Here are some highlights of my four outdoor excursions.
Wild Bill Lake - Tuesday, November 4
Wild Bill Lake was built by William “Wild Bill” Kurtzer as a commercial recreation enterprise in 1902. It was stocked with whitefish, had rental boats, and featured a concrete dance platform. Today a pleasant trial of about a half mile circles the lake and hosts several fishing decks.
Back in downtown Red Lodge we stroll along the sidewalk and poke in various shops. Our day ends with a yummy meal at Bogart’s Restaurant.
Four Dances Natural Area - Wednesday, November 5
the river, and the city. I climb down to an outcropping and enjoy a breathtaking perch.
(it may be a peregrine falcon that is described on the interpretive sign). The sandstone cliffs remind me of cowboy movies. This is simply grand!
It’s fun to look back across the chasm to the cliff were I was a few minutes ago. Past the antenna I gently descend to another vantage point and enjoy some more splendid views and dramatic scenery. The breeze is cool.
3:05 - End hike. It’s a pleasant 61 degrees. An easy walk of probably 2.5 miles can barely be considered a hike, but what a thoroughly enjoyable outing! Exceeded my expectations.
Zimmerman Park and the Northern Rimrocks - Thursday, November 6
The road was built by brothers Joseph and Frank Zimmerman in 1891 as a means for Joseph to move his sheep back and forth from his homestead below to the spring on top of the rimrocks. In 1938, the Rotary, Kiwanis, and Lions clubs, and a campaign committee, donated the $750 required to purchase the tract of land (Zimmerman Park) and the right-of-way for the road to the top. These properties were subsequently deeded to Yellowstone County.
At the top of Zimmerman Trail we turn left on Hwy 3 and in quarter mile turn left into the parking lot. Zimmerman is similar to Four Dances with grassland on top and ponderosa pine (the state tree of Montana) adorning the rocky cliffs. There is an extensive web of trails providing miles of possibilities.
After our potty break we visit the Yellowstone County Museum, which is there at the airport. It’s small but has an impressive collection of fine displays and artifacts featuring local history.
We then we drive across the highway to the parking area along the rim. I wander around and enjoy some splendid views and dramatic scenery.
Across the valley I get a good look at Four Dances where I was yesterday. Downtown Billings is pretty flat with only three modest high-rises (20 floors tops) attempting to provide a skyline. I climb down to a massive block perched on the side of the cliff. A 14-inch fissure separates it from the main rimrock. news clip showing that these house-size boulders do indeed fall). I’m intrigued by the rimrocks and can see how this fascinating topography could provide the adventurer with many outings of exploration.
Riverfront Park - Saturday, November 8
It’s peaceful here and the frigid air and leafless trees punctuate the changing seasons. An interpretive sign tells about Joseph Cochran who settled here in 1877 as the first white settler near present-day Billings. A couple joggers pass by.
There’s a network of paths so I take a different route back to the paved trail and retrace my way back.
It was definitely more of a hike than disc golf. I am eager to go back and conquer the beast.
I really can see how Billings, Montana could be a suitable home for hikers. And the Beartooth Mountains are only an hour away, and they provide 12,000-foot peaks for one’s climbing pleasure! I look forward to my next trip to Big Sky County, or AKA, The Last Best Place.
See Dan's Hiking Pages