Explore The Rimrocks
Montana › Swords Park
Added by Aaron Selig
- Scenic views overlooking Montana’s largest city
- Beautiful sandstone rock formations
- Miles of hiking/biking trails and rock climbing areas
- Peaceful escape from the city
The Rimrocks (also known as the "Rims") are geological rimrock sandstone formations that outcrop in Billings, Montana. Eighty million years ago the Billings metro area was the shore of the Western Interior Seaway, a sea that went from the present-day Gulf of Mexico to the Arctic North. Sediment and sand from the sea were deposited around the shoreline. Over time the sea rose and fell leaving behind a deep layer of sand. Over millions of years this sand was compressed into the sandstone the rims are made of.
The Rims offer a great hiking area, even being so close to town. There are multiple parks located atop them including Zimmerman Park, Swords Park and the Four Dances Natural Area. Zimmerman and Swords offer hiking, biking, bouldering and even have some spots to rock climb and rappel from. However, my favorite area to explore is 4 Dances. This is located just outside of town which keeps the crowds to a minimal amount and also helps with keeping the area free of litter and graffiti as the areas closer to town are not maintained very well. Once you reach the small parking area for 4 Dances it's a short hike up the hill to the best view in the area. The cliffs rise up hundreds of feet over the Yellowstone River as it winds around the outskirts of town. You can either hike along the top or down to the river but my favorite activity is to just sit cliff-side and let the world move right on by.
Some other attractions atop the Rims include Yellowstone Kelly's grave site in Swords Park, and the Angel statue overlooking Rocky Mountain College just west of the airport. One secret spot I just found this last week was a hidden staircase carved out of the Rims, I think for rock climbers to get back up from. But I'll leave that a secret and let you explore and find it for yourself.
- Water bottle and a snack
- Hiking shoes
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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Chillin, Cycling, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running
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