Rosebud Battlefield State Park

Rosebud Battlefield State Park is located southeast of Hardin along the base of the Wolf Mountains.

The Montana State Parks Foundation is publishing a weekly showcase of Montana State Parks' 55 properties. 

Rosebud Battlefield is one of the most undeveloped, pristine battlefields in the nation.

While looking for the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne villages of Chief Sitting Bull, Brigadier General George Cook, along with 1,000 troops and Crow and Shoshone scouts, were unprepared for an organized attack.

On June 17, 1876, an equal or greater number of warriors led by Sioux Chief Crazy Horse and Cheyenne Chiefs Two Moon, Young Two Moons and Spotted Wolf, attacked the band of soldiers.

One of the largest battles of the Indian Wars, the Battle of Rosebud, or “Where the Girl Saved Her Brother" as referred to by the Northern Cheyenne, lasted for eight hours.

Because Crook’s troops had been withdrawn from the war zone in order to resupply, they were not there to support Colonel Custer at Little Bighorn. The defeat at Little Bighorn by the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne warriors was a shock to the nation and led to a counter attack and the Lakota’s loss of the Black Hills.

Rosebud Battlefield State Park is a significant historic park where visitors can retrace the steps of soldiers and warriors at the site of the largest battle in the history of Montana.

Did you know?

Although the park does not encompass the entirety of the battlefield, the 3,025-acre park has remained nearly the same as it was during the time of the battle in the 1870s.

The battlefield is still used throughout the year by U.S. Armed Forces to study military strategy, including how troops take on an enemy who is familiar with the landscape.

The park includes Kobold Buffalo Jump, a cliff once used by Native Americans and marked with petroglyphs. A short hike within the gap to the cliffs will allow you to see these.

The use of metal detectors, digging and the collecting or removal of artifacts is restricted and bikes are allowed on existing roadways only.

Be very cautious while in the park as rattlesnakes reside in the area.

Although camping isn’t available, there is camping at Tongue River Reservoir State Park only 13 miles south.

The Montana State Parks Foundation helps fund work at parks, for more information log on to www.montanastateparksfoundation.org.

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