Weekly Parks Showcase: Chief Plenty Coups State Park

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This week's focus takes us to 40 minutes south of Billings, Montana near Pryor, Montana, to Chief Plenty Coups State Park. Chief Plenty Coups State Park and Home is named for the last traditional chief of the Crow Nation, Chief Plenty Coups (Aleek-chea-ahoosh, meaning "many achievements"). Plenty Coups was a man of war - and then a man of peace - whose vision has helped bridge a gap between two cultures. Recognized for his bravery and leadership, he was made a chief of the Apsáalooke (Crow) tribe by age 28. This weeks parks showcase is sponsored by Visit Billings.

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Did you know?
Chief Plenty Coups was a well-known statesman and ambassador, he knew several U.S. Presidents and met many foreign leaders during his life.

Chief Plenty Coups is remembered for helping to bridge the divide between Native American people and white settlers during a time when the Native American people were being coerced into giving up their traditional ways.

Through the Indian Allotment Act, Chief Plenty Coups received an allotment of land which included a sacred spring, something that Plenty Coups envisioned as a young man, and became one of the first Apsáalooke to own and settle on a farm.

On his land, Chief Plenty Coups built a log home, began farming and eventually opened a general store.

You won’t find camping at Chief Plenty Coups State Park, but you will find a day’s worth of activities! Add to your itinerary today - click for park coordinates!

You can:

✅ Hike the ¾ mile trail around the grounds and near the creek.

✅ Take in the beauty and serenity while enjoying lunch in the picnic area.

✅ Bird watching.

✅ Learn more about Chief Plenty Coups’ life and Native American culture at the visitor center.

✅ Have a fishing license? Try and catch a fish in the creek!

✅ Plus many more!

While traveling to Washington, District of Columbia., Plenty Coups toured George Washington's Mount Vernon, and was struck by the idea of a national monument open to all.

In 1932, at age 84, Chief Plenty Coups passed away and at his and his wife, Strikes the Iron’s, request, a portion of their homestead was made into a state park which eventually grew to 195 acres for all people to visit and learn from and still operates as such today!

DID YOU KNOW?

At the burial of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in 1921, Chief Plenty Coups attended as a representative of all the Indian Nations.

While the ceremony commenced, Chief Plenty Coups placed his headdress and two coups sticks on the tomb in honor of the fallen soldiers.

The headdress and coups sticks can still be seen today on display in the Virginia cemetery.

Quick Facts

Park Winter Hours
3rd Sunday of September to 3rd Friday of May:
Open Wednesday - Sunday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Park Summer Hours
3rd Saturday of May to 3rd Monday of September:
Open Daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Visitor Center & Chief’s House
Winter Hours
3rd Sunday of September to 3rd Friday of May:
Open Wednesday - Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Summer Hours
3rd Saturday of May to 3rd Monday of September:
Open Daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
Closed on all federal and state holidays except
Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Park also closed December 24th and 31st.

Location
1 Edgar/Pryor Road
Pryor, MT 59066
Open Year Round

Open Year-Round

ADA Accessible

Pets Allowed

National Historic Landmark

Toilets (Flush)

Visitor Center

Gift Shop

Maps

Playground

Picnicking

Hiking


How Does the Foundation Help State Parks Like Chief Plenty Coups State Park?

As Montana State Parks only statewide fundraising partner, the Foundation helps to raise awareness, education, and most importantly support boots-on-the-ground improvement projects for users and supporters like you.

As an agency faced with a $22 million maintenance deficit, our work and collaboration help to ensure continued access and solutions currently inside our state park system.

Because in the end, we envision state parks that reflect Montana's renowned outdoor recreation and heritage for all... forever.

P.S. The Montana State Parks Foundation would like to say thank you to all the generous donor who made charitable gifts during our 2018 End of Year Giving Campaign. Your support makes a real difference for Montana State Parks by funding on the ground projects to enhance the visitor experience at parks. 

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