Although the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (BBCW) is over 100 miles away, if you are in the area, and have the time, it would be a shame not to drive down to Cody, Wyoming to visit this wonderful, world class museum. Even if you are only a little interested in museums, this is a don’t miss. There are five sections to this museum. The Buffalo Bill Museum, for whom our town was named; the Whitney Gallery of Western Art with its wonderful paintings, sculptures, and art studio reproductions; the Plains Indian Museum, which is extensive and beautifully laid out, utilizing modern day technology; The Cody Firearms Museum with its huge collection of arms manufactured by Winchester and other major gun manufacturers; and the newest, the Draper Museum of Natural History. Located 53 miles from the East Entrance to Yellowstone, Cody is a small town snuggled up against the mountains, with lots to do and see. The locals are friendly and helpful and will try to make your stay an enjoyable one. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is open all year long, but if you happen to travel to Cody during the summer time, and have more than one day, you may also enjoy a visit to Old Trail Town, a smaller, but very unique museum with a collection of old early day buildings and western relics; a rodeo, float trips, or a variety of other activities. If you are interested in visiting Cody, see my Cody VT pages.
For additional information on Cody, you may also visit the website for the Cody Chamber of Commerce at www.codychamber.org.
All of my attached photos were taken at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. The main photo is of a display titled, Moving Camp, and shows a woman riding a horse pulling a travois with her family’s belongings. She has a baby in a cradle on her back. Photo two is from a Tepee Scene located in the Plain’s Indian Museum section of the BBCW. Notice the boat to the left of the tepee. Stop here to listen and watch the story, which is narrated by an American Indian. Photo three shows a recreation of Frederic Remington’s Studio. Remington was a famous western artist who lived from 1861 – 1909. There are a number of his paintings to be seen in the Whitney Art Museum area of the Center. Photo four is a mounted pronghorn antelope, which is located in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West's Draper Museum of Natural History. The last photo is of the Deadwood Stage, which was used in Bill Cody’s famous Wild West Show. This nine-passenger stagecoach may be seen in the Buffalo Bill section of the BBCH.
The contact information listed below is for the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is about 65 miles from Billing’s Logan International Airport. This monument preserves the history of Custer’s Last Stand, one of the last battles against the Plains Indians, who wished to preserve their ancestral way of life. In June, 1876 Lt. Colonel George Custer and the men of the 7th Calvary Regiment that served under him marched into the area of the Little Bighorn River, where the Indians were camped, and made a stand against several thousand Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians. The battle lasted for two days, with Custer and his men defeated, and over 263 soldiers and other U.S. army personnel losing their lives. Although this battle was a great victory of the Indians, it was their last major victory, before they were forced to give up their independent and nomadic way of life. The monument is 1.2 square miles in size, and is located within the Crow Indian Reservation. There is also a National Cemetery on the grounds of the monument.
For a more detailed description of this monument, visit my Bighorn National Battlefield pages at: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/3d935/c8e8b
4 miles south of Billings are pictograph caves. These are early drawings. There are actually 3 different caves. There are two you can get close to and the 3rd requires binoculars. The first cave is where the pictures really are. The second you can't see much of without binoculars. The third is the Ghost Cave where some have said they found stuff in pictures ... I didn't get any funny pictures. But as my son and I turned to walk away I saw he was stepping over a snake. I yelled before I could process it was only a garden snake. (There are rattlers out there.) He rolled his eyes at me and said it was just a garden snake. At which point I heard what could be laughter coming from the cave. It was probably an echo from my scream - but the other sounds more fun. LOL
To really see the size of the city, get a view from the "Rims" They are actually a rock formation that circles the city and if you head towards the airport, you are actually on top of the city's Rimrocks. Must See!!
This state park is only open from April 15 – October 15 and is considered to be one of the most significant archaeological sites in Montana. The state park features small caverns that sheltered early American Indian people. One of the caves is adorned with pictographs more than 2100 years old. The park has paved trails to the caves, with interpretative displays along the route giving you information about natural features, the pictographs, and plant life found in the area. The Pictograph Cave is the largest of the three main caves, about 160 feet wide and 45 feet deep. You will enjoy this visit more if you bring binoculars to get a better view of the rock art. Plan at least an hour to walk the ¼ mile loop. Note although paved trails lead to all three of the caves, the climb may be too challenging for some people. There is a day use fee of $5.00 per car for people who do not live in Montana. Pictograph Cave National Historic Landmark is located 7 miles southeast of Billings off I-90 at the Lockwood exit number 452, then 6 miles south on Coburn Road.
A historic re-enactment of the Battle of Little Big Horn. This event takes place in Hardin, MT. Hardin is about 50 miles outside of Billings heading east on I-90.
photo from billingsgazette.com