Pictograph Cave State Park


2300 Lake Elmo Drive,Billings 59105,Billings Area

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Historic SitesIndian NationsCity and State Parks
General info

Pictograph Cave State Park is a truly unique glimpse into the past and a dreamland for archaeologists. Pictograph and Ghost Caves served as shelters for Native American inhabitants over 5,000 years ago. They would stop here to rest during hunting trips to make tools and left behind over 100 paintings that line the back walls in red, black, and white. In 1937, excavations began in the caves, resulting in a huge finding of Native American artifacts, tools, jewelry, and much more. This excavation also discovered the pictographs that date back to between 500 and 1900 A.D., depicting animals, men on horses, rituals, and costumes just to name a few.

William T. Mulloy was brought in around 1940, to study the findings of the major excavation. Through his observations, Mulloy discovered that Native Americans inhabited this area from as far back as 2600 B.C. Through this study, he also came up with a system for dating artifacts that are used by archeologists to this day.

The park is open from April through October. There is a day-use fee.

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