Where shadows of the towering Rimrocks meet the mystic waters of the Yellowstone River, Billings serves as Montana’s Trailhead for endless adventures under big Montana skies.
Billings is the state’s largest city and is home to days’ worth of exploring museums and cultural venues, rugged hiking and biking trails, boutique shopping, avant-garde restaurants and the Billings Brew Trail, Montana’s only walkable craft beer trail. And with many of the region’s most treasured experiences easily accessible from Billings, visitors can forge a path in any direction for a memorable journey.
To experience all the region, visitors can embark from Billings along the Great American Road Trip – a series of stops and attractions along some of Montana’s majestic highways and byways that treats travelers to some of the most iconic locales of the Western U.S.
First, spend a few days embracing Montana life in downtown Billings. Go for a leisurely hike or bike ride atop the 70-million-year-old Rimrocks at any (or all) of the local parks that provide access to the rock outcroppings along with stunning views of the city – Swords Park, Zimmerman Park and Four Dances Recreation Area.
Then, mingle with wildlife from Billings and beyond at ZooMontana, which is home to more than 50 different animals. Learn more about the Zoo’s animal rescue and community service programs, and take stroll in a gorgeous botanical park.
Explore three caves – Pictograph, Middle and Ghost Caves – at Pictograph Cave State Park and discover evidence of habitation in the region from more than 2,000 years. Along the trail, visitors encounter interpretative displays identifying and explaining the natural features, prehistoric paintings and vegetation found in the area.
Next, hop in the car and chart a course to discover some of the region’s most iconic monuments, parks and historical attractions that make up the Great American Road Trip.
Just 30 minutes outside of Billings, Pompeys Pillar National Monument is a rock outcropping reaching 120 feet and overlooking the Yellowstone River. Hundreds of markings, petroglyphs and inscriptions left by visitors, including William Clark of the famed Lewis and Clark Expedition, have transformed this geologic phenomenon into a living journal of the American West.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is your next stop and memorializes the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry, and the Lakotas and Cheyennes, in one of Native Americans’ last armed efforts to preserve their way of life. At this location on June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers, including Lt. Col. George A. Custer and personnel of the U.S. Army, died fighting several thousand Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.
Finally, no visit to Billings is complete without a trip along the Beartooth Highway, which meanders along some of the most extreme terrain in the world, with more than 20 mountain peaks stretching into big blue skies and connecting road trippers to the most beautiful entrance into Yellowstone National Park – the Nation’s first national park.
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