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Boulder River Valley:
Pictographs, Caves, & Scenery

Big Timber marks the confluence of the Boulder and Yellowstone Rivers. The Boulder River Valley is a beautiful drive just south of Big Timber on Route 298. Occupied by the Crow Indians until 1882, the area was opened to settlers shortly thereafter. The discovery of gold and silver drew many settlers to the area, and farming and ranching became the mainstay that is still popular today. Many settlers built guest ranches along the Boulder Valley to accommodate travellers, and a few still remain today.

On this beautiful drive, you will pass Natural Bridge State Park and travel through the Gallatin National Forest which lines much of the Boulder River. The historic ranger station built in 1905 sits along Route 298. Native American Caves that used to shelter the Crow can be seen from the road just west of the ranger station. There are pictographs on the walls of one of the caves. As you head further down the Main Boulder, you can visit the ghost town of Independence.

Reprinted from “The Ultimate Montana Atlas & Travel Encyclopedia”

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