A week ago I had the chance to tour Bear Gulch Pictographs southeast of Lewistown.
I’d heard about Bear Gulch and had been on their website but it’s still hard to know just what to expect.
The drive from Lewistown, the geographic center of Montana, was about 28 miles.
We drove past Pine Meadows Golf Course and followed Spring Creek for awhile. When we got to the the Y, we veered left towards Forest Grove. The other turn is for Red Hill Road which will end up near the little town of Lavina.
We have had a lot of moisture this spring and early summer and the countryside was absolutely lush. I could have stopped several times to take photos…beautiful ranch country, photogenic barns, etc.
After we got to the ranch we drove about 2 miles from the main gravel road, then parked our cars and started hiking in to a pretty drainage.
On our descent we saw the unique shale rock that the area is also known for. In some areas it looked just like imitation stacked rock – but – it was definitely real!
I was impressed when I saw the first couple of pictographs. Little did I know that there would be many more.
Our tour guide explained each of the pictographs which are paintings made long ago by nomadic Indian tribes. There were also petroglyphs which are more like etchings or carvings. Some of the petroglyphs had painting on them but most didn’t.
I took lots of photos of the pictographs but the rock/shale was also impressive. It almost looked like a man-made or created Disney setting.
The weather was beautiful, cool enough to want a lightweight jacket, but nice blue sky with plenty of puffy white clouds.
I couldn’t have asked for a better day to tour these amazing pictographs and petroglyphs.
What a treasure.