Spend Some Time Admiring the View From the Top of the Rims
One of the most amazing parts about living in Billings is the Rimrocks. These unique cliffs that run along the north edge of town are unlike anything else I have ever seen. They offer a vast amount of outdoor activities right close by. While not everyone is into rock climbing and mountain biking, there is still plenty to do. Along Highway 3 across from the airport there is a gravel parking lot. From there you can hike down to cliffs and take a look across our city.
There is plenty of parking along the side of the highway. From there the edge of the rims is easy access. You can hike around and explore the area, or just sit and enjoy the view. There is no shortage of things to do, but regardless of how you spend your time, the view is the best part.
From on top of the rims you will get a magnificent view of the valley. Straight south will draw your attention to the South Hills, and beyond them are the Pryors. A little west and your eyes will find the Beartooths. You can catch a glimpse of the Yellowstone River, and at this time of year you will be able to see all the leaves changing color in Billings. While not as impressive as the color changes back east, the change from green to gold is still beautiful. While looking at the city during the daytime is amazing, one of the best views comes after dark. Head down to a large flat spot near the cliffs and then lay down on your back letting your head hang off the edge of the cliff. From that view you can see all the stars, the lights of the city, and the spotted lights on the South Hills. This view is called the Billings Beach. If you have lived in Billings any amount of time and have not experienced the beach, you should check it out before the weather gets too cold.
So sitting around and enjoying the view is great, but there is a lot more to do in the area. Across from the water tower there is a hiking path that can get you down to the base of the rims. There are many different places to hike around, and a lot of cracks running vertically on the cliffs that are excellent for climbing. The paths are great for walking and hiking, and make for a fantastic place to practice your off-road biking skills. At the end of the day everyone needs to eat. The large flat surfaces on top of the rims make a great place for a picnic dinner with a view.
Across from the water tower until the top of 27th street is the large gravel parking area where you can safely leave your car (see Google Maps for a visual). If you want a more modified area, head just east of 27th street to the paths that run through black otter trail. There are plenty of places to have fun on top of the Rimrocks. The important thing to remember is that the cliffs can be dangerous. So be smart, if you plan to be drinking wait until after you are off the rims. Clean up after yourself, and have fun on our unique Rimrocks.
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