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Yellowstone County • Carbon County • Stillwater County • Big Horn County

Where to Go

What to Do

What to See




April 28 – Sept. 30: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. October: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Admission $7 Per Vehicle


and witness the only remaining evidence of the Expedition along the trail • Interpretive Programs • Displays and Events All Season! •

Free Admissions Events


Photos courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

Drive to the top of the world The Beartooth Highway was the brainchild of Dr. J.C.F. Siegfriedt, a local doctor who wanted to lure tourists to the Red Lodge area that was financially suffering from a waning coal industry. To obtain federal aid, Siegfriedt teamed up with O.H.P. Shelley, founder of Carbon County News, and Congressman Scott Leavitt. Together, the men successfully lobbied for the passage of the Park Approach Act in 1931. The act allocated funds to build roads to national parks. The pass was opened in 1936. The Beartooth Highway begins in the mountain town of Red Lodge and quickly starts climbing steep switchbacks. After winding 20 miles through 50-60 million-yearold mountains, you come to a pullout that provides excellent panoramas of the Beartooth Plateau. From here you can see the Hell Roaring and Silver Run Plateaus to the north. Glacier Lake is also visible, and if you look hard enough, you might even spot a mountain goat or other wildlife. From here, the road keeps ascending and reveals magnificent canyons carved by the Clark’s Fork River. Thirty miles from Red Lodge, you reach the summit of the pass at 10,974 feet. Shortly after, you come upon the only service area along the entire highway at the tiny settlement of Top of the

World. The descent provides views of many mountain lakes. Besides breathtaking landscapes, look for wildflowers and wildlife. Wildflowers grow below treeline in the summers. Indian Paintbrush, monkeyflower, senecio, buttercups, lupine, arrowleaf, balsamroot, beardstongue, and forget-me-nots are among the wildflowers that carpet the country along the Beartooth Highway. Drive with caution and keep your eyes peeled for mountain goats, bighorn sheep, mule deer, black bears, grizzly bears, and moose. When you decide to drive the Beartooth Scenic Highway, take your time. There are many excellent recreational opportunities along the way. There are numerous hiking trails off the road, including some that lead to Island Lake and Beartooth Lake. You can take off for a short day hike or a long multi-day trek. The Beartooth Loop National Recreation Trail is an excellent 15- to 20-mile hike that goes past the original site of Camp Sawtooth, formerly an exclusive vacation retreat. Cross country skiing is also possible in early June and July. The pass is closed to cars in the winter but is groomed for snowmobiles. For Friends of the Beartooth All-American Road email: info@

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The Explorer is published by Yellowstone Newspaper Group. 415 East Main Street, Laurel, MT 59044. Phone: 406-628-4412 Email: Managing Editor: Kathleen Gilluly Desiger: Evan Bruce Advertising: Linda Swaggerty, John Hart Copyright © 2018 by Outlook Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced by any means, mechanical or electronic, without the expressed consent of the publisher. Cover photo and the photos on these two page are courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

Yellowstone Newspaper Group is the publisher of the Laurel Outlook and the Welcome! Visitors Guide, weekly publications that serve the communities of Laurel and Billings, Montana. The century old Laurel Outlook is published every Thursday. It contains general news of local happenings in Laurel, Park City, Molt, and Joliet, as well as information from other communities around the Laurel trade area. The Welcome! Visitors Guide is a weekly entertainment and information publication that is distributed in hotels and motels in Billings, Laurel, Columbus, and Hardin. It is published weekly in Laurel and distributed on Thursdays. Both the Laurel Outlook and the Welcome! Visitors Guide are available online. For the Outlook, go to www., or find us on Facebook! (Note: Yellowstone Newspaper Group. is not a regulatory agency and, therefore, has no authority to inspect or direct the businesses or agencies included here.)


Yellowstone County

Visit Montana’s

Museum AT THE Montana Historical Society

Billings............................................................................ 5 Laurel........................................................................... 12 Lewis and Clark........................................................... 16

Stillwater County

The Stillwater Area...................................................... 18 Stillwater Events........................................................... 21

Carbon County

Beartooth Hwy............................................................... 1 The Carbon County Area...................................... 22, 26 Red Lodge.................................................................... 23

Big Horn County

The Big Horn Area...................................................... 28 Hardin Events.............................................................. 30

Big Medicine, Montana’s famed white bison

Shop the MUSEUM STORE for Montana made gifts and books

225 North Roberts, Helena (800) 243-9900 or (406) 444-2694

Explore online at - Explorer 2018 - 3

The front of the Chief ’s House (Photo by Donaldson) • Native Heritage Day (Photo by Fontana)

Chief Plenty Coups State Park Chief Plenty Coups State Park holds many attractions. Our Visitor Center hosts interactive exhibits about Crow culture and on the Chief ’s life along with our book/gift shop. Chief Plenty Coups’ National Historic Landmark house and store are preserved. There is a ¾ of a mile walking trail that winds around the park going past the sacred spring, the Chief ’s apple orchard, Pryor Creek, and the grave site for the chief, his wives and adopted daughter. Many people come to the sacred spring to enjoy the tranquility. There are picnic areas with barbeques, a playground, and horseshoe pits for pleasant afternoon picnics. The creation of this State Park was part of Chief Plenty Coups’ dream to have a space where all peoples could come together to learn about each other. Chief Plenty Coups’ life encompassed a period of transition from nomadic to a sedentary way of life for the Crow Tribe. There is a rich history here, preserved and protected by the Crow Tribe and the State of Montana. The Park hosts several cultural community events throughout the year. There are programs at the Park on select day’s during the summer months, Day of Honor and Heritage Day during September. In addition to public-welcome events, Chief Plenty Coups State Park also hosts teacher trainings and school field trips with standards-based curriculum, as well as tours for groups. During the summer, the park is an excellent choice for a day trip, a stop on a further road trip to Yellowtail Dam, or a stop-over point for travelers heading into the Pryor Mountains. Birders enjoy the park in both summer and winter as the Park hosts a stunning variety in both seasons. Winter sport lovers come to the Park in the winter time to cross-country ski or snowshoe.

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Photos courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

Yellowstone County

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9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Mon. - Fri., 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sat. WWW.COLLINSBIKESHOP.COM - Explorer 2018 - 5

Billings Billings Is “The Magic City”

Shaped by the Yellowstone River and sheltered by the sandstone Rimrocks, Billings is a place of forever views and forever memories, where urban amenities and modern convenience meet the edge of the genuine frontier. Where the adventure of the untamed wilderness and history are out your front door. Conveniently positioned in the region as the largest city between Calgary and Denver, Spokane and Minneapolis, Billings proudly serves a trade area of over 500,000 with diverse shopping, award-winning cuisine, arts and culture. Warm genuine people take the time to welcome you and greet you with a smile. Unparalleled access to some of the most breathtaking and historic wonders in the United States including Yellowstone National Park, Beartooth Highway, Bighorn Canyon, Little Bighorn Battlefield, and Pompeys Pillar make Billings an idyllic destination for connecting to the best that Montana offers.

About Billings

Billings, population of around 167,000, is located in south-central Montana. The county seat of Yellowstone County and largest city in the state, “The Magic City,” is the region’s economic hub. Major industries include agriculture, energy, healthcare, education and tourism. Popular attractions include the walking brewery district in Historic Downtown Billings, Montana’s only zoo and botanical park, contemporary and western museums, several theaters, music venues, a state-of-the-art public library, and a countless number of outdoor community festivals. The weather can range from over 100 degrees in the summer to below zero in the winter, offering ample opportunity for outdoor enthusiasts to experience all four seasons. More than 5,000 hotel rooms along with recreational, cultural and adventurous experiences, as well as numerous retail and restaurant offerings and several hundred thousand square feet of flexible meeting space are ready to accommodate any traveler’s needs and preferences.

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8 - Explorer 2018 -

Points of Interest Billings Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center

Be sure to stop by the Billings Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center, 815 South 27th St., near I-90 Exit 450. Enlist the help of one of the knowledgeable volunteers, pick up a map, a phone book, and a variety of visitor guides and begin your trek through Billings, Montana’s Trailhead. The visitor center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., call (406) 245-4111, or check out

Alberta Bair Theater

Nature Education Along the Yellowstone Summer Camps

Family Programs



Birthday Parties

Field Trips 7026 South Billings Blvd 406-294-5099


• Heated Salt Water Pool • Fitness Center • Free Hot Breakfast • Free Wi-Fi All of our rooms are suites with fully equipped kitchens. Enjoy your morning coffee in our luxurious seating areas.

2480 Grant Rd, Billings, MT • (406) 652-7106

The Alberta Bair Theater for Performing Arts (ABT), at 2801 Third Ave. North in Billings, opened in January of 1987. It is the largest performing arts theater between Minneapolis and Spokane and is home to the Billings Symphony and Community Concerts. Learn more by calling 406-256-6052 or visit

Babcock Theater

The two-story Babcock Theater building, at 2812 Second Ave. North, covers 1/4 of a city block in the center of downtown Billings. Built in 1907, it houses a 750-seat performing arts theater, apartments, and main floor retail spaces. The building has had only three owners in 106 years and has recently undergone extensive internal and external restoration. The building has been accepted for placement on the National Register of Historic Places. Look for events at

Billings Public Library

The 66,000 square foot Billings Public Library, designed by Will Bruder + Partners, opened Jan. 6, 2014. Features include a radiant atmosphere full of  natural light, a story time tower, easy-to-use checkout systems, public computing areas for children, teens and adults, free public wifi, comfortable seating throughout, community meeting rooms, study rooms, cafe - and much more. Hour are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Go to 510 N. Broadway or - Explorer 2018 - 9

Dehler Park

Dehler Park, on the corner of 10th Avenue North and 27th Street, is the home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball farm team, the Billings Mustangs. Get tickets at or 406-252-1241.


MetraPark - an arena pavilion, expo center and fairgrounds - is a community facility hosting events from ice shows, sporting events and concerts, to large trade shows, and the annual August MontanaFair and rodeo. The Rodeo Hall of Fame, with its memorial bronze sculpture and wall of champions, survived June 20, 2010, Father’s Day tornado. Take I-90 Lockwood Exit 452 and follow the signs to MetraPark at 308 Sixth Ave. North. Purchase event tickets at or 406-256-2400.

Boothill Cemetery Monument

The Boothill Cemetery Monument, on the corner of E. Airport Road and Route 87, is a burial ground for two score residents of Coulson - a rough and ready forerunner of Billings - most of whom “cashed it in with their boots on.” Buried here is Muggins Taylor, the scout who carried the news of Custer’s Last Stand to the world. The last burial at Boothill was in 1882.

Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 5 Office

The Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 5 office is located at 2300 Lake Elmo Dr. From Highway 87 or Main Street, turn west on Wicks Lane. Lake Elmo Drive is the first street. Turn right (north). The office is 1 mile north of Wicks Lane at Lake Elmo State Park. Learn more at 406-247-2940 or

Lake Elmo State Park

Bring your family and friends Lake Elmo State Park, 2300 Lake Elmo Drive. This 64-acre reservoir inside the city limits of Billings is a great place to swim, boat, sailboard, fish, picnic, birdwatch or stroll on the 1.4 mile hiking/nature trail. A special feature of Lake Elmo is its Dog Park. The 200-square-foot fenced in area includes a water area and is located on the west side of the lake. Each visitor is allowed a maximum of two dogs in this special area. Dogs must be 4 months or older. Dogs must be on a leash in all other areas of Lake Elmo State Park. The park is open daily all year from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Two Moon Park

Two Moon Park, named for the Northern Cheyenne chief who fought at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, borders the Yellowstone River on the south and a steep, forested bluff to the north. A grand loop trail runs around the park, but it is intertwined with numerous other paths and trails, some through open meadows and others ducking under Hansel-and-Gretel-like bowers. On the downstream end of the park, the Weeping Wall, shot through with seeping springs, attracts a great variety of birds and mantles the cliffside with sheaths of ice in the winter. At the upper entrance to Two Moon Park, you can hop onto the paved Dutcher Trail, which continues north to the far end of the Heights and upstream to Coulson Park.

Montana Audubon Conservation Education Center

The Montana Audubon Conservation Education Center strives to help sustain the natural heritage of the

Yellowstone River watershed through education and research. From Interstate 90, take Exit 447 traveling south on South Billings Boulevard for just short of a mile. The center is on the right, 7026 South Billings Blvd., Next to Norm’s Island Dog Park. Free admission. Check online for events and guided tours that happen year around.

Yellowstone County Museum

A hidden treasure western history enthusiasts will delight in discovering, the Yellowstone County Museum has exhibits dedicated to ranch life, historic firearms, and one of the largest collections of American Indian artifacts in the region. Stop by on you way out of the airport parking lot (on you right before you leave Terminal Cirlce, around the parking lot, in the log cabin.)

Shiloh Crossing

Billings newest shopping center. The home of Shiloh 14, the new movie theater, and Scheels. Get your shopping done at any of the many stores then get your thirst or hunger satisfied at the many restaurants, coffee, and desert shops.

Moss Mansion

Moss Mansion Historic House Museum. At 914 Division Street, you can park on any of the side streets and mind the one ways. Come and enjoy the guided tours thru the house. Explore the house and see original artwork, clothing, and artifacts showing the history of the historic Moss family mansion. Then swing through the massive garden, that’s used for several yearly events. Tues.-Sun.: Noon - 3 p.m.

More listings on next page…

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Downtown Billings

Downtown Billings has something for anyone. Spread from Montana Ave to 6th Ave N. and from Division St. and 20th St. Experience the best food in town. See the best shows that Billings own actors put on throughout the year. Shop around the two of the state’s biggest antique shops. Stay at the hotels and spend the whole day experience Downtown.

Downtown Brewer Trail

Downtown Billings is home to several breweries and each one is walking distance of each other. Spend the day going to each one and experience the taste of Montana.

Pictograph Cave State Park

Just south of exit 452 from Billings, the Pictograph, Middle and Ghost caves were home to generations of prehistoric hunters. A loop trail allows visitors to view the rock paintings, known as pictographs, that are still visible in Pictograph Cave. Start your visit at the visitor center.

Yellowstone Art Museum

The YAM was founded in 1964 in the former Yellowstone County Jail building. The YAM is a nationally recognized accredited museum through the American Alliance of Museums–one of only 2% of museums in the country to share this honor. The YAM hosts a contemporary art auction in the spring and a summer arts and crafts fair each year. The YAM is open year-round, six days a week. It is closed Mondays and selected national holidays. The YAM continues to retain its place as the leading contemporary art museum in the state of Montana.

Events in Billings Downtown ArtWalk

The 2018 season of ArtWalk is the first Friday of June, August, October, December 2018 and February 2019. Artists from all over the area come and display their artwork at various stores and businesses throughout Downtown Billings. Grab a map at any participating location and take a stroll to visit each spot. From 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. Yellowstone Art Museum is always open and free during ArtWalk often with special guests, music and shows. Stop at the Downtown Alliance for info on the

upcoming artists.

Downtown Farmers Market

Every Sat. starting mid-July • 8 a.m. - Noon The Yellowstone Valley Farmers’ Market 2018 season starts July 22nd and runs through October 7th every Saturday. It is downtown at the intersection of 2nd Ave. and N Broadway. Open 8 a.m. - Noon. The biggest farmers market in the area attracting a horde of sellers that takes up a 4-way intersection from streetlight to streetlight. Goods on sale include, fresh vegetables, honey, meat, plants, baked goods, and freshly cooked meals to name a few.

National Trails Day.

June 2nd Free Admission. Pompeys Pillar National Monument. 3039 Highway 312 Pompeys Pillar, MT.

30th SpringFest

June 2, Moss Mansion | 9 a.m. Join us for the 30th annual SpringFest at the Moss Mansion! This juried art festival features regional artists and their original handiwork for sale, musical entertainment and a wide variety of refreshments for every taste. The day begins with a pancake breakfast at 8:30 a.m., booths opening at 9:00 a.m., and as the sun powers up so does the fun! Shop and mingle among the booths and the gardens in the shade of the trees on the lovely grounds of the Moss Mansion until 4:00 p.m. Enjoy artist demonstrations and lively musical acts throughout the day. The mansion is also open all day at regular admission prices. 914 Division St. |

Montana Renaissance Festival

June 2-3, 2018 | Opens 10 a.m. Step back to a time when romance and chivalry abound. Enter a magical world where Knights, Lords, Ladies, and Fairies play, a time where people took pride in their craft and trade. Come thee hence and explore the Renaissance Festival! The largest event of its kind in this area, the Montana Renaissance Festival is a time to revel in the atmosphere of a 16th Century European Country Festival. Explore the bustling market place. Mingle and interact with costumed characters and enjoy their endless merriment and mayhem. The Festival will host the Knights of Epona in full

contact armored jousting tournaments! Watch gallant Knights defend their honor until the last man is left standing! Cheer your favorite Knight to victory as he competes for his Ladies’ honor in this thrilling full armored Joust. Visit the Montana Renaissance website for more details. It will be updated as entertainment and vendors are confirmed! Located at Zoo Montana. 2100 S. Shiloh Rd.

Strawberry Festival

June 9 | 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Located in the streets of downtown Billings, the Strawberry Festival is a long-time cherished community event that opens the summer season on the second Saturday in June. In the heart of our urban center, experience rich diversity in arts and crafts, fresh produce and strawberries, the scents of food-truck fare from Asian to BBQ , live street entertainment, and a 60′ strawberry shortcake created by the Chefs and Cooks of Montana. With an interactive children’s area including free crafts and activities for all ages, this draws people throughout the northwest region to Downtown Billings under Skypoint at 2nd Ave N. and Broadway.

Summerfair 2018

July 13-15 Summerfair is the region’s largest arts and crafts festival—an annual summer event featuring some of the best artisans, craftspeople, and entertainers in the area. This exciting event attracts more than 10,000 people and is a wonderful way to share the joy of art with friends and family. Summerfair Eve Friday, July 13 : 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July: 14 : 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, July 15: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Veterans Park, 13th St. West & Polly Dr., 406.248.8579

Montana Brews & BBQ

July 14, 1 - 11 p.m. The 8th annual Montana Brews & BBQ’s will take place Saturday, July 14th in the beautiful Lakeside setting at MetraPark. What makes this a true “Brewfest” is that it is outdoors and features only keg beers from Montana. Kegs are used because it offers the purest and freshest beer. It is the only true “Brewfest” in the state. All of the local breweries will be there along with many others from throughout the state. Many of

2018 Alive After 5 Schedule The Downtown Billings Alliance is pleased to announce the Alive After 5 summer schedule. The concert series will open with Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band on Thursday, June 7th from 5pm-8pm at the Pub Station, 2502 1st Ave. N. Alive After 5 will take place on Thursday evenings from 5-8pm in downtown Billings, starting on June 7th and continuing through August 30th. There will be no event on July 5th, the week of Independence Day. Every concert will take place at a different downtown venue, each with its own variety of music and cuisine. The entertainment will range from local favorites to nationally touring bands. Admission for Alive After 5 remains free for the public but includes a $2 cover charge for an alcohol wrist band. Details and band information can be found at

June 7 Pub Station -------- Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band June 14 Commons 1882 --------------------------------------- Exit 53 June 21 Last Chance Pub & Cider Mill------------ Parker Brown June 28 Hooligan's Sportsbar-- Bucky Beaver Ground Grippers July 12 Walker's Grill---------------- John Roberts Y Pan Blanco July 19 Montana Brewing Co.--------------------------The Wench July 26 Tiny's Tavern--------------------------------- Yabba Griffith Aug. 2 Café Italia---------------------------- Carolyn Wonderland Aug. 9 Wild Ginger-------------------------------- Brickhouse Band Aug. 16 Don Luis------------------------------------------ Dirty Power Aug. 23 Pita Pit ------------------------- Not Your Boyfriend's Band Aug. 30 Northern Hotel--------------------- The Midlife Chryslers

the breweries will showcase seasonal brews typically not available year round. Hours will be 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is free. MetraPark, 308 Sixth Ave. N.

31st Annual Big Sky State Games

July 20-22 The Big Sky State Games is an Olympic-style sports festival for people of all ages and abilities that reside in the Great State of Montana (and surrounding states). Various Locations. - Explorer 2018 - 11

First Annual Fall Festival

September 29th 5k Fun Run, pancake breakfast, display booths, food trucks, rock climbing wall, and much, much more. Family fun! Pompeys Pillar National Monument. 3039 Highway 312 Pompeys Pillar, MT.

Harvest Fest

July 27 @ 4 p.m. – July 28 @ 11 p.m. Billings Motorcycle Club®, 3630 Old Blue Creek Rd. Check online for schedule 406.855.9988 www.

Saturday, October 13 | 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Located in the center of downtown Billings under Skypoint at 2nd Ave. and Broadway, Harvestfest is a grand community fall festival taking place the second weekend of October. The finale of summer’s Farmers’ Market, Harvestfest celebrates the season with a rich diversity of arts and crafts, fresh produce, mums, pumpkins, pies, and the final offerings of farmers’ market produce. Strollers experience the aromas of food-truck fare like roasted nuts, steak sandwiches, and kettle corn. Live entertainment includes fiddlers and performing under Skypoint, the Pumpkin Pie baking contest judged by the Chefs and Cooks of Montana, and the popular Merchant Gift Basket Raffle featuring a tempting assortment of items donated by local businesses. With an interactive children’s area including free crafts and activities for all ages, this event draws people from all over the northwest region into the streets and businesses of downtown.

Montana Shakespeare in the Park


Signature Event

July 25th A day commemorating when Captain Clark visited and carved his name on the Pillar. Free admission and refreshments. Pompeys Pillar National Monument. 3039 Highway 312 Pompeys Pillar, MT.

100th Annual Great American Pro Championship Motorcycle Hill Climb

July 28-29, 6 p.m. Veterans Park. Performing, “Love’s Labour Lost” & “Othello.”


August 11-19 Hours Vary This years concert lineup includes Dustin Lynch, Kelly Clarks and Bret Michaels. MetraPark, 308 Sixth Ave. N. 406.256.2400

Fall Home Improvement Show

September 7 - 9, 2018 Billings hosts the Home Improvement Show twice a year. One of the states largest exposition shows with of over 400 vendors and thousands of dollars of prizes and giveaways, this show is one not to miss. It goes on at the MetraPark Expo Center and sprawls across several buildings and areas.

October 13 - 20, 2018 Northern International Livestock Exposition. Comprised of eight days of a combination of a threeday rodeo, week-long trade show and professional stock show, the NILE is the Billings biggest Western event of the year. Come down for the whole day starting at the trade show featuring anything western and food. The stock shows go on throughout the eight days with the pens open for the public to view the livestock. The rodeo is during the last three nights of the week.

Boo at the Zoo

Saturday, October 27 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Boo at the Zoo is a merry, not scary event! There will be games and activities, food vendors, festive decorations, lively entertainment and lots of candy! Regular Zoo admission day and free for Zoo members!


December 7, 8, 14, 15, 19-24, 26-27 ZooMontana , 2100 S. Shiloh Rd. www.zoomontana. org. Drive around ZooMontana and experience all the seasonal light displays.

Live Music

Local Band & Nation Sensations

Billings residents are music lovers and it’s reflected in the number of venues throughout the city and the concerts that happen every day of the week. You can find what bands are playing and where online and in the Welcome! Visitors Guide. If you want a rock concert, check out the Pubstation. If you want Dance and Techno, check out The Loft. The Garage at Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. has rock, country and bluegrass. MetraPark periodically holds concerts throughout the year with national bands and performers. Check the W!VG and for more music listings.

Alive After 5

Thursdays at 5 p.m. July - August From June 1st to August 31st, the series will take place on Thursday from 5-8 p.m., each at a different downtown venue. With live music by local, regional, and national artists, admission for Alive After 5 remains free to the public. For adults of age who’d like to enjoy drinking alcohol at this outdoor event, there is a $2 cover charge for an alcohol wrist band. These proceeds go to support the DBA, a non-profit organization that hosts community events and local outreach.

Magic City Blues

August 2 - 4 | Downtown Billings Every summer for fifteen years, Magic City Blues has attracted thousands and thousands of music fans from all across the country to Billings, the state’s largest city. Magic City Blues, an urban music festival in a rural state, is a signature event for the City of Billings and the State of Montana. We are proud of our natural Montana hospitality, unique setting, fabulous lineups, and the appeal of The Last Best Place. All events are subject to change. Check online for updates. Compiled with the help of and

Special Occasion

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$5 Off a $40 Purchase

$15 Off a $75 Purchase

$10 Off a $50 Purchase

$25 Off a $150 Purchase

1005 24th Street W, Billings • (406) 969-3777 • Find Us

12 - Explorer 2018 -


Crossroads Community

Laurel is at the center of Explorer Country. From here, travelers have several exciting options to choose from for their trip to adventure. Laurel’s city center Interstate 90, Exit 434 is one of the busiest in Montana. It’s no wonder, for this exit allows people to travel south to three extraordinary highways that go over the top of the world and into Yellowstone Park. Choose the adventure you want. Travel to Cody, Wyoming, then take Highway 20 to the East Entrance over Sylvan Pass. Or, before Cody, take the ultra-scenic Chief Joseph Highway north of Cody and join up with the Beartooth Highway to Cooke City and Silvergate at the Northeast Entrance. The adventurous won’t want to miss the opportunity to climb above timberline on the majestic Beartooth Highway south of Red Lodge, which leads to the Northeast Entrance. Laurel is also at the crossroads of the Mountain West and the Great Plains. It is the west entry to South Central Montana’s beautiful high plains prairie vacation land. And, it is the east entry to the majestic Yellowstone Country of South Central and Western Montana. No wonder people say it’s easy to go anywhere you want in Montana from Laurel. Laurel’s city population is around 7,000 in the city limits and approaches 10,000 within its school district, making it one of the largest Class A school districts in Montana.

What’s happening in Laurel Rock the Block | June through September Downtown Laurel comes alive with music and fun all summer long at “Rock the Block.” On select Friday evenings each month, the Laurel Alive organization sponsors popular bands for informal concerts in Laurel’s downtown Town Square. There is no admission fee. Beverages and food are available for purchase. Music gets started at 6 p.m. and continues until 9 p.m. Town Square is in the middle of downtown Laurel on First Avenue North. Bands that are playing. 6/15 Lunatic | 6/29, Cimmeron | 7/6, 7th Avenue Band | 7/20, Elk River| 8/3, 100 Proof | 8/17, Sanctuary | 8/31, Tanglewood - Explorer 2018 - 13

Fourth of July | July 4 6 a.m. Jaycee Pancake Breakfast | Fireman’s Park 6:30 a.m. Chief Joseph 8 mile Run, 7 am Chief Joseph 2 & 4 mile run 10 a.m. Food and Craft Fair 10 a.m. Kiddie Parade | 11 a.m. Parade Fireworks at dusk, Thompson Park It’s the biggest fireworks show in the state. Be in Laurel on the Fourth of July to see the state’s largest, most spectacular fireworks display! You won’t believe that this extravaganza is free. But it is! The Fourth of July is a fun-for-all celebration in Laurel. Activities begin the night before on July 3, with the Street Dance. Starting at 7 p.m. great music will fill the streets of downtown Laurel at this long-standing event. The all class reunion is July 2. The morning of the Fourth finds the Jaycees going strong, cooking pancakes for a community breakfast. Breakfast starts at 6 a.m. and continues until 11 a.m. Also on the morning of the Fourth, the Laurel Chamber of Commerce sponsors the Chief Joseph Run. This popular event is in its 19th year. It follows the route that members of the U.S. Cavalry rode in pursuit of the Nez Perce Indians in 1877 that led to the Canyon Creek Battle, north of what is today’s city of Laurel. Runners may choose from an eight-mile run, fourmile run or two-mile run. Early registration deadline is June 20. Participants may enter beginning at 6 a.m. on race day. The run begins at 7 a.m.

Licensed • Bonded • Insured Accepting All Major Cards Residential • Commercial • Industrial New Construction • Remodeling

808 W. Main • Laurel, MT • 628-8886

At 10 a.m., the Laurel Jaycees will host a Kiddie Parade. Then the Grand Parade begins at 11 a.m. Throughout the day, beginning at 8 a.m. and lasting until 9 p.m., the Laurel Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a food and craft fair on First Avenue North between the 700 and 800 blocks near Thomson Baseball Park. Music in Thomson Park begins at 6 p.m. Stretch your blanket and lawn chairs under the sky at dusk. Then hold on tight! When it gets dark, the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department presents an amazing display of fireworks. It’s free. It’s dazzling. It’s one of the biggest fireworks shows in the Northwest. Don’t miss this exciting event. Christmas to Remember Parade and Craft Fair First Sunday in December Laurel is brilliant at Christmas time. The business community lights, Santa’s workshop in the city center, and lights from the countryside to church altar make Laurel a true holiday jewel. On the first Sunday in December, a Parade of Lights down First Avenue in downtown Laurel at 5 p.m. features a lighted parade. Fireworks herald the arrival of Santa at approximately 5:30 p.m. All events are subject to change. Check online for updates.

14 - Explorer 2018 -


Laurel Chamber of Commerce | 108 East Main St., 406-628-8105 Stop at the Chamber of Commerce office for directions and information. The log cabin office and museum structure is a historic Department of Transportation building. The chamber cabin is located in a beautiful park known as Firemen’s Park where a statue of the famous Nez Perce Chief Joseph points the way for travelers to the site of the Canyon Creek Battle of 1877. Inside the chamber building is a collection of historical photographs of Laurel. Also, the chamber serves as a visitor information center with maps, brochures, and more about Montana, Wyoming, and Yellowstone Park. The Laurel Garden Club enhances the park with a flower garden. They have planted native wildflowers and plants around the interpretive displays. The old North School bell and school marker are part of the garden display. Airport | Three miles north of downtown. Laurel Municipal Airport-6S8 • 406-628-4595 The Laurel Airport is the busiest non-towered general aviation airport in the state and is located three miles north of Laurel at an elevation of 3,500 feet. The airport has three runways, two paved and one grass. The longest runway is 5,200 feet by 75 feet. Hangar building sites are available. Self-service fuel is available 24 hours per day. The fixed base operator at the Laurel Airport is Northern Skies Aviation, offering Part 141 Airplane and Helicopter flight training, charter, sightseeing, and general aircraft maintenance including annuals and repairs. Learn more at 628-2219 or

Public RV

Cenex Town and Country Convenience Center, just off the interstate at Exit 434, has an RV dump station for customers.


Laurel has a wonderful children’s playground in Kiwanis Park 1, located in the north end of town. Follow First Avenue North (Laurel’s main north/south route) to Mountainview Lane. Turn west and drive two blocks to Kids’ Kingdom playground. The municipal swimming pool is located near the center of town at Thomson Park 2. The park also has an events shelter, picnic tables, playground equipment, softball fields and volleyball areas. Thomson Park is also the location of the American Legion baseball field. Visitors can catch a game throughout the summer when the local baseball team, the Laurel Dodgers, is in town. A nice attraction at the edge of town is Laurel Lions Family Park 3 at South Pond. It has walking trails, a picnic shelter, restrooms, a graveled parking area and a paved area for handicap parking. Turf and irrigation systems have been added, thanks to the efforts of the Lions Club, the city of Laurel, and Montana Department of Transportation. Montana fishing licenses are required to fish for the pond’s trout. Snags are few. It’s perfect for kids. If fishing or boating is more your thing, check out Riverside Park 4. There you will find a camp ground (closed this year for repair,) a boat ramp access to the Yellowstone River, recreational buildings, hourseshoe pits, volleyball field, and picnic area.

Open Daily 6 AM - 10 PM


Self-Serve Gas | Diesel Car Wash Dog Wash | Storage Units Open 6:30 AM - 9 PM Daily

815 East Main Street | Laurel, MT • 406-628-4515


Over 30 Life Sized Historic & Wildlife bronze on permanent Display

• 3 Pool Tables • Liquor Store


406-628-7414 704 West Main | Laurel, MT

Alder Ave.

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(406) 628-7905

20 Montana Ave. • Laurel, MT •

S. Laur

16 - Explorer 2018 -

Above: The iconic images of Lewis, Clark and Sacagawea embodies the journey they took. Follow their trail through Montana and experience the story. Right: Sacagawea, a Lemhi Shoshone who became a mother on the trip, assisted as an interpreter for Lewis and Clark during their expedition. Left: A detailed map showing the course of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Captain William Clark was here! William Clark (Aug. 1, 1770-Sept. 1, 1838) was an American explorer, soldier, Indian agent, and territorial governor. Perhaps best known for his collaboration with Meriwether Lewis, Clark led the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803 to 1806 across the Louisiana Purchase to the Pacific Ocean, and claimed the Pacific Northwest for the United States. That historical journey led Clark through the heart of Explorer Country. Clark was born in Caroline County, Virginia, on Aug. 1, 1770, the ninth of ten children of John and Ann Rogers Clark. The Clarks were common planters in Virginia, owners of modest estates and a few slaves, and members of the Anglican Church. In 1803, Meriwether Lewis recruited Clark, then age 33, to share command of the newly formed Corps of Discovery, whose mission was to explore the territory of the Louisiana Purchase, establish trade with Native Americans and the sovereignty of the US. They were instructed to find a waterway to the Pacific Ocean and to lay claim to the Oregon territory for the United States before European nations had a chance to do the same. Clark spent three years on the expedition to the Pacific Coast, reaching the coast of present-day Oregon in November 1805. Although Clark was refused rank when Jefferson asked the Senate to appoint him, at Lewis’ insistence, he exercised equal authority, and continued the mission. Clark concentrated chiefly on the drawing of maps, the management of the expedition’s supplies, and leading hunting expeditions for game.

President Thomas Jefferson had specifically commanded Meriwether Lewis to follow the Missouri River to its source, so on the journey westward the expedition didn’t try to explore the Yellowstone River. Pausing at Traveler’s Rest, near present day Lolo, from June 30 to July 3, 1806, Lewis and Clark decided that it would be best to divide the group into separate parties, maximizing their exploratory range. Lewis went on to explore the Marias River. Meanwhile, Clark entered the Crow tribe’s territory to chart the Yellowstone River. On July 6, Clark recorded, “The Indian woman (Sacagawea) informed me that she had been in this plain frequently and knew it well.... She said we would discover a gap in the mountains in our direction...” which is now Gibbons Pass, a high mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains in Montana (el. 211 m./6945 ft.). A week later, on July 13, Sacagawea advised Clark to cross into the Yellowstone River basin at what is now known as the Bozeman Pass, a mountain pass situated approximately 13 miles east of the town of Bozeman, Montana and approximately 15 miles west of the town of Livingston, Montana, and between the Bridger and Gallatin mountain ranges (el. 1743 m./5819 ft.). This was later chosen as the optimal route for the Northern Pacific Railway to cross the continental divide. On July 18, somewhere west of present day Columbus, crew member George Gibbons sustained a puncture wound to his thigh while attempting to mount his horse loaded with

deer carcasses. The wound aggrieved him painfully and made horseback travel untenable. After traveling about 9 miles, Clark scouted Cottonwood trees large enough to make into two dugout canoes. On the north side of the Yellowstone River somewhere near Park City, Clark set up camp, where, according to his journal entry on Sunday, July 20, 1806, “I deturmined to have two Canoes made out of the largest of those trees and lash them together which will Cause them to be Stu[r]dy and fully Sufficient to take my Small party & Self with what little baggage we have down this river.” The party camped there until the 23rd, hewing watercraft with hand axes and losing 24 of their horses to Indian theft. On July 24, Clark and his team entered the waters of the Yellowstone, logging the Clark’s Fork of the Yellowstone south of present-day Laurel, Duck Creek, and Sacrifice Cliff east of present-day Billings. On the afternoon of July 25, 1806, Clark, York, Sacagawea, her infant son, Charbonneau, and four privates stopped at a river landmark, a jutting tower of yellow stone now known as Pompeys Pillar National Monument. Some of them climbed it, and viewed the surrounding panorama of mountain plains and wildlife. Clark carved his name and the date near some Indian - Explorer 2018 - 17

pictographs, which are not extant today. He apparently named the rock as “Pompy’s Tower” after the infant, whom he called “Pomp” or “Little Pomp.” On Aug. 3, 1806, Clark arrived at the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers and was joined by Lewis on Aug. 11. The Corps arrived in St. Louis on Sept. 23, 1806, ending their journey after two years, four months, and ten days. In 1822, Clark was appointed Superintendent of Indian Affairs by President Monroe. Clark remained in that position until his death; his title changed with the creation of the Office of Indian Affairs in 1824 and finally the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1829, both within the War Department. From 1824 to 1825, he was additionally appointed surveyor general of Illinois, Missouri and the Territory of Arkansaw (old spelling). Though Clark tried to maintain peaceful relations with indigenous nations and negotiated peace treaties, he was involved in President Andrew Jackson’s Indian removal policy, including the forced relocation of the Five Civilized Tribes. Clark died in St. Louis on Sept. 1, 1838, at age 68. He was buried in the Bellefontaine Cemetery, where a 35-foot (11 m) gray granite obelisk was erected to mark his grave. The cemetery has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Pompeys Pillar National Monument Visitor Center Pompeys Pillar National Monument is excited to announce that it is open for the summer beginning on April 28th. Open Hours April 28th – Sept. 30th: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. October: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Walk-ins from the front gate are always welcome after operating hours. $7 per vehicle. Interagency passes are honored and can be purchased at the fee station.

Famous Engraving

A boardwalk leads to Captain Clark’s signature and to the top of the Pillar for a great view of the surrounding landscape. There are stationary binoculars on top for better viewing. Trails lead visitors past interpretive signs, a replica of Captain Clark’s canoes, and a view of the 670 mile-long Yellowstone River. These several miles of hiking trails are a great place for bird and wildlife viewing. The Friends of Pompeys Pillar, in conjunction with the Bureau of Land Management, hosts a Signature Event on July 25th commemorating the day Clark visited and signed the Pillar.

Interpretive Center

The interpretive center offers various types of educational resources such as interactive displays and a movie theater. A junior ranger program is also provided by the Bureau of Land Management.

The Friends of Pompeys Pillar

The Friends of Pompeys Pillar is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1989 to support Pompeys Pillar National Monument, which contains the last physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1803-1806. Their mission is to preserve and protect the monument by educating visitors through interpretation, special projects, and support the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in its management of the site. The efforts of the Friends group was a driving force to get the site into the public lands domain, which resulted in the purchase of the historical land from the Foote family by the BLM in 1991. By working cooperatively with the BLM in the planning and administration of the site, the Friends group successfully accomplishes this mission.


The concrete Riverwalk, representing the Yellowstone River, begins in the parking lot and meanders through the interpretive center to the base of the Pillar. Signs along the path include quotes from Clark’s journals and tell the party’s experiences from their entry on the Yellowstone on July 15th, 1806, to their encampment at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers on August 3rd. Right: Pompey’s Pillar National Monument has a boardwalk that overlooks the Yellowstone River and valley.

18 - Explorer 2018 -

Stillwater County

Sheep Drive in Reed Point Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

Located in southcentral Montana, Stillwater County consists of 1,793 square miles with geographic features that range from the Beartooth Absaroka Wilderness Area at the southern end of the county, to the Stillwater and Yellowstone river valleys in the central section, to the lake basins, coulees and rolling plains at the northern end. Stillwater County has it all! Explore the Stillwater Valley, a 75-mile stretch of two lane roads that start at Columbus; travel through Absarokee to Fishtail, Dean and Nye. Discover our “Hidden Valley” where you’ll find the surroundings peaceful and the scenery breathtaking. The Lewis and Clark Expedition covered more miles in Montana than in any other state, not because of its size, but because the Corps split into four parties for the 1806 return trip, each with a different assignment and route. Follow Clark’s return through Reed Point, Columbus and Park City to Pompeys Pillar National Historic Monument, the only surviving physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Travel to Rapelje and Molt where the wildlife outnumber the people! Visit the Hailstone and Halfbreed National Wildlife Refuges, unique recreational and sightseeing opportunities.

Park City

Park City is located along the Yellowstone River, southwest of Laurel on I-90, at Exit 426. The community was originally known as Young’s Point. Alonzo Young established a boat land-

ing on the Yellowstone River near this site and opened a post office named Young’s Point in 1878. A prominent sandstone butte west of Park City on the south side of the Yellowstone River still bears his name. A colony of settlers from Wisconsin, arrived in 1882, planted a grove of elms and maples, and established their post office which they called Park City. When the Northern Pacific Railroad’s main line passed through the community shortly after that, the railroad constructed a station, calling it Rimrock for the sandstone cliffs north of town. The name Park City persisted, however. The homesteaders from Ripon, Wisconsin, came by covered wagon. They stayed in Park City and established prosperous farms and ranches, raising cattle, sugar beets, wheat, barley, and hay. Park City has the nickname of the “Garden Spot.” It is located just inside Stillwater County in south-central Montana. Park City has the lowest elevation in Stillwater County at 3,400 feet above sea level. The first known account of Park City appeared in the journal of Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Clark and his men journeyed down the Yellowstone after they split with Captain Lewis’ party. Clark’s party took a route that put them on the Yellowstone, and they explored the valley to where it flowed into the Missouri River. The notes of the party indicate that they spent a week in the valley where Young’s Point is located and hewed boats from the - Explorer 2018 - 19

giant cottonwoods that grew along the river. You can get to the Yellowstone River at the Sportsman’s Park Access, also known as Buffalo Mirage Access. Sportsman’s Park is located east of Park City on the south frontage Road between Laurel and Park City. The fishing access there is a favorite with local sportsmen and recreationists.


Columbus is the county seat of Stillwater County. The earliest reference to the site where Columbus now stands comes from Capt. William Clark, who entered what he called the Rosebud River here in 1806. The first permanent structure was an 1865 trading post, known as Eagle’s Nest. In 1879, the community moved and became known as Sheep Dip because the liquor distilled in the gulch north of town tasted more like insecticide than whiskey. In 1882, when the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived, the community moved a little closer to the confluence of the Yellowstone and Stillwater rivers and changed its name to Stillwater. Columbus is at least the fourth name and location for this community. It was bestowed in 1893 by the NP Railroad. Columbus is now a shipping center for the rich farm and ranch lands around it. Its greatest flurry of prosperity came when contractors chose the Columbus Quarry to furnish the stone for the state capitol building in Helena. This project and other contracts for the fine stone kept the quarries and the railroad busy for several years. Stillwater County has the Bozeman Trail, the Lewis and Clark Trail and the Yellowstone Trail running through it. Columbus is situated at the mouth of the Stillwater River where it flows into the mighty Yellowstone. From here, travelers can drive up the beautiful Stillwater Valley to the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains, the highest mountain range in Montana. Elevation ranges from 3,400 feet above sea level near Park City, in the east-central part of the county, to over 12,000 feet above

sea level near Granite Peak, the tallest mountain in Montana, on the southern boundary of Stillwater County. Columbus itself has plenty of outdoor recreation.

National Register

The New Atlas Bar was added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 2011. The 109-year-old building, known for its unusual architecture and unusual animal mounts draws curious visitors from all over the world. The walls would talk of the dance hall, a bit of a fire and its erstwhile bowling alley. See the Atlas at 528 E. Pike Ave.

Local attractions

Columbus is the home of the world-renowned Montana Silversmiths manufacturing headquarters. Other local attractions include a golf course, river rafting, fishing, horseback riding, city park, tennis courts, swimming pool, public campground, churches, modern hospital, clinic and nursing home. You will also find an assortment of good eating places. Call 406-322-4505 for more information. There are great camp sites near Columbus. One public access along the Yellowstone River is Itch-Kep-Pe Park. This park has 30 tent and trailer campsites, a boat ramp, restrooms, and drinking water. Please limit your stay to 14 days. Call 406-322-5313.

Museum of the Beartooths

Visit the Museum of the Beartooths in Columbus for an understanding of area history, including artifacts of the Rosebud River Crow Indians, Northern Pacific Railroad memorabilia and World War II history. Museum of the Beartooths reflects Stillwater County’s corner of Montana history. The main museum building outlines local

Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

20 - Explorer 2018 -

Montana Made Gifts • Rocks & Fossils • Jams & Jellies

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609 N. Diamond • Columbus, MT

9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Mon. - Sat. 406-290-5080 •

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603 East 8th Ave., Columbus, MT 406-321-5282 •

history back to the 1870s. It includes a gift shop and large exhibit area. The collections reflect the cultural mix of miners, frontiersmen, cattlemen, homesteaders and Native cultures who called Stillwater County home. On the museum grounds are the T.T. Brown Schoolhouse, the Albert Johnson Tack Shop, a blacksmith shop, a 6,000 square foot building that houses special large collections and a sizable outdoor area of farming equipment. Visitors may tour a 1960s Northern Pacific caboose, donated by Burlington Northern/Santa Fe Railroad. Also available is an extensive archive that includes the Jim Annin collection, thousands of photographs, local newspapers, oral histories, many original documents, and journals — all accessible for researchers. Call 406-322-4588 or visit The Museum is at I-90 Exit 408 to Columbus. Follow Highway 78 south to Fourth Avenue North. Turn right to Fifth Street, right again and go one block to Fifth Avenue. Museum hours are April 1 - December 30, Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. | Memorial Day thru Labor Day, Monday Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. & Saturday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The path of the Crow People

The Crow people lived for generations within the vast and beautiful Beartooth Front. By the 19th century, however, nonIndian influences began to encroach on their homeland and by mid-century, the U.S. Government established the First Crow Agency at Fort Parker, near present-day Livingston. In 1875, the agency moved south and east, near what is now Absarokee. For nine years, the Absaroka Agency, or Second Crow Agency, served as a place of transition for the Crow people. Abandoned in 1884, the place disappeared into the landscape, but not from memory. Now a newly developed driving tour allows Stillwater County visitors to learn about the events and locations essential to the cultural memory of the Crow people. Informational brochures and an accompanying map are available free at the Museum of the Beartooths in Columbus. A great way to enjoy this tour is in a vehicle filled with people: one to navigate, one to read the 10 points of interest, and the others to look and listen. Modern-day explorers will retrace the steps of Plenty Coups, his warriors, and white settlers from Park City as they attempt to reclaim stolen horses at the Rapelje/Hailstone Basin Battle. Then make your way south to the Yellowstone River, a misinterpretation of the Crow words for Elk Crossing River, where you’ll view the former locations of the region’s first booming enterprise — supply forts, illegal whiskey traders, and river ferries. From there, historic homes of the valley’s first Crow farmer-ranchers mark the path. The Museum of the Beartooths is located at 440 E. Fifth Ave. North in Columbus. The museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day, and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is by donation only.


15th Annual Montana BBQ Cook-off The Montana BBQ Cook-Off is a judged competition for cash and prizes. There is also a open competition! June 24 | S. Woodard Ave., Absarokee


Living The Dream 5K August 11, 2018 To serve our local community in Nathan’s memory through college scholarships and helping families in times of need. Registration: 8 a.m. Race: 9 a.m. Location: Columbus, MT (Railroad Park on Pike Ave.) Breakfast at the finish line Questions? Call Robin at (406) 322-8592, text (406)780-0464 or

Nitro National Pro Hillclimb June 15-16 | 6 p.m. Click here for more information: Golfing for History Tournament and Raffle For more information, contact the museum at 406-322-4588. Saturday, June 16 | 9 a.m. | Stillwater Golf Course Montana Shakespeare in the Parks July 10 | 6:30 p.m. | Heritage Park, Columbus Performing “Othello” Columbus Farmers Market Railroad Park, Columbus, MT Contact Andy Gladney at 406322-8648 for more details or with questions. Thrusdays, July 1 thru Sept. 14 | 4 - 6 p.m. Absarokee Days July 12 Parade at 11 a.m. Free music all day, food & car show. - Explorer 2018 - 21


Fishtail Days Saturday, June 23 | 7 a.m. Events begin with a pancake breakfast at 7 a.m. The infamous “two-mile parade in a one block town” begins at 11 a.m. The day’s events include vendors, events in the park, barbecue lunch, raffle and a duck race. The band “Hillbillings” will perform. Montana Shakespeare in the Park July11, 6:30 p.m. Fishtail Family Park. Performing, “Love’s Labour Lost.”


Nye Goes Nuts! The annual fun in the sun community wide event and fundraiser, will be held on July 14 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Volunteer Fire Department in Nye, Montana. June 15 | 4 - 8 p.m. | Nye VFD

Reed Point

2018 Yellowstone Boat Float We will kick off in Livingston at Mayors Landing. Rafts start launching from there at 8 a.m. on Friday and will go for 3 days to Reed Point where camping, food, drink and a street dance will be provided by the Water Hole Saloon and the Reed Point community. Friday, July 13-15, 2018 | 8 a.m. 29th Annual “Running of the Sheep” Sheep Drive Hundreds of sheep take to Reed Point’s main street during this Labor Day weekend staple. Events begin at 10 a.m. and include a street fair, parade and street dance. September 2 | 10 a.m. to late evening All events are subject to change. Check online for updates.

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MWWC #532 • MWC #271 • Over 60 Mounts • Two Headed Calf! •Beer, Booze & Gaming • Oldest Liquor License In Montana • Happy Hour Weekdays From 5 - 7 p.m.

P.O. Box 339 • Laurel, MT 59044 406-628-6364 • 406-628-6013

• On The National Register Of Historic Places

528 E. Pike Ave.,

Columbus Montana • 59019

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22 - Explorer 2018 -

Carbon County

Montana Candy Emporium in Red Lodge. Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development.

The Montana legislature created Carbon County from portions of Park and Yellowstone counties in 1895. The name honors the abundant coal at Bearcreek and Red Lodge, the county seat. Because of its outdoor recreational opportunities and proximity to the Beartooth Mountains and the northeast entrance to Yellowstone National Park, Carbon County’s village towns are now popular tourist destinations.


Originally named Merritt, Roberts began as a Northern Pacific Railroad siding in 1893. The town was platted in 1902, at which time residents adopted the name Roberts. Two stories explain its naming. One says that the town was named for Northern Pacific surveyor W. Milnor Roberts, who promoted the Yellowstone River route for the railroad. The more accepted story among locals is that it was named for Frank Roberts, the railroad express manager between Billings and Red Lodge at the turn of the twentieth century. There is a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks fishing access on Rock Creek near Roberts, and the community gives travelers headed for the Beartooth Mountains and Yellowstone Park an excellent stop for services and supplies.


Roscoe was first known as Morris, named after one of the founding families in the area. However, the name was changed after the post office experienced difficulty sorting mail for Norris and Morris, both in the old Madison County. Mrs. Morris, the postmistress at the time, took the name of one of her horses, Roscoe. Roscoe is located 14 miles south of Absarokee and 19 miles northwest of Red Lodge along Highway 78. It is approximately 60 miles southwest of Laurel. A great campsite near Roscoe is the Jimmy Joe Campground. Jimmy Joe Campground is located in Custer National Forest in South-central Montana.


The famous Bozeman Trail crossed Rock Creek near Joliet. Early day trappers plied their trade along the banks of the Clark’s Fork River and Rock Creek in this area. The construction of the Rocky Fork & Cooke City Railway in 1892 made Joliet a shipping point for agricultural products. Named for Joliet, Illinois, in 1895, the town unsuccessfully vied with Red Lodge to become the county seat of the new Carbon County. Joliet is situated along the banks of Rock Creek, which tumbles from the high Beartooth Mountains, then winds through ranching and agricultural land on its way to its confluence with the Clark’s Fork River. Home of the 212 Bar & Grill, pg. 27. - Explorer 2018 - 23

Red Lodge Red Lodge is a resort and ranching community with a colorful coal-mining past. At the base of the highest mountain range in Montana, the Beartooths, there are several mountain peaks rising over 12,000 feet, visible from Red Lodge. Red Lodge is surrounded by Custer National Forest. Its elevation is 5,555 feet. According to the 2013 census estimate, the population of Red Lodge is 2,125. Including the surrounding area, the population exceeds 2,500. Red Lodge, county seat of Carbon County (so named for its rich and numerous coal deposits), was established as a coal-mining community to fuel Northern Pacific Railroad locomotives after 1883. The name is derived from the Red Lodge clan of Crows who inhabited the valley at the time of Euro-American settlement. Production of coal from the Rocky Fork Mines began in 1887, although Yankee Jim George is credited with making coal deposit discoveries in the area as early as 1866. In 1889, the Northern Pacific built a branch line from Laurel to serve the new coal mines and the growing community. Dr. J. M. Fox, a friend of Northern Pacific president Henry Villard, ran the first mine, and by 1903 the town boasted a population of 3,000. By the mid-1930s, it was famous as a stopping point along the Red Lodge–Cooke City highway.

Area Attractions

Historic downtown Red Lodge features businesses built from the 1880s to 1915. At Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary, you can view and pet native wild and domestic animals. Wild animals are at the sanctuary because they cannot be returned to the wild. See elk, deer, pronghorn, bears, mountain lions, wolves, bobcats, foxes, and farm animals. The Carbon County Museum invites all those who are interested in the spirit of Montana’s pioneer heritage to view its exhibits.


Red Lodge offers a variety of year-round recreation opportunities. Just don’t forget the downtown shopping area. Red Lodge Mountain Ski Area, six miles from Red Lodge, is 9,416 ft. elevation with 65 trails; 17 percent are beginner, 45 percent are intermediate and 38 percent are advanced. Ski equipment rentals, sales and a child care center are available. The scheduled opener for skiing is November. Outdoor activities include snowmobiling, cross country skiing, fishing, hunting, hiking and camping in the Beartooth Mountains, horse-drawn wagon rides in summer and sled rides in winter, and swimming.

Foster & Logan’s Pub & Grill 17 S. Broadway, Red Lodge • 446-9080

20 Beers on Tap Full Bar ‘til 2 a.m.

Grill Open

11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m. Daily

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24 - Explorer 2018 -


the 3nd Annual Red Lodge Songwriter Festival.

Ridin’. Tickets available at www.

Founders Day at the Museum June 2 Celebrating the History of Red Lodge, admission to the Museum will be free

Wildlife Jamboree at the Yellowstone Wildlife Sanctuary Saturday, July 1 Here's the date we all wait for every year! Our Annual Wildlife Jamboree is always a great day for families and friends. Admission is free, animal encounters are free, and fun is free! There will be a silent auction, games and food (for a nominal price), and other activities. Donations are always welcome but this day is ours to give back to our community and our visitors. Wildlife Jamboree

50th Annual Beartooth Run July 14 This year, it has a new 10K course at 10,000-ft elevation on the top of the scenic Beartooth Pass. The new "10 at 10" course showcases awesome views from the top of Line Creek Plateau, including the prominent Bear's Tooth, which the area was named after. Along with its amazing vistas, this course is all above 10,000 feet, making it one of the highest road races in the United States. Runners can choose between a 5K and 10K distance.

First Friday Artwalk Head downtown for First Friday Art Walk 5-7 p.m. ish! This fabulous event is picking up steam and spreading throughout downtown businesses and galleries as a festive, fun, wonderful way to engage the community with the amazing artists that display their work. Some of the businesses participating this evening are: Honey’s Cafe Heist Studio and Gallery Red Lodge Clay Center

Red Lodge Music Festival June 2-10 The oldest and most successful music festival in Montana attracts over 200 students annually from Montana and other states, with talented faculty from universities, colleges, and symphony orchestras from across the nation. All concerts are held at the Red Lodge Civic Center. Red Lodge Songwriter Festival June 21-23 Join us to celebrate summer and listen to some of the country’s best songwriters in Red Lodge, Montana for

Red Lodge 4th of July Parade July 2-4 As always, the parades will begin promptly at noon all three days. For more information you can go to or Questions may be directed to Glory Mahan, Parade Director, (406) 446-1232 or Home of Champions Rodeo July 2-4 Join us for the 89th Home of Champions Rodeo featuring some of professional rodeo’s top cowboys and cowgirls. 89 Years of Ropin’ and

45th Annual Art in the Beartooths July 14 At the Carbon County Depot Gallery. This is our annual fundraiser and proceeds go to continue providing you, our community, and our many visitors the very best in arts programing throughout the year. 24rd Annual Beartooth Rally July 19-22 Plan on the 23rd Annual Beartooth Motorcycle Rally being better than ever! As always, this weekend promises lots of rides, food and fun and in the evening you can dance under the stars!! The whole town opens its arms for this

annual event. Hope to see you there! Cruisen Red Lodge Car and Bike Show July 27-29 Red Lodge's premiere summer car show! Ogle over your favorite classic cars as you share your favorite "auto" biography stories! 15th Annual Red Lodge Fun Run for Charities September 1 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk, 2-Mile Fun Walk, Toddler Trot, Free BBQ. 39th Annual Labor Day Arts Fair September 3 Enjoy the art and fine crafts from 90+ artists for one day only Lions Park, Red Lodge. Stroll the park and stop in the artists' booths. The Nitty Gritty Off Road Race September 8 This off-road race will be held at Red Lodge Mountain Resort. In its fifth year running, the Nitty Gritty is starting to earn quite the reputation. And that is, that it's, one nitty, gritty marathon with 14.7 miles of climbing (3,400-feet of elevation gain) all on dirt roads and single track trails. All events are subject to change. Check online for updates.

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26 - Explorer 2018 -


Boyd, near Joliet, was named for John Boyd, a homesteader on Rock Creek. It became a rural independent station in 1965. This is an irrigated area with crops watered by melting snow from the Beartooth Mountains flowing into Rock Creek. The area around Boyd is excellent farm and ranch country. At Boyd is the turnout to Cooney Dam. This popular recreation area is a state park. Adventurous travelers can drive all the way to Columbus or Absarokee over the Shane Ridge Road north of Cooney. The popular reservoir there is one of the finest walleye fisheries in Montana. It also is full of trout. It is a popular summer boating destination and a favorite among locals during the winter for ice fishing.


Silesia was named after the mineral springs in the area and is located along the Clark’s Fork River. One of the early inhabitants, Julius Lehrkind of eastern Germany, named the springs after his homeland province of Silesia.


Edgar is in the lower valley of the Clark’s Fork River. It was named for Henry Edgar, one of the discoverers of gold in Alder Gulch in Madison County. Edgar is located not far from the Crow Indian Reservation near Pryor, the home and gravesite of the well-known Crow chief, Plenty Coups. From Edgar, drive east on a gravel road approximately 17 miles to the Plenty Coups State Park. There is a display of Crow artifacts and history, and a scenic picnic area. From Pryor, a paved highway travels 41 miles east to Saint Xavier and the blue ribbon Bighorn River.

Fort Rockvale

Fort Rockvale is a junction where travelers decide whether to take Highway 212 to Red Lodge or Highway 310 to Wyoming. From Red Lodge, motorists can drive to the top of the world on the famous Beartooth Highway, which eventually enters Yellowstone Park at Cooke City/Silvergate, the Northeast entrance. Should the traveler decide to head for Cody, Wyo., here are two options for entering Yellowstone Park. North of Cody is one of the most beautiful mountain passes in America. The Chief Joseph Highway (296) winds up to Dead Indian Pass on its way to the Sunlight Basin. It eventually joins the Beartooth Highway on the Wyoming side and winds up at the Northeast entrance at Silvergate. Travelers may also find their way to Yellowstone from Cody. Driving west along the picturesque North Fork of the Shoshone River takes motorists to Sylvan Pass at the East entrance to Yellowstone. Rockvale is also the junction to the route south to the Bighorn Canyon and the Pryor Mountains. Home of the Fort Rockvale Restaurant and Casino & Quick Stop Drive In, pg 27.

Fromberg and Gebo

Gebo, named after Sam Gebo who opened the first coal mines near present-day Fromberg, enjoyed prosperity between 1899 and 1912. The town in its heyday included a drugstore, café, boardinghouse, confectionery, laundry, barbershop, post office, newspaper, and five bars. The mines closed in 1912 after the discovery of better grades of coal at Bearcreek and Red Lodge. Most of Gebo’s residents took their buildings and moved to Fromberg. However, the Gebo cemetery is still intact and is listed in the National Register. Some 200 graves are marked with wooden or iron crosses, or granite tombstones. Today, the area around Fromberg is a productive agricultural valley. Several farms have orchards with excellent apples available to the public for purchase. Irrigated crops include sugar beets and corn. Fromberg’s Clark’s Fork Valley Museum displays the history of the Clark’s Fork Valley. It is in one of the last class four, small, rural area railroad depots in the country. The depot, which is listed on the National Register, was built in 1899. Exhibits at Clark’s Fork Valley Museum include a one-room doctor’s office and a traditional homesteader’s cabin.


Bridger was named after one of the first white men to explore Yellowstone Park, Jim Bridger. Bridger scouted many of the trails and knew the mountains well. Bridger guided many people through the area. The area is best known for its farm economy. The Pryor Mountains are located east of Bridger and cover about 300,000 acres. Bridger is the gateway to the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area. Drive southeast on US Highway 310 to Lovell, Wyoming, then north on Wyoming Highway 37 to reach Devil’s Canyon Overlook. This scenic view of Bighorn Canyon is where the canyon crosscuts a 1,000-foot-high segment of the fault that makes up the Pryor Mountains. This rugged, desert-like country offers hiking, birding, and backcountry driving.


Belfry was named for Dr. William Belfry. The town was platted in 1905. The Yellowstone Park Railroad Company built into Belfry in 1906 and planned to continue the road up the Clark’s Fork Valley to Yellowstone Park, but this was never accomplished. Belfry is along the banks of the Clark’s Fork River, just north of the Wyoming border. There is National Forest access. Drive west of Belfry on Highway 308 through historic Bearcreek to Red Lodge. High school mascot is the Bats. As in Belfry Bats.


Bearcreek was named for the many bears that came along with berries — and sometimes are still seen in town along the creek. The town was founded between 1905 and 1906 on the wealth of vast coal deposits beneath it. The Brophy Mine, International, Bearcreek, Foster, and Smith were the big mines in this area. A devastating explosion at the Smith Mine on Feb. 27, 1943, killed 74 men in the first blast. After that tragedy, an exodus from Bearcreek left it almost a ghost town. - Explorer 2018 - 27

Fort Rockvale Restaurant and Casino • Salad Bar Everyday • Prime Rib On Weekends • Bingo On Tues. 7 p.m. • Live Music On Weekends

Located At The Junction Of Highway 212 And 310 Restaurant: 6:30 a.m - 8 p.m. Casino & Bar: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m. 406-962-3963

Look for the Ferris Wheel

Family Dining Hometown goodness with a smile and a thank you.

Grill: 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Separated Bar & Casino: 10 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Packaged Liquor 406-962-4212

600 West Front St., Joliet, MT

Rockvale, Montana • 4297 Hwy 310 • 406-962-3311

Try one of our Montana-Grown Huckleberry Shakes •

28 - Explorer 2018 -

Photo courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

Big Horn County Welcome to Big Horn County, the sixth largest county in Montana, at approximately 5,023 square miles, and with a population exceeding 13,000. The local government was established January 13, 1913. Hardin is the County Seat. Big Horn County is a land made up of varying jurisdictions. As you drive across the Crow and Northern Cheyenne Indian Nations, be aware that each has its own unique regulations and law enforcement agencies. The National Park Service maintains jurisdiction at Little Bighorn Battlefield and the Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area. The scenic Big Horn, Pryor and Wolf Mountain ranges are part of the Big Horn County landscape. Visitors may want to enjoy fishing the Big Horn, Little Big Horn, and Tongue Rivers which wind through this region. The spectacular Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area is host to water sports including boating, water skiing and more. Chief Plenty Coups State Park, at Pryor, contains much history of the Crow Indians. Among the primary attractions within Big Horn County is the Little Bighorn Battlefield, site of the defeat of Lt. Colonel George Custer and the 7th Calvary by a combined force of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors in 1876. Annual re-enactments of the battle occur each June . In August, Crow Agency, capital of the Crow Nation, hosts Crow Fair when the landscape is transformed by the addition of over 1,000 pitched teepees and thousands of people gathering for traditional dances, drumming and other events. Big Horn County is rich in culture and time-honored traditions. Enjoy Big Horn County and contact us, if we can be of assistance.


Hardin, 15 miles west of Little Bighorn (Custer) Battlefield, is situated on the banks of the Bighorn River. The town is surrounded by productive ranches and farms, and

the area is rich in history. General Custer meets his demise here every year. Civilized fun and comforts include a pioneer museum, an art gallery, trading posts, a variety of interesting shops, a kiddie playground, an indoor swimming pool and exercise rooms, and a golf course.

All the Comforts

Motels, campgrounds, and restaurants will keep you comfortable while you explore the Little Bighorn Battlefield and Custer National Cemetery, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Yellowtail Dam, and the Bighorn River. Besides being the home of Little Big Horn Days, Hardin has other events from rodeos and parades to street dances, art and craft shows, to quilt shows. See the calendar of events in this section, or call the Chamber of Commerce office at 406-665-1672 for details. Historians say the town was named for Samuel H. Hardin, a cattle man from Wyoming who leased tracts of land on the Crow Reservation to range his cattle. Local industry now includes farming and ranching, surface coal mining, fishing and recreational opportunities. You’ll see sugar beets, corn, wheat, and barley in the fields. The raising of beef cattle, sheep, hogs, and quarter horses is part of the livestock economic picture. Just east of Hardin, where the Little Bighorn River joins the Bighorn, is the island site where the Far West sternwheeler boat anchored on June 27, 1876, to evacuate the wounded from the Reno and Benteen battles. It was the Far West that carried survivors with the story of Custer’s defeat to the rest of the world.

Museum and Visitor Center

Big Horn County Historical Museum and State Visitor Center is easily accessible off Interstate 90, or Exit 495 through downtown Hardin. The museum is located on a 35-acre site, once a flour-

ishing vegetable farm that includes the original farmhouse and barn. Through the years 26 authentic historic structures from throughout the county have been moved to the site and restored. Each building features exhibits that represent that era. Along with the historic buildings, three structures were built on site to provide exhibit space for the horse drawn equipment, extensive collection of restored tractors and farm equipment, and a main exhibit building that serves as a visitor center, office and gift shop. Recent restoration projects include the Will James studio and a homestead house. This living storybook of early Montana shows the diversity of items that were used by early-day settlers. - Explorer 2018 - 29

3 days of Little Bighorn Battle

22-24 June 2018, 1 PM at Garryowen, MT

Historic District

Hardin’s Historic District starts near Railroad Street and Center Avenue through the 200 and 400 blocks, plus buildings facing Third Street from Cheyenne Avenue to Crow Avenue. The District earned a listing on the National Historic Register in 1984.

Little Bighorn Battlefield

I-90 Exit 510, 406-638-2621. Open year round. Located near Crow Agency, on Highway 212 (I-90 Exit 510), Little Bighorn Battlefield is just 15 miles east of Hardin.

Ride our Custer’s Last Ride 8 day Adventure 17-24 June 2018 & 16-23 June 2019. 3 day riding & History Battle Ride 7-9 Sep 2018. History, Horsemanship, Tactics, & Staff Rides.

Call (406) 461-3614

30 - Explorer 2018 -


September 9

Country Fun Day at the Museum

Open at 10:30 a.m., lunch: (Ticket required for lunch) 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., Live and Silent Auction: 1 p.m., Antique Tractor and Automobile parade 3 p.m., Games for kids after lunch July 9

Montana Shakespeare in the Park

6 p.m. South Park. Performing, “Love’s Labour Lost.” July 21-24

Little Big Horn Days

Thursday June 21st 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Historic book Fair 6 p.m. PRCA RODEO SLACK Friday June 22nd 10-6 p.m. Arts & Craft Fair downtown Center Ave Big Horn County Museum events 10 a.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m. - Live Weapons demonstration 10 a.m.-5 p.m. - Living history demonstration Come see Antique car truck and tractors on the grounds all day long 1 p.m. Realbird Reenactment Also check out the Little Bighorn Battle Reenacment at Garryowen. Page 29.

7 p.m. PRCA RODEO EVENTS - INDIAN RELAYS @ The Big Horn County Fair Grounds DOWNTOWN STREET CONCERT 8 p.m. Ricochet ($20 admission) 10 p.m. half way to hazard Saturday June 23rd 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Historic book fair @ Bob Smith Ford 10-6 p.m. Arts & Craft Fair downtown Center Ave. 11 a.m. LITTLE BIG HORN DAYS PARADE CAR SHOW TO DIRECTLY FOLLOW PARADE 12-3 p.m. John Harder Memorial Firemans Fun Day 1 p.m. Real Bird Reenactment LITTLE BIG HORN DAYS ARM WRESTLING TOURNAMENT 200 block center ave. Weigh ins 2 p.m.-4:30 p.m. Starts @ 5 p.m. ($20 entry fee) 4:30 p.m. Family Fun night on Center Ave 7 p.m. PRCA RODEO EVENTS 9 p.m. - STREET DANCE Sunday June 24th: The Big Horn County Historical Museum - Check out all the great exhibits all day long 1 p.m. Real bird Reenactment Don’t Forget to stroll downtown Hardin & Visit some great local shops! All events are subject to change. Check online for updates.

Big Horn County Historical Museum • 35 Acre Complex • Gallery and Gift Shop • Antique Tractors, Cars & Trucks • 24 Restored Historic Buildings • Guided Tours on Request Memorial Day to Labor Day

Open 7 days a week 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. 406-665-1671 1163 3rd St. East, Hardin, Montana 59034


JUNE 22 - JUNE 24 - Explorer 2018 - 31

Discovering Montana’s Present In Its Past With so many modern day distractions, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes us Americans, let alone citizens of such a great state as Montana. Yet the seeds to our roots are readily available in sights and activities just down the road. Through visits to these parts of our heritage in southern Montana, we can discover many of the essences that make us unique. LITTLE BIGHORN BATTLEFIELD (near Hardin, MT): General Custer and his men met their demise here in the most famous battle site of the 1870s’ Indian Wars. The U.S. National Park Service offers a museum, gift shop, and guided and selfguided tours with the battle’s notable landmarks clearly marked and interpreted. Not the least of which are the headstones of the troopers who fell here. CUSTER BATTLEFIELD TRADING POST & CAFÉ: Across from the Battlefield entrance, this colorful landmark features exceptional gifts - including beadwork and crafts made by local Crow Indian artisans - plus a hearty menu reflective of the Old West. The mostly Crow staff will enrich your dining and shopping experience in this historic-looking log building that’s fashioned after the 1877 Old Fort Custer Hospital.

Other Sites Of Note –

Bighorn County Museum (Hardin, MT): Rich exhibits demonstrate military and civilian history from when this area was settled in the late 1800s. Pompey’s Pillar (near Billings): A National Historic Landmark visited by Lewis & Clark and remarkable for the many Indian petroglyphs still evident. Big Horn Canyon National Recreation Area (Ft. Smith, MT): Adjacent to the Yellowtail Dam and Afterbay Lake (very popular with trout fishermen).

St. Labre Indian Mission (Ashland, MT): This private Catholic high school embraces a predominantly Crow and Northern Cheyenne student population. Don’t miss the big annual powwow held each May. Plenty Coups State Park (Pryor, MT): A museum dedicated to the famous Crow leader Plenty Coups sits adjacent to a small park which is ideal for quiet camping and a home-base for day trips throughout the area.

NATIVE AMERICANS: The Battlefield is located in the heart of the Crow Tribe reservation, and nearby is the Lame Deer reservation of the Northern Cheyenne. Both tribes sponsor powwows and native activities throughout the year. Especially popular is the Crow Native Days each June which includes the Ultimate Warrior Contest, a triathlon highlighted by bareback horse relay races!. Crow Fair, with up to 1,000 tipi camps, is also hugely popular. Held in August, it features nightly powwows and daily parades through the camp with participants and horses all decked out in their native best. ROSEBUD BATTLEFIELD STATE PARK (Busby, MT): Often overlooked, this engagement was every bit as important in shaping subsequent events as the Little Bighorn battle a few days later. Here the balance of power between the army and Indians shifted with a dramatic victory by the Sioux and Cheyenne. Learn why the Cheyenne refer to this event as The Battle Where The Girl Saved Her Brother.

Photos courtesy of Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development Real Bird's Reenactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

32 - Explorer 2018 -

Crow Agency

Crow Agency has a hospital designed with unique Indian architecture. The Crow tribe has its own government. The Crow Reservation, covering about 2,500,000 acres in Big Horn County, encompasses Lodge Grass, St. Xavier, Crow Agency, Pryor and Fort Smith. Rosebud Battle was a foreshadowing to the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The Battle of the Rosebud symbolizes the Indians’ first stiff resistance in the Sioux War of 1876. Its outcome had an impact on Lt. Col. George A. Custer’s devastating defeat on the Little Bighorn only a week later. The June 17, 1876, battle between the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians and General George Crook’s cavalry and infantry was one of the largest Indian battles ever waged in the United States. It set the stage for the Indian victory eight days later when Lt. Col. George A. Custer and his immediate command were wiped out on the Little Bighorn. A self-guided tour with interpretive signs is managed by Montana State Parks. (25 miles east of Crow Agency on U.S. 212, then 20 miles south on Secondary 314, then 1.5 miles west on county road) In June 2010, the site was designated as a National Historic Landmark. There is no charge for entrance. Camping is not allowed.

Crow Fair Celebration

The 100th Annual Crow Fair Celebration Powwow & Rodeo will be at Crow Agency on August 15-20, 2018 at Crow Agency, Montana, includes parades, a four-day powwow, a rodeo and horse races. The Crow Fair Celebration is the largest Native American event in Montana, and one of the biggest powwows in the country. Held each year in Crow Agency, Montana by The Apsáalooke people of the Crow Indian Reservation just South of Hardin, Montana. Also known as the “Tipi Capital of the world”, Crow Fair begins on the third Thursday in August and attracts more than 50,000 spectators and participants from the around the world.

Crow Fair Morning Parade

Besides the pow-wow, there are many other attractions. Each year the fair holds a parade, which winds its way through the campsites. A large number of women on horseback using old-style saddles (many family heirlooms) of bone and rawhide, ride in the parade. The parade begins each morning of the Fair at ten o’clock. The Color Guard leads the parade with retired veterans and active members of the armed services. Following the Color Guard are the

Parade at Crow Fair, Crow Agency by Montana Office of Tourism and Business Development

President, Vice-President, and First Vice-President of the Crow Fair. The President carries the American Flag. In the past, the royalty of the Crow Nation would follow the Presidents; however, in modern parades the Crow Tribal Officials replace Crow royalty. The parade includes contests for best traditional dress in more than half a dozen categories. Riders on horseback were followed by elaborately decorated cars, trucks and trailers. Some of the vehicles are decorated in memorial to tribal elders who have passed during the prior year. Others carry multiple generations from elders to newborns. Princesses, ranging in age from preschool to 18, ride along the route, on horseback or by vehicle, wearing traditional, elaborate dress with perfect, modest poise.

Crow Fair Pow Wow

The Crow Fair Pow Wow is much like pow wows throughout the west, except for more emphasis on traditional dance styles. You can pick out [the Crow tribe’s style] from hundreds of dancers because the dress ways are the same as the turn of the last century. The only additions are material things to decorate their regalia. The pow wow grand entry begins at 1 p.m. sharp. It is led by the veteran honor guard, followed by all the dancers who will participate in the contests that have been held throughout the week. The announcer introduces competing drum groups that surround the arbor, each taking a turn keeping the beat. In addition to the Crow people, members of other tribes come to dance and sing and sell their goods on the midway that surrounds the arbor. Dance contests, with substantial prize money, are held throughout the week with participants ranging in age from preschool to elders.

Crow Fair Rodeo

The Crow Fair Rodeo is sponsored annually by the Crow Nation. The rodeo is a daily feature at the Crow Fair, offering a full day’s entertainment of youth events, professional Indian cowboys and cowgirls, and horse racing. Rodeos occur throughout the United States, through the various rodeo associations like the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. The Northern Plains Indian Rodeo Association, organized under the Indian National Finals Rodeo, is the current association that sanctions the rodeo event. The Rodeo is held at the Edison Real Bird Memorial Complex, in Crow Agency, Montana. The rodeo arena, race track, stables, and campgrounds are all part of this complex. Mark your calendar today so you don’t miss the next Crow Fair Celebration Powwow & Rodeo at Crow Agency in August.

Yellowstone Kelly By

Keep Not Standing Fixed and Rooted, Briskly Venture, Briskly Roam...

At the end of the summer in 2017 a promise 89-years in the making was finally fulfilled when the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site officially opened to the public. The restoration was led by the Billings Chamber of Commerce under the leadership of Bill Cole. In 1928 the Billings Chamber, City of Billings and State of Montana promised a burial site befitting the three-time veteran and American legend, Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly. While it took a bit longer than planned, the site today absolutely fulfills the promise. Kelly (1849-1928) was one of the most notable American veterans, scouts, and warriors of his time. Born to an affluent family in upstate New York, Kelly obtained a fine education but yearned for the adventure of the Wild West. Sitting back and waiting was not part of Kelly’s character, so at the age of 16, Kelly lied about his age, enlisted in the military, and thus his adventures began.


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Thanks to the tireless work of theCoYellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site lton Boulevard Parkhill66 Driveas well Parkhill Drive Committee, major gifts from Singh Contracting and Phillips as the investment of many incredible sponsors and donors, the new Avenue D Interpretive Site opened within Swords Rimrock Park in September of 2017. Grand Avenue Grand Avenue Here Yellowstone Kelly rests peacefully atop Kelly Mountain in Billings, overlooking the Yellowstone River. The Site celebrates the not only of Lewis Ahistory venue Yellowstone Kelly, but of the heritage of our region. It offers ample parking, Broadwater Avenue Broadwater Avenue an amphitheater for seating during presentations, informational signage, a celebratory donor wall and, of course, the breathtaking views only found from the Rimrocks. To get to the site, head to Swords Rimrock Park, east of Billings Logan International Airport. The park has two entrances; one near the airport roundabout and another about a mile east on Airport Rd. A paved trail oad R el ur ad Road provides spectacular Monpark system connects Monad Road the two entrances and the entire La ad o lR vistas. The Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site is located at the eastauend re L of Swords Rimrock Park. Take the second entrance to the park, near the t es ad g Avenue t enue Wes bathroom and picnic shelter.KinAt theWest stop sign, turn left and the road King Av Ro e W l follow King Avenue East King Ave n u slowly up the mountain to the parking area. The site can be enjoyed on foot.

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In his twilight years, Luther Sage “Yellowstone” Kelly requested to have his body buried in the land where his restless spirit had experienced its greatest adventures, statingRim“I feel my body will rest better in Montana, the rock Road scene of my earlier activities, than it would in the vastness of ive laid.” Poly Drit Arlington, where I purposed having


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Yellowstone Kelly was an authentic Western character. His real-life adventures inspired many articles, books and even a Hollywood movie. He was a scholar and author, a veteran of three wars, an exceptional hunter and trader, and a key player in scouting and taming the Wild West. His friends and confidants included the likes of Col. Nelson A. Miles, “Buffalo Bill” Cody, and President Teddy Roosevelt. His travels and military assignments took him from New York to the Dakotas and Montana, and from Alaska to the Philippines before retiring to a quieter life in California.

The Explorer - 2018