Cultural History

The Pryor Mountains and the area surrounding them have a very rich and interesting cultural history. Archeological evidence shows extensive human occupation for more than 10,000 years. This early native American use of the Pryors continues with modern native Americans who consider the “Arrow Shot Into Rock” Mountains to be sacred.

Europeans, and other non-native Americans, have traveled through the area for at least 200 years. This includes early trappers and explorers and the Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1805-6. We now call them the Pryor Mountains after Sergeant Nathaniel Pryor, a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition. In the 1860s thousands of people travelled the Bozeman trail through the Pryors.

From the late 19th century into the first part of the 20th century there were active homesteading communities in and around the Pryors.

Crow Sacred Landscape

Archaeology in the Pryors

The Homestead Era