Posted by: RasmaSandra | August 29, 2021

Billings On the Yellowstone River

Our armchair travels across the USA have taken us to the state of Montana. This western state has diverse terrain from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Plains.

Our first stop is Billings, Montana’s largest city on the banks of the Yellowstone River. The city is known as Montana’s trailhead and is surrounded by Big Sky landscapes and public spaces great for hiking.

The Rimrocks are a defining geological feature of Billings. These are a long wall of sandstone cliffs that run across the northern edge of town. It is a favorite place for sightseeing, watching sunsets, and in-city recreations.

The Rimrocks were deposited by an ancient inland seaway and carved out over millions of years by the Yellowstone River. You’ll find many trailheads here.

Zimmerman Park is a popular place to relax on the northwest side of town, It is also a place where you can go mountain biking and trail running. It is a favorite with rock climbers for its bolted climbing routes.

At Swords Park and Phipps Park you’ll find more Rimrock trails for exploring, You can get great views of the Yellowstone Valley and the Beartooth Mountains.

Moss Mansion was constructed in 1903 and is on the National Register of Historic Places, The mansion was built for entrepreneur Preston Boyd and his family, Many of the original furnishings and decorations have been well-preserved. Self guided and docent led tours are available. The museum hosts several events like the Springfest Artisians Fair and the Haunted Moss in autumn.

ZooMontana is a unique facility, It features natural habitats and animals adapted to the region. Animals making their home here include grizzly bears, gray wolves, and great horned owls. Many of these wild animals could not longer live in the wild but got a second chance at the zoo. There are natural barriers like ravines and cliffs.

Pictograph is a unique state park with a scenic five-mile drive southeast of Billings. The park is among the best state parks in Montana. It has three caves filled with archaeological wonder. About 30,000 artifacts have been recovered from Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost Cave within the park and include over 100 cave paintings some of which are over 2,000 years old.

An interpretive trail connects all three caves. At the entrance to the caves are plaques and other educational resources. Also in the park you’ll find restrooms and picnic areas.

The Yellowstone Art Museum or YAM is located in downtown Billings. It highlights artwork from the northern Rocky Mountain and Northern Plains regions. There is a permanent art collection of more than 7,300 works of art. Rotating exhibits are curated by local artists.

You can enjoy a self-guided tour through the museum, The museum also hosts educational programs for both children and adults.

DanWalt Gardens is located on the southeast side of the city, The gardens feature new blooms between April and October. There are collections of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. You can see ornamental statues.

Riverfront Park sits on the banks of the Yellowstone River. It has places for picnics, pavilions, and hiking trails. It is a great place to take a walk among nature. Most of the park is situated around Lake Josephine and along the shore you can find horseshoe pits and sand volleyball spots. There is boating and fishing available.

The Western Heritage Center has many stories about the history of the Yellowstone River Valley and Northern High Plains. In the museum are more than 35,000 artifacts . Self-guided and guided torus are available.

The museum is housed in the historic 1901 former Billings Library and features regularly rotating displays that range from indigenous cultural artifacts to wildlife and biology research, There are community programs among them a High Noon Lecture series and historic walking tours.

Lake Elmo State Park is located on the north side of Billings and around the shores of Lake Elmo. There are hiking trails and fishing from Roger’s Pier. Here you’ll find a playground, a swimming beach, and picnic tables around the lake. On the west banks is an off-leash dog park a favorite with dog owners, Boating is popular with only non-motorized boats.

The Pryor Mountains are a great experience and offer one of the most beautiful landscapes in Montana. There are two uplifted mountain blocks – Big Pryor Mountain and East Pryor Mountain. They lie between the state of Wyoming and Billings.

The plateaus rise high at about 8,000 feet. The surrounding area has nearly 1,000 species of plants and trees that are nearly 500 years old, The landscape has wildlife like bighorn sheep, mountain lions, golden eagles and calliope hummingbirds.

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  1. What a stunning place to visit! Nature at its rugged best! Thanks for sharing,

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour.

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