Billings

Overview

Introduction

Montana's largest city, 120 mi/193 km east of Bozeman, was established in 1882 with the coming of the railroad. Back in those days, Calamity Jane was a local celebrity. Today, Billings revolves around agriculture, transportation, medical services, education and oil refining.

While in town, visit the Western Heritage Center or the Peter Yegen Jr. Yellowstone County Museum, both of which focus on the city's frontier past. Other possibilities include the Yellowstone Art Museum (temporary and permanent exhibits, including works by many Montana artists) and the Moss Mansion (an early 1900s estate with unusual furnishings).

Outside of town, take the Chief Black Otter Trail north to drive on the Rimrocks, a natural formation that surrounds the city. Or head to Pictograph Cave State Park, 7 mi/11 km southeast of Billings, which has many prehistoric drawings. The Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area (40 mi/65 km southeast of town) offers camping, hiking and water recreation. And 35 mi/56 km south of Billings is Chief Plenty Coups State Park, which commemorates the Crow chief who was selected to represent all Native American Indians in 1921 at the dedication of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There, he placed his war bonnet and coup stick and prayed for peace for all men. The park contains his log house, a museum and Plenty Coups' burial site.

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