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A 2,000-Year-Old Story

The rock art in Pictograph, Middle, and Ghost caves--protected in the day-use Pictograph Cave State Park southeast of Billings--chronicles millennia of human history on the Great Plains. These caverns, tucked into a beautiful sandstone scarp along Bitter Creek above its mouth in the Yellowstone River, include 100-plus American Indian paintings of animal and human figures, the oldest of which are more than 2,000 years old. It's a poignant timetable: More recent images depict rifles. A visitor center and a short interpretive loop trail clue you in to the historical and ecological setting and of course the cave art, visible examples of which are easiest to study with the aid of binoculars. The caves also yielded thousands of artifacts, including stone tools and weaponry.

Open in Google Maps: 3401 Coburn Rd, Billings, MT 59101

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