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Yellowstone County

Yellowstone County is the most populous county in the state of Montana. As of the 2010 US census, the population was 147,972 and a 2018 estimate put the population at 160,137.

It’s county seat is Billings. The county is named for the Yellowstone River which roughly bisects the county flowing southwest to northeast. In turn, the river was named after the yellow Sandstone cliffs in what is Yellowstone County, MT.

history buff’s dream destination.

Lewis and Clark, Custer, Sitting Bull and Calamity Jane may be long gone, but they are not forgotten in Billings, MT. Museums, galleries and landmarks honoring these legendary characters from the Old West dot the city, making it a history buff’s dream destination.

The Western Heritage Center is located in downtown Billings in what once was the local library. The center is known for providing educational and outreach programs regarding the history of the people of the Yellowstone River Valley and local native American tribes.

The most recent of the exhibits includes a collection of silk-screen color reproductions of the Blackfeet tribal tipis and the legends that are associated to them as well as a history of the 1988 Yellowstone National Park fire.

Pictograph State Park is located 5 miles south of Billings. The Pictograph, Middle and Ghost caves were home to hunters and feature over 100 pictographs also know as rock paintings left behind.

The drawings of animals, warriors and even rifles can still be viewed by visitors and are still visible from a ¼ loop trail.

The Yellowstone Art Museum

Wise Wonders and the Yellowstone Art Museum are educational staples in the heart of downtown Billings. Wise Wonders provides a hands-on STEM learning experience in a fun and stimulating environment, and the museum is geared toward providing a family-friendly educational experience that will help to foster a lifetime of learning.

Zoo Montana, a 70-acre park is loaded with local as well as not-so-local wildlife. A stroll through the exhibits offers views of bears, otters, red pandas, and even tigers. A visit to the Homestead house includes an opportunity to feed goats, ducks and chickens and provides views of the large horses that live at the zoo.

The Zoo also features a great venue for local concerts and the annual Renaissance festival, holiday attractions for Halloween and a drive-in Christmas light display.

Reef Indoor Water Park

Located in the Big Horn Resort, the Reef indoor water park provides year-round access to a variety of indoor water-fun activities.

For the winter sports enthusiast, Centennial Ice Arena is open for a portion of the year and is Billing’s home for ice hockey, figure skating. Curling and the Billings Bulls hockey team.

Centennial is a 550-seat arena that provides a great opportunity to play a new sport, learn to skate, hold a birthday party, or cheer on an amateur hockey team.

Steep World is an indoor climbing gym featuring 40+-foot climbing walls that can accommodate the beginner, moderate and expert climber. Other available amenities include: a bouldering wall, fitness classes and exercise equipment.

scenic trip

Although Billings isn’t located in the heart of the mountains there are still numerous local trails that offer a getaway from the city. Two Moon Park, Norms Island, Phipps Park and Four Dances are all dog-friendly trails that offer a respite from the everyday.

If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, there are scenic lakes hiking trails just an hour or two from town. Located just an hour away from Billings, Red Lodge is close enough for an afternoon or a weekend getaway. Nestled at the base of the Beartooth Mountains, the main street of town offers local shopping and dining options.

Just outside of town are campsites, fishing spots, and hiking trails. In the winter, Red Lodge Mountain offers skiing, and snowboarding. Red Lodge is also at the start of or the end of the Bear Tooth Pass, an offers a scenic trip to Yellowstone Park during a portion of the year.