Living and working under the Big Sky fuels an outdoor lifestyle. You’ll find sunshine, room-to-roam and a safe environment to raise a family. Bring your fly rod, bike, backpack and skis. Crowds are small, reservations usually unnecessary, and you won’t need binoculars to spot wildlife. Forty-five of Montana’s 56 counties have six or fewer people per square mile.
Montana’s large size and sparse population are hard to imagine without taking a field trip across the state. On a map of the United States, if you placed the northwest corner of Montana over the city of Chicago, the southeastern corner of the state would land on Washington, D.C.
American Indians are the largest minority population in the state, making up about 6 percent of the total population. Of Montana’s seven reservations, the Crow and the Northern Cheyenne reservations are both close to Billings.
The city of Billings and its vibrant downtown lie in a valley edged by sandstone cliffs and shaped by the Yellowstone River, the longest free-flowing river in the lower 48 states. The Beartooth Mountains, with Montana’s highest peak, rise as a snowcapped backdrop. From Billings, you can see six mountain ranges: Beartooth, Pryor, Big Horn, Bull, Crazies, and Big Snowy mountains.
- Because Billings is the largest city within a nearly 500 mile radius, it offers a thriving business community and is the medical hub for two-thirds of Montana and portions of bordering states.
- Weekend jaunts from Billings include the 944,000 acres of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, Yellowstone National Park, several ski hills, blue-ribbon fly-fishing rivers, mountain bike trails, and other outdoor pursuits.
- A vibrant arts community centers on the downtown ArtWalk and the Yellowstone Art Museum, The Alberta Bair Theater, Babcock Theater and MetraPark entertainment complex draw nationally known performers.
- An unofficial downtown brewery district offers tastes of craft-brews including Custer’s Last Stout, Wild Fly Ale and Whitetail Wheat. Brewery Map
- Dehler Park, a $12.5 million ballpark offering a stunning view of the sandstone Rims, is home to the Billings Mustangs, a team affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds for more than 40 years.
- Touring the area’s rich history starts with the petroglyphs at the Pictograph Cave State Park, at the edge of the city, and includes Pompey’s Pillar, containing the only physical evidence of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn National Monument where Lakota and Cheyenne warriors defeated Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.