Medicine Rocks State Park

Useful Information

Location: 40 km south of Baker or 23 km north of Ekalala at Milepost 10 of MT Hwy 7, then 2 km west on county road. Southeastern corner of Montana.
Classification: SpeleologyErosional Cave
Light: n/a
Guided tours:  
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, PO Box 1630, Miles City, MT 59301, Tel: +1-406-232-0900.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Medicine Rocks was a place of "big medicine" where American Indian hunting parties conjured up magical spirits. Archaeologist have found Indian tools, weapons, and tipi rings in the park.

The sandstone of the area was formed during the end of the Cretaceous in a shallow tropical inland sea. Located at the sea's edge, a sandy river emptied into the sea here, forming a huge delta of river sands. It is also possible that it is a result of winds in an aride climate bringing sand and depositing it as huge dunes. Those sandstones are very similar, and it is only in some cases possible to distinguish them if typical fossils are found in the sand.

This rather young sedimentary rock is very soft, and thus does not resist weathering very well. It is eroded by rain, wind and frost and sculptured into all kinds of fantastic forms. The surface is sometimes plain, but mostly its full of holes. It forms columns, buttes, spires and pillars. Shelters, overhangs, natural bridges and small caves are very common. President Theodore Roosevelt, who visited the park at the end of the 19th century, wrote "As fantastically beautiful a place as I have ever seen".