership of Sitting Bull.

Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Retrace the Lewis and Clark Expedition at POMPEYS PILLAR NATIONAL MONUMENT, where William Clark carved his name into this sandstone lookout rock, some of the only remaining physical evidence of the Expedition.  

Chief Plenty Coups State Park

Visit the log home and farmstead of Chief Plenty Coups at CHIEF PLENTY COUPS STATE PARK of the Crow tribe whose bravery, leadership and vision helped bridge the gap between two cultures. 

Pictograph Cave State Park

The PICTOGRAPH CAVE STATE PARK has been in the making for thousands of years! Explore three caves and see evidence of habitation from 2,000 years ago. Visit the Visitor Interpretive Center and explore ancient artifacts.

Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Southeast of Billings is the ROSEBUD BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK. This National Historic Landmark on the rolling prairie of eastern Montana preserves the site of the June 17, 1876 battle that was a harbinger to the Battle of Little Bighorn. 

Makoshika State Park

Photo by Nathan Satran, courtesy of Visit Southeast Montana

Travel where the tyrannosaurus and triceratops once roamed at MAKOSHIKA STATE PARK, Montana’s largest state park. Dinosaur fossils have been discovered across the 11,538-acre park. Pop into the onsite visitors center to check out the geology and fossil displays, including a triceratops skull. 

notable personalities of billings' past:

Preston Boyd Moss

Arriving in town in 1892, PRESTON BOYD MOSS, known as P.B., was a prominent figure in Billings’ business development. He was a well-known banker and entrepreneur, starting the forerunner to the Billings Gazette and the Billings Utility Company—along with many others. His legacy and impact on Billings’ early years is undeniable.


Frederick Billings

FREDERICK BILLINGS made a name for himself during the gold rush, eventually becoming California’s first Attorney General. Billings purchased one of the original twelfth interests in the Northern Pacific Railway and served as its president. As the railway expanded, his legacy left a lasting impression. So much so, Billings, Montana was named after him.

Yellowstone Kelly

LUTHER SAGE “YELLOWSTONE” KELLY was one of the most notable American veterans. Kelly was laid to rest in June of 1929 with full military honors overlooking the Yellowstone Valley. Today, the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site sits atop Sword’s Rimrock Park and overlooks downtown Billings. The site serves as a memorial to honor Kelly’s name and significant contributions.