Billings, Little Big Horn, and the Montana Plains

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Billings, Little Big Horn, and the Montana Plains - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

Sort by: 68 Recommendations {{numTotalPoiResults}} {{ (numTotalPoiResults===1)?'Recommendation':'Recommendations' }} 0 Recommendations
  • 1. C.M. Russell Museum Complex

    This 76,000-square-foot complex houses the largest collection of original art and personal objects of legendary cowboy artist Charlie Russell (1864–1926). Russell's more than 4,000 works of art—sculptures, watercolors, oil paintings—primarily portray the vanishing era of the Old West. His log studio and home, built at the turn of the 20th century, are adjacent to the main galleries. A highlight is the bison exhibit: more than 1,000 objects are used to tell the epic story of this Western icon, and you feel the floor tremble as you experience the sensation of being in the middle of a stampede. Also here are collections of paintings by other 19th-century and modern Western artists, interactive exhibits, and a research library.

    400 13th St. N, Great Falls, Montana, 59401, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $14, Closed Tues. and Wed., May–Sept., daily 9–6; Oct.–Apr., Tues.–Sat. 10–5
  • 2. Museum of the Upper Missouri

    Covering the era from 1800 to 1900, the Museum of the Upper Missouri highlights the importance of Fort Benton and the role it played as a trading post, military fort, and the head of steamboat navigation. In the summer there are daily guided tours at the adjacent Old Fort Benton, considered the birthplace of Montana; its 1846 blockhouse is the oldest standing structure in the state.

    20th St., Fort Benton, Montana, 59442, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $15 (for all Fort Benton museums), Closed Oct.--May 21, May–Sept., Mon.–Sat. 10–4, Sun. noon–4, tours of fort at 10:30 and 1:30; other months by appointment only
  • 3. Pictograph Cave State Park

    Once home to prehistoric hunters, this spot has yielded more than 30,000 artifacts related to early human history. A paved 3/4-mile trail affords views of the 2,200-year-old cave paintings depicting animal and human figures; if you bring binoculars, you'll be able to appreciate better the subtle detail of the artwork. The largest cave is 160 feet wide and 45 feet deep. A visitor center, open daily in the summer, houses an interpretive area and a gift shop.

    3401 Coburn Rd., Billings, Montana, 59101, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $8 for out-of-state vehicles, Closed Mon. and Tues. late Sept.--late May, May–Aug., daily 8–8; Sept.–Apr., daily 11–7
  • 4. Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range

    When Spanish explorers introduced horses to the Americas, some of the animals inevitably escaped and roamed wild across the land. You can see some of the last members of these breeds in the Pryor Mountain Wild Horse Range, the first such nationally designated refuge. Approximately 120 horses, generally broken into small family groupings, roam these arid slopes with bighorn sheep, elk, deer, and mountain lions. Coat variations such as grulla, blue roan, dun, and sabino indicate Spanish lineage, as do markings such as dorsal stripes, zebra stripes on the legs, and a stripe on the withers. The best way to view the herds is simply to drive along Highway 37 and look out your window.

    Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Montana, 59035, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 5. Arapooish Fishing Access Site

    The Arapooish Fishing Access Site, 2½ miles northeast of Hardin, is a favorite spot among locals, who pack the family up, set up in a shaded picnic area, cast a line into the Bighorn River, and have a cookout. It's also a prime bird-watching venue.

    Hardin, Montana, 59034, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Daily dawn–dusk
  • Recommended Fodor’s Video

  • 6. Beaver Creek Park

    Set in the ancient Bears Paw Mountains, about 10 miles south of town, is the 10,000-acre Beaver Creek Park, the largest county park in the country. It's a favorite spot for locals, who come here to fish in the two lakes and winding Beaver Creek, camp, picnic, and enjoy the grassy foothills and timbered ridges of this island mountain range surrounded by dryland wheat fields.

    17863 Beaver Creek Rd., Havre, Montana, 59501, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10, Daily 24 hrs
  • 7. Big Snowy

    The second-highest point in the Big Snowies is Big Snowy, also called Old Baldy. Just 41 feet shorter than Greathouse Peak, the 8,640-foot-high mountain makes an enjoyable climb. A designated path, Maynard Ridge Trail, follows an old jeep road almost to the summit. The peak is a barren plateau with a small rocky outcropping marking the highest point.

    Red Hill Rd., Montana, 59479, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Daily; automobile access seasonally restricted by deep snow
  • 8. Big Springs Trout Hatchery

    At the head of one of the purest cold-water springs in the world is the Big Springs Trout Hatchery. The state's largest cold-water production station nurtures several species of trout and kokanee salmon. The show pond, where you can view oddities such as albino rainbow trout and perhaps even fish weighing a monstrous 15 pounds, is a popular attraction, but the hatchery grounds are a sight in and of themselves and a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic under giant willow and cottonwood trees. You can see the place where Big Spring Creek spurts from the earth, and the native wildlife—including white-tailed deer, beavers, wood ducks, and belted kingfishers—makes frequent appearances.

    2035 Fish Hatchery Rd., Lewistown, Montana, 59457, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed weekends, Daily dawn–dusk
  • 9. Bighorn County Historical Museum and Visitor Information Center

    Focusing on Native American and early homestead settlement, the 35-acre Bighorn County Historical Museum and Visitor Information Center complex comprises 24 historic buildings that have been relocated to the site. The buildings are open May 1–October 1, and interpretive exhibits in the museum explore the region's Native American and pioneer history. Friendly staff and volunteers help bring life to the museum.

    1163 3rd St. E, Hardin, Montana, 59034, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $6, Closed weekends Labor Day--Memorial Day, May–Sept., daily 8–6; Oct.–Apr., daily 9–5
  • 10. Black Eagle Falls

    On the north side of the historic part of town is 40-foot-high, 500-foot-wide Black Eagle Falls, one of the places where the Missouri River takes a sharp dive on its 500-foot descent through town. A pedestrian bridge from the parking area leading to an island alongside the falls makes a nice place to watch birds or the water. The adjacent golf courses and baseball diamond give the area plenty of green space and a seminatural feel, although it's hard not to notice the concrete dam looming above.

    Great Falls, Montana, 59401, USA
  • 11. Boothill Cemetery

    Atop the Rimrocks, north of downtown and adjacent to Swords Park, lie the graves of H.M. Muggins Taylor, the army scout who carried word of Custer's defeat through 180 miles of hostile territory; Western explorer Yellowstone Kelly; and several outlaws executed in territorial days. A sign tells the story of Crow warriors who blindfolded their horses before riding them off what's now known as Sacrifice Cliff in hopes that the gods would end a smallpox epidemic.

    Billings, Montana, 59105, USA
  • 12. Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge Self-Guided Auto Tour

    One of the best ways to experience the refuge is to take the 15-mile, 1½-hour self-guided auto tour around Lake Bowdoin. The one-way gravel road will expose you to a wide array of bird species and habitat types, and there are 11 signed stops along the way. The auto tour guide, available for download on the refuge's website, provides all the history and nature knowledge you'll need to get the most out of your experience. Depending on the time of year, you can expect to see a colony of gulls on Long Island and pelicans, cormorants, and blue herons on Pelican Islands. As always, spring and fall and early morning and evening will offer you the best opportunity to see wildlife. Don't forget your binoculars and camera.

    194 Bowdoin Auto Tour Rd., Malta, Montana, 59538, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 13. Bowdoin Wildlife Refuge Headquarters

    Visitor Center

    The Bowdoin Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, at the main entrance to Bowdoin, provides information on refuge conditions, species lists, a variety of mounted birds and mammals, and instructions for a drivable tour route.

    194 Bowdoin Auto Tour Rd., Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, 59538, USA
    406-654–2863-Bowdoin Refuge Auto Tour Rte.
  • 14. Bowdoin Wildlife Refuge Headquarters

    Visitor Center

    The Bowdoin Wildlife Refuge Headquarters, at the main entrance to Bowdoin, provides information on refuge conditions, species lists, a variety of mounted birds and mammals, and instructions for the auto tour.

    194 Bowdoin Auto Tour Rd., Bowdoin National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, 59538, USA
    406-654–2863-Bowdoin Refuge Auto Tour Rte.
  • 15. Cap Rock Nature Trail


    Interpretive signs explain the geology of the rock layers visible on the ½-mi loop of the Cap Rock Nature Trail, which begins on Cains Coulee Road, a few miles from the park entrance. The trail affords excellent views of a natural rock bridge. Beginning at the campground, the 1.5-mi Diane Gabriel Trail loops through both badlands and prairie terrain. At the halfway point a duck-billed-dinosaur fossil is embedded in a cliff. The.5-mi Kinney Coulee Trail starts about 4 mi south of the park entrance and leads 300 feet down a canyon. The terrain here is a bit more forested than elsewhere in the park, but the rock formations are the real stars.

    Makoshika State Park Rd., Makoshika State Park, Montana, 59330, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $5 per vehicle for nonresidents, free for Montana residents
  • 16. Central Montana Museum

    Pioneer relics, blacksmith and cowboy tools, guns, and Native American artifacts are displayed at the Central Montana Museum. The most popular new exhibit is a full-scale replica of a Torosaurus skull found just 65 miles away. Guided tours are available in the summer from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

    408 N.E. Main St., Lewistown, Montana, 59457, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Labor Day--Memorial Day, Memorial Day–Labor Day, daily 10–4.
  • 17. Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge

    Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

    Bordering the shores of Fort Peck Lake—and extending west more than 100 miles to U.S. 191—is the massive Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, a 1.1-million-acre preserve teeming with more than 200 species of birds, including bald eagles and game birds; 45 different mammals, including elk, bighorn sheep, antelope, prairie dogs, and deer; and a variety of fish and reptiles. But this is also a refuge for history: each year scientists from around the country march into the preserve, and each year they find something new, whether it's dinosaur bones, buffalo jumps, tepee rings, or an old homesteader's shack. The refuge, one of the largest under the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service's management, is open for hiking, horseback riding, fishing, boating, and other activities. Several access roads run through the area; most of these are unpaved, aside from U.S. 191, which runs north–south through the western edge of the refuge.

    Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 18. Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge Auto Tour Route

    Located along Highway 191, 55 miles southwest of Malta, this 20-mile all-weather gravel road allows visitors an up-close and personal view of the inner workings of the refuge. Interpretive stops along the way provide information on the wildlife, geology, and history of this unique landscape. Keep your eyes out for a rare sighting of an endangered black-footed ferret, as this part of the refuge protects one of the largest free-ranging populations in the world. Stop at the Slippery Ann Wildlife Viewing Area to look for elk and deer; early mornings and evenings are best. Expect to spend three or more hours on the drive.

    Malta, Montana, USA
  • 19. Charles M. Russell Wildlife Refuge Field Stations

    There are three staffed field stations in the refuge: the Sand Creek Wildlife Station, the Jordan Wildlife Station, and the Fort Peck Wildlife Station. Although they have no public facilities, they are conveniently scattered around the park, and are good sources of information, including maps, road conditions, and points of interest. If they're in, the rangers will help you with directions or problems.

    U.S. 91, Hwy. 200, and Hwy. 24, Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge, Montana, 59457, USA
  • 20. Charlie Russell Chew-Choo

    Discover the vistas that inspired Western artist Charles M. Russell on the Charlie Russell Chew-Choo, a vintage 1950s-era train that travels on the old Milwaukee Road tracks through some of the most beautiful and remote landscapes in the state. The tour, which departs from Kingston, about 10 miles northwest of Lewistown, covers 56 miles and lasts 3½ hours. It includes a prime-rib dinner and a cash bar as well as live entertainment and maybe even a holdup. On weekends before Christmas the Chew-Choo transforms into a prairie Polar Express, and there are special Halloween and New Year's Eve runs.

    408 N.E. Main St., Lewistown, Montana, 59457, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $100, June–Oct. and Dec., Sat. Call for departure times

No sights Results

Please try a broader search, or expore these popular suggestions:

There are no results for {{ strDestName }} Sights in the searched map area with the above filters. Please try a different area on the map, or broaden your search with these popular suggestions:

Recommended Fodor’s Video