In a 100-foot-deep limestone canyon, visitors of the Bear Gulch Pictographs can take in the wonder of approximately 3,000 Plains Indian drawings. Macie Lundin-Ahlgren, whose family has owned the property for nearly a century, conducts walking tours of the canyon and describes it as a fascinating place to explore. The canyon wall is covered in both pictographs (images that have been painted) and petroglyphs (images that have been pecked or carved into the surface).
Archeologists that have studied the area have found evidence of the tools and materials used to make these images, along with other evidence of Plains Indian life, including a fire pit and the remains of a roasted bison.
Lundin-Ahlgren states that the area is not only historically significant; it is very scenic as well. A creek, meadow, and various wildlife allow the tour of the Bear Gulch Pictographs to double as a nature walk. In fact, several birding clubs visit the canyon each year and have been known to spot as many as thirty-nine different species.
Tours begin at 10am. Lundin-Ahlgren offers one night access to free dry camp for Harvest Host members. (No facilities.) Closed Mon., Tues., and Wed.
The Bear Gulch Pictographs are located twenty-seven miles southeast of Lewistown. For more information, call (406) 428-2439 or book online at beargulch.net.