Come Explore the Rimrocks in Billings Montana

The Rimrocks Billings, Montana
Matt Claiborne
Matt Claiborne
August 6, 2021

The Rimrocks in Billings, Montana, is also known locally as the "Rims." This unique area in Billings consists of rimrock sandstone formations. While the area is close to town, it provides exceptional hiking for adventurous travelers. Several parks offer opportunities for exploring the Rimrocks. Zimmerman Park has biking, hiking, and bouldering. Swords Park also has options for enjoying outdoor activities. Four Dances offers excellent options for hiking, enjoying views, and experiencing nature.

Rimrocks Geography‍

Rimrocks View

While Billings is a bustling city today, eighty million years ago, the area was the Western Interior Seaway's shore. This massive sea stretched from the present-day Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic North. The shoreline deposits sand and sediment. When the sea rose and fell over time, a layer of sand was left. It then took millions of years for the sand to compress into the sandstone rim we see today.

Four Dances Natural Area‍

Four Dances Natural Area is one of the nicest areas to hike in, enjoy views, and experience the Rimrocks area. It's just outside of town and enjoys fewer crowds, litter, and graffiti than other parks.

Four Dances History‍

Chief Four Dances has a recreational area named after him called the Four Dances Recreational Area. This influential chief was Chief of the Crow Nation in the 19th century. Chief Four Dances would fast in this area, and in the 1830s, he had a transformative vision here and received his iconic name.

Four Dances Trails‍

Section of Four Dances Trails‍

Take the short hike up the hill from the parking area, and you'll see one of the most spectacular views in the area. The cliffs here are hundreds of feet tall and rise dramatically from the Yellowstone River. Visitors can hike along the rims or head down to the river.

The Rim Loop is one-and-a-half miles long and rewards hikers with views of the mighty Yellowstone River.

The Four Dances Trail is three miles long and provides a nice loop hike. If desired, hikers can add a half-mile extension to walk down to the river and back up.

Zimmerman Park‍

Zimmerman has a few excellent hiking trails. Some of these trails combine open areas and rock climbing for the ultimate outdoor experience. As you walk, you can enjoy the views, the big open sky, and massive rock outcroppings.

The Zimmerman Park Mountain Bike Trail is popular with bikers and hikers. Views from this trail include snow-capped Absaroka-Beartooth, Bighorn, and the Pryor Mountains. This trail is 3.2 miles and has 365 feet of elevation.

Swords Park‍

Swords Park

Swords Park is also located in the Rimrocks area and features the Chief Black Otter Trail. A Crow chief buried in the area is the reason for the naming of the trail.

Trail walkers will find Boothill Cemetery fascinating. The cemetery memorializes residents of the area's original settlement, Coulson. As you continue to walk, you'll gain 465 feet of elevation as you ascend Kelly Mountain, named for Luther S "Yellowstone" Kelly. This trail is 2.8 miles one way or 5.6 miles round-trip.

Enjoy Billings, MT‍

Billings, MT has something for everyone. Outdoor adventures abound, and visitors can enjoy food for the soul with fantastic hikes in the unique Rimrocks in the Billings, Montana area. Billings also offers satisfying and delicious food for the body. Check out the best restaurants in Billings, MT, and enjoy our culinary delights.

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