Walk through a period when the untamed Yellowstone River Valley was in her infancy. Places, people and images of the Valley from 1880-1940 showcase this interactive museum in the turn-of-the-century Western Heritage Center building. Open Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m .to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. and closed Monday. http://www.ywhc.org
Vital to the valley's early growth were the familiar chugging, black-smoke-belching steam engines. The last to operate in Billings overlooks the city it created at the Peter Yegen, Jr. Yellowstone County Museum. Authentic cowboy and Indian artifacts and more are part of this collection. Open Monday thru Friday 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and closed Sunday. www.yellowstonecountymuseum.org
The railroad brought prosperity to Billings, and prosperity brought Preston B. Moss. In 1901, architect H.J. Hardenbergh (designer of the Waldorf-Astoria and Plaza Hotels in New York City) created the elegant Moss estate. The three story Moss Mansion remains authentically furnished and open year-round. Hours are Monday thru Saturday 10 a.m . to 4 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 4 p.m. (May thru Labor Day). http://www.mossmansion.com
Before the white man, before the Crow Indian, and long before the buffalo, the western Indian hunted the woolly mammoth, and documented the hunt with cave paintings. Over 4,500 years ago, Pictograph Cave State Park was home to these Indians. Paintings are still visible. Open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (April 15 to October 15).
ZooMontana is a new regional zoological/botanical garden, the only one of its kind in the Northern Rockies. A habitat, more than a zoo. From ZooMontana's conception it was decided that this zoo should be more than a recreational collection of animals and plants. The goals include (1) the construction of a world-class zoological garden with respect to the quality of the habitats and animal management programs, (2) the development of a comprehensive education program, and (3) the development of a sound conservation biology program. The following are ZooMontana points of interest:
MetraPark is the states largest event center offering a year round schedule of concerts, conventions, rodeo, hockey and football in the 10,000 seat arena. Trade shows, agricultural, and equestrian events take place in the Expo Center and the Montana Pavilion. Motor sports and horse racing are held in the Grandstand. MetraPark is home to MontanaFair held annually the second full week of August. http://www.metrapark.com
Traveling for days without food or water, galloping on tired horses, and following a controversial commander, the 7th Cavalry collided with an overpowering Sioux and Cheyenne village in the Valley of the Little Bighorn. The infamous Gen. George Custer, over 600 soldiers, Crazy Horse, Chief Gall and over 3,000 warriors clashed 60 miles southeast of present-day Billings. Feel this historic moment at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
The epic exploration of the wild west was the 1804 - 1806 Lewis and Clark Expedition. Retrace their tracks at Pompeys Pillar , where William Clark carved his name into this sandstone lookout rock, the only remaining physical evidence of the expedition. Steps lead to Summit View Visitor Center.
Enjoy the nation's most beautiful drive, and Montana's highest peak, on Hwy 212 over the Beartooth Mountain Pass. This scenic pass, beginning just west of Red Lodge, MT, winds its way up to a lookout at almost 11,000 feet high. Red Lodge possesses all the charm and uniqueness one would expect of a small alpine town nestled into the Beartooth Mountains. This historic mining town is full of antique and western stores, boutiques, fine dining, nearby hiking and outdoor recreation.
Indian guides were a significant part of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. A display at the Chief Plenty Coups Memorial State Park offers a museum that acknowledges the Indian contribution to the expedition. The museum, dedicated to the Crow "Chief of all Chiefs," Plenty Coups, honors the magnificent history of these Indians.
Outdoor enthusiasts will be in awe of spectacular Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area and Yellowtail Dam. The 71 mile-long lake, straddling the Montana-Wyoming border is one of the largest canyons in the U.S. Yellowtail Dam creates one of the largest reservoirs on the Missouri River tributary system. The arch type dam is 525 feet high and is open for tours Memorial Day to Labor Day. http://www.nps.gov/bica/index.htm
Adventure Whitewater, Inc. as featured on ESPN, is a rafting company specializing in personal trips. Adventure Whitewater is certainly qualified to provide you with the whitewater adventure that will be the highlight of your Montana vacation. In addition to being featured on ESPN and Outdoor Life Network, our company has been featured in the pages of Canoe & Kayak, Outside and National Geographic Magazines.... Come and see why the critics rave about Adventure Whitewater! All our guides are whitewater specialists, trained in wilderness first aid and swift water rescue. Their great personalities have them in demand each and every season. We are the Whitewater Specialist! We know how to have Fun! http://www.adventurewhitewater.com/