Exploring the Backroads of Montana’s Pryor Mountains: Big Ice Cave, Wildflowers, Chief Plenty Coups SP

The Big Ice Cave in Montana’s Pryor Mountains stays frozen year-round. It’s a bit of a day trip to get there but is worth it and the scenery along the drive is ahhmazing… especially in June when the spring wildflowers are at their peak.

Montana gets hot in the summer. What better place to explore on a hot summer day than an ice cave!

Come along for a drive through the backroads of Montana’s Pryor Mountains. We’re going the long way from Billings, through Pryor and Pryor Gap Road. Eventually, this trek will lead us to the Big Ice Cave via Pryor Gap Road.

Montana’s Big Ice Cave

It is a long bumpy, dusty drive to get there, but once there it is just a short walk down a mildly steep path to a boardwalk that descends to the frozen cavern known as the Big Ice Cave. There isn’t much in the way of exploring to do, and there are no paths through the cave. There is a nice viewing platform that keeps you above the ice where you can here to echo of water drops on the cave walls… such a mesmerizing sound actually.

The Forest Service website has more details in case you would like to know more.

Getting There: Pryor Gap Road, Yes… You Need High Clearance!

Having done a little research before we headed out, we knew that it was recommended to have a high-clearance vehicle if taking Pryor Gap Road. There is a section of the road that is washed out and there was a bit of creeping through a dry river bed and along some side two-tracks before you rejoin the already badly rutted ‘main road’. And like any other Eastern Montana backroad… you can just tell the gumbo gets really bad with a little rain so beware.

You’ll see why we download Google maps for offline use whenever we are heading into off-grid country like this for exploring. This is one of the best hacks we’ve ever discovered. It is really nice to be able to pull up a GPS satellite image of where you are at any time… especially when the road turns out to not be where you expected!

Wildflowers in Big Sky Country

Along the way, we do a little exploring, as always. 😋 Montana is amazing during in June / early July. The wildflowers are going absolutely nuts! This doesn’t last long. Soon the drought of summer is going to set in so we soak up all this color while we can.

Are you into plant identification like we are? Here is one of our favorite go-to books for edible and medicinal plants in Montana.

Montana Wildflowers in Late Spring

Chief Plenty Coups State Park

We also stop off at Chief Plenty Coups State Park for a little side trip. On days like today, it is more about the journey than the destination.

Thanks for coming along for the ride!

Join the Conversation…

Are you heading to the Ice Caves or just curious about Montana?

We would also love feedback on the video! We are working on making the transition from bloggers to vloggers, still photography to film… it is not as easy as one would think! Let us know how we are doing, good and bad!

Until next time,

Happy Travels! Don’t get too comfortable sitting in one place!

Read Next:

Cross Country and Mountain Lake Fishing in the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness [PHOTO TOUR]

A Typical Spring Road Trip to Great Falls: This Was NOT in the Forecast

Montana Maiden Voyage – Beautiful Images from Big Sky Country

GEAR

This is the first video I film using our new DJI Osmo Mobile 2 gimbal. I’m using the Osmo Mobile 2 with and iPhone 6 and really like how they work together… until the iPhone battery dies. I think I’ll do a video review here before too long.

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