5 Best Things to do in Big Timber, Montana

Ringed by mountains and crisscrossed by rivers and creeks, the incomparable town of Big Timber is overlooked far too often by tourists. With excellent dining, incredible access to natural spaces, and unique opportunities to see important wildlife, Big Timber is the perfect jumping-off point to explore South Central Montana.

If it’s your first time visiting, it would be good to familiarize yourself with the offering of the area, as some of Big Timber’s best places to visit can be a little off the radar. And you’ll be excited to know that if you’re traveling on a budget, there are plenty of things to do here that are absolutely free.

5 Best Things To Do In Big Timber Montana

1. Overland Golf Course


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If you’re into golf, head to Overland Golf Course just off of Big Timber Road. This is the premier golf course in the area, and as well as typical scheduled tee-times, they also have twilight specials with huge discounts for visiting after 3 or 5 pm.

This 9-hole golf course has been serving Big Timber since 1976, though several major improvements over the years have kept it contemporary to appeal to modern tastes.

2. Spring Creek Campground and Trout Ranch


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With ATV trails, rafting, and golf the Spring Creek Campground and Trout Ranch is way more than just a simple fish farm. Not only are there sites for both RV and tent camping, but there is plenty of opportunities to see wildlife, and, of course, plenty of trout fishing. The campground requires reservations if you want to stay overnight, but they can easily be made online.

3. Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park

greycliff prairie dog town state park

Less than 15 minutes outside of Big Timber is the home of the protected black-tailed prairie dogs: Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park. They serve an important role in the biodiversity of Montana’s plains and are highly entertaining to watch. Binoculars are recommended when visiting so you can get the best view of these small mammals.

4. Eat a Meal Fit for a Cowboy


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Montana is known for its hearty, classic Americana meals. Big Timber offers a plethora of dining ranging from casual to fine dining, but you’ll get that same Montanan hospitality wherever you decide to dine. Here are a few that you should try while you’re in town.

Timber Bar & Grill

Part neighborhood bar, part restaurant, the Timber Bar and Grill has been around since 1957 and boasts an iconic vintage neon sign. With a number of rotating taps featuring both local and national beers, there’s plenty available to accompany your classic bar fare.

The Grand Hotel & Restaurant

While they are strict about requiring a reservation for dinner, you are welcome to merely swing by during the Grand Hotel’s breakfast and lunch service. Just keep in mind that they prepare some of the most exquisite fare in the region, and their dining room can fill up quickly.

Thirsty Turtle Burgers & BBQ

Serving American barbecue and classic bar grub, the Thirsty Turtle may look humble, but locals adore the food here. If you’re up to it, you can try the Gut Buster Challenge: four and a half pounds of cheeseburger, bacon, and fries that you’re supposed to eat in a half-hour or less.

5. Peruse the Local Wares

peruse the local wares

Two Rivers Gallery

This enchanting non-profit gallery showcases original art from artists in Big Timber and South-Central Montana. Featuring paintings, photography, sculpture, and many other types of crafts, Two Rivers is one of the mainstays in the arts community in Big Timber.

Crazy Woman Trading Montana

The brainchild of Lisa Fauth Wagner, this trading post sells jewelry and clothing that’s all handcrafted in her Big Timber studio. Other items in stock are all carefully curated and sourced from other local artisans, designers, and craftspeople.

Country Crossroads Antiques

An extremely varied antique store with a regularly rotating stock, you’re bound to find at least a couple of one-of-a-kind items that you may need to take home with you. If you’re looking for unique souvenirs and gifts, they are known to have Montana-themed and holiday-specific items in stock as well.

3 Free Things To Do In Big Timber Montana

1. Crazy Mountains

crazy mountains

With 66 miles of trails and several scenic drives surrounding them, the Crazy Mountains and their vicinity contain some of the best recreation areas in the entire state. Part of the Lewis & Clark and Gallatin National Forests, you can reach them by taking Big Timber Canyon Road, which branches off to the west from 191. At the end of this scenic highway is Half Moon Campground, where you can spend the night or merely use their parking lot for free to enjoy some hiking during the day.

Read more on the mountain ranges in Montana.

2. Crazy Mountain Museum

With collections covering the archeological, geological, and historical culture of Sweet Grass county, the Crazy Mountain Museum has both research libraries and exhibits to peruse. Even if you’re not visiting to do extensive historical research on the area, you can still enjoy the recreations of early immigrant settlers in the Pioneer Room and the Cobblestone City: a replica of the town of Big Timber as it existed in 1907.

3. Natural Bridge Falls Picnic Area

natural bridge falls picnic area

Though the naturally occurring rock span that gave the area its name collapsed in 1988, the Natural Bridge Park is still home to a fantastic picnic area, dense forest, and one of Montana’s best waterfalls. Located inside the Custer Gallatin National Forest about 40 minutes south of Big Timber, there is enough to do here to make an entire day of it, so be sure to leave plenty of time.