City Guide

Date posted: 04/30/2014

Discover and Explore the Pictograph Cave!

Pictograph State Park in Montana is one of the best places to spend a day out with the family. The park is a great location to be outdoors, be close to nature, and also take a step back in time to see the ancient rock paintings still visible in the caves. The three caves which make up the main attraction to the Park – Pictograph, Middle and Ghost caves – were all the prehistoric homes for generations of hunters thousands of years ago. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1964, a new visitor center is available and trails of varying difficulties enable visitors to get a close up to this special piece of American history. For families staying in hotels near the Pictograph State Park, be sure to attend this fun and family friendly event! 

More than 100 pictographs can be seen on the walls, with the oldest being around 2,000 years old. A number of important archaeological artefacts were also discovered in the caves, contributing to the debates which continue today over their use and occupancy. In the paintings, animals and warriors are clearly visible, creating a tangible connection to history which is incredibly powerful. In excess of 30,000 different artefacts have been discovered in the excavation of the sandstone caves, including stone tools, weapons, instruments and paintings, all of which can be examined.

A ¼ loop trail is available in the caves and has a number of displays for visitors to examine. The route offers information about natural features in the area, the plants and animals that inhabit the site and the prehistoric importance of this location. Pictograph Cave is approximately 45 feet deep, so guests are recommended to bring their binoculars in order to fully see into its depths. The new Visitor Center is able to offer a wealth of information on the history of the area. The center’s gift shop and interpretative displays are also very popular. Additionally, picnics are welcomed into the park, but there are no facilities for camping.


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