Pompeys Pillar National Monument

Pompeys Pillar National Monument overlooks the Yellowstone River, approximately 25 miles east of Billings, Montana.  Pompeys Pillar is a sandstone butte that bears the signature of Captain William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and the date, July 25, 1806, when he passed along the Yellowstone during his return journey. Although Captain Clark referred to this sandstone outcropping in journal as Pompeys Tower, it may have named in honor of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, Sacagawea's son, whom he had given the nickname "Pomp."

The Pompeys Pillar Interpretive Center opened in 2006 and provides exhibits related to Clark’s 1806 journey through the Yellowstone Valley. The 5,700-square foot center also highlights native culture, flora, fauna, the story of the Corps of Discovery expedition, and the historical legacy of Pompeys Pillar.  A gift store, operated by the Friends of Pompeys Pillar, is also located at the interpretive center.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 45.994392 Longitude: -107.999909 Elevation: 2897 ft
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Ryan Cooper

Recreational Opportunities

Visitors may climb the boardwalk to observe William Clark's signature on Pompeys Pillar and climb to the top of the butte to enjoy views of the Yellowstone River and surrounding area. The boardwalk up the Pillar leads to Clark's signature and continues to the top of mesa. It is approximately 1,000 feet long and contains about 200 steps. The riverwalk may be followed to the Interpretive Center, where exhibits and information are on display. From May-October, volunteer interpreters or seasonal park rangers provide tours and information about the site. Birdwatching is a popular activity and the Cottonwoods and Willows along the Yellowstone River provide excellent habitat for warblers, vieros, tanagers, kingbirds, and more. Great Horned Owls, as well as Bald Eagles and Osprey nest in the area. Picnic tables are available throughout the monument and provide a great place to have lunch.

Seasons Accessible

Open daily for drive-in 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. May through September and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in October.

Visitors may walk-in 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. (Walk from front gate to the Pillar is approximately 3/4 mile.)

The Interpretive Center is open the first weekend in May and closes for the season at the end of October.

Fees

$7.00 per vehicle per day. All valid federal recreation passes are honored at the site.

Accessibility Notes

The interpretive center, restrooms, parking lot and day use area are fully accessible.

Pet Friendly Notes

We welcome pets but pets must be on a leash at all times.  Pets are not allowed on stairs or the boardwalk at the Pillar.

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