Pictograph Cave State Park Trail

EASY 6 reviews

Pictograph Cave State Park Trail is a 0.9 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Billings, Montana that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
0.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
236 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

cave

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Pictograph Cave State Park is a place to contemplate the origins of human habitation in Montana. The Pictograph Cave site was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1964, because of its archeological significance. Today's visitors can enjoy a unique opportunity to explore the mystery of this extraordinary site and tour the new visitor center. Prehistoric hunters who camped in Pictograph Cave left behind artifacts and over 100 pictographs, or rock paintings. The oldest rock art in the cave is over 2,000 years old. Their interpretations are still subject to debate. The images of animals, warriors and even rifles tell a story that has lasted thousands of years. The park's three main caves - Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost cave - were home to generations of prehistoric hunters. The caves were carved from the Eagle sandstone cliff by the forces of water and wind. The first recorded 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, were excavated from the site. The pigments used in the rock art provide researchers to date when people inhabited the region and give insights into their lifestyle. The artifacts discovered allow researchers to pinpoint which native peoples used the caves and when they inhabited the region. The park has a pleasant 1/4 loop trail to the caves, with interpretative displays along the route identifying and explaining the natural features, the prehistoric paintings and vegetation found in the area. 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 enjoy the park, it's visitor center and trail. Also an excellent site for bird watching. There are picnic facilities available for day use only, but no camping is permitted. Visitors are encouraged to enjoy the new Visitor Center's interpretive displays and gift shop. The park is 23 acres in size and 3,500 feet in elevation.

hiking
13 days ago

1 month ago

Short and easy hike. Would be fun with children.

2 months ago

Easy trail. Fun for the kids to spend a nice afternoon outdoors. Great picnic area.

3 months ago

very steep and $6 for non resident but short walk and nice staff

4 months ago

The loop is worth doing once

hiking
11 months ago

It's more about the history than he trail, so amazing to see what the previous generations left behind.