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Big Timber, Montana

Big Timber is a small agricultural town situated between the Yellowstone and Boulder Rivers in South Central Montana.

Initially founded in 1883 as a Northern Pacific Railway Station, Big Timber has grown into an important farming, ranching, and mining zone with several natural attractions for incoming tourists.

Despite only having 1800 year-round residents, this gem of Sweet Grass County is a popular destination for summer holidays. The nearby fish-filled rivers are two of the premier spots in the state for blue-ribbon trout fishing and attract many keen wranglers to the area.

But of course, the surrounding beauty of the region offers more than just a rich fishing experience. With the Crazy Mountains spanning the town’s northern horizon and the Absaroka Range filling the south, Big Timber provides a myriad of breathtaking hikes and awe-inspiring views.

As the gateway to the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, the town is a fantastic destination for outdoor adventures and exploring the region’s history and transformation from a small railway station to an important ranching community.

Main Attractions in Big Timber, MT

main attractions in big timber

Big Timber itself is a small quiet town, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a variety of attractions beckoning incoming tourists.

From exploring the picturesque countryside of Sweet Grass County to partaking in the local ranching culture, the following are some of Big Timber’s top attractions for visitors.

Crazy Mountain Museum

Big Timber was founded nearly a century and a half ago. Still, the town’s rich local history often goes neglected by tourists. Nevertheless, the Crazy Mountain Museum is a must-visit for understanding the region’s agriculture development and ranching culture.

At the museum, visitors can visualize what the area was once like with displays that include a model of the town from 1907 and a one-room schoolhouse.

The museum also features exhibits of the Cremer Rodeo, the local sheep and wool industry, and a Pioneer Memorial Gallery.

Big Timber Weekly Pro Rodeo

Starting the first Wednesday of August and running for five weeks is the Big Timber Weekly Pro Rodeo.

As a PRCA Sanctioned Rodeo, the event features Bareback, Saddle Bronc, Tie-Down Roping, Steer Wrestling, Team Roping, Barrel Racing, Bull Riding, and Ranch Bronc Riding.

Beyond enjoying the main events, visitors to the fairgrounds will be accompanied by NFR specialty acts and a wide selection of concessions and alcohol booths.

Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park

Covering 98-acres of the nearby countryside, the Greycliff Prairie Dog Town State Park protects and preserves the endangered communities of the local black-tailed prairie dog.

The various information plaques in the area guide guests through the role these prairie dogs play within the ecological community of the park.

Along with the prairie dogs, visitors to the park will be able to spot burrowing owls, black-footed ferrets, and mountain plovers occupying the burrowed holes.

Natural Bridge State Park and Picnic Area

Amongst Big Timber’s many nearby preserved areas, the Natural Bridge State Park may be one of the most beautiful.

Popular amongst hikers and bikers, the park features several trails that wind their way along the Boulder River and branching tributaries as they flow their way along the verdant countryside.

The beauty of Natural Bridge Park culminates at the opening of the park’s picnic area. With lush soft grass, vibrant groups of trees, and towering mountains in the distance, the Natural Bridge Park Picnic Area is a perfect place to unwind to the quiet, steady noises of the flowing river.

Recreation Activities in Big Timber, MT

recreation activities in big timber

From experiencing local ranch life to exploring the rigorous landscapes of the Crazy Mountains and the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness, Big Timber is all about its outdoor adventures.

The following are some of the best recreational activities in the region.

Fishing

Big Timber features a variety of great fishing spots, with the Yellowstone and Boulder Rivers bordering the town. The area is particularly a popular spot amongst wranglers as being one of the best spots in the state for catching blue-ribbon trout.

For a guided trout fishing experience, visitors should book a tour with Big Timber Fly Fishing.

Hiking

Big Timber offers a wide selection of hiking trails through the county’s picturesque countryside.

Some of the best hikes in the area include the Crazy Peak Scramble, a 10-hour trek to the summit of the Crazy Mountains, and the Sioux Charley Lake Trail, which will bring hikers through the natural countryside and offer a panorama of picture-perfect landscapes.

Horseback Riding

There is perhaps nothing more associated with ranch culture than horseback rides through the countryside. And, of course, Big Timber provides the complete ranch life experience.

Visitors to the region have a variety of horse ranches and trails to choose from. Still, visitors should check out the Absaroka Beartooth Outfitters for tours.

Accommodation

accommodation

As a small town, indoor accommodation options in the town are limited. Luckily, the region has several state parks that offer excellent camping amenities within the beautiful countryside of Sweet Grass County.

Here are some of the few hotels in Big Timber and some of the best camping alternatives available.

Special Events

Big Timber hosts several regional festivals throughout the year. From parades and rodeos to festivals celebrating beer and local produce, there is always something to celebrate!

Activities Near Big Timber, MT

State Parks

Recreational Activities

Museums

Restaurants and Hospitality Services

 

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