Crow Agency is host to the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, also known as Custer's Battlefield where a reenactment takes place known as Custer's Last Stand Reenactment.
About the Apsáalooke
The Crow Indian Reservation is the largest of the 7 Indian Reservations and is located in south central Montana, bordered by Wyoming to the south and the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation to the east. The reservation encompasses approximately 2.3 million acres, which includes the northern end of the BASAWAXAAWUUA (Bighorn Mountains), CHEETIISH (Wolf Mountains) and BAAHPUUO ISAWAXAAWUUA (Pryor Mountains). The Bighorn River flows north from Yellowtail Dam and joins the Little Bighorn River just outside Hardin, Montana. The city of Billings is approximately 10 miles northwest of the reservation boundary.
In Indian Country the Apsáalooke/Crow People are renowned for their cultural vitality, particularly for the mid-August Chichaxxaasuua, the Crow Fair. This event is often called the largest family reunion in the world. Over 10,000 Crow people live in the encampment of over 1,700 teepees and 1,200 tents. Crow families move their households including horses to camp. The Tepee Capital of the World features a morning parade of the Apsáalooke/Crow People and their horses in full regalia, cars and flat bed trucks bedecked with beadwork and attire, an afternoon all Indian rodeo and race meet and an evening intertribal powwow. On the banks of the Little Big Horn River the fairgrounds is rich in historic context, for the Little Bighorn Battlefield is only two miles to the south, and a short distance from the Big Horn and Yellowstone Rivers and the Bozeman Trail.
The nineteenth century Apsáalooke chief, Eelapúash stated, “The Crow Country is good country. The Great Spirit has put it exactly in the right place, while you are in it you fare well; whenever you go out of it; whichever way you travel you fare worse.” (Chief Eelapúash, circa 1830)
Chief Plenty Coups was the last chief to gain that status in the traditional Crow manner. He lived until 1932, leaving his land and home as a park for all people.
Other Points of Interest
The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is probably the most visited attraction on the reservation with over 400,000 people visiting it every year. The battlefield, which is located one mile south of Crow Agency on I-90, encompasses approximately 800 acres.. The battle reenactment is held south of Crow Agency every year; this has become a large tourist draw for the Tribe.
The annual Crow Fair and Rodeo “Tepee Capital of the World”, one of the largest powwows held in the United States, takes place at Crow Agency every 3rd week August. There is lively competition dancing, drumming, and singing, as well as, food and craft concessions.
Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area is a large recreational resource for the Tribe. The recreation area includes Yellowtail Dam and Bighorn Lake. The lake is 71 miles long starting in Wyoming and running into the Crow Reservation in Montana. This recreation area provides some of the finest fishing, water sports, and camping in the state of Montana.
The Bighorn River fishery is nationally famous for its huge rainbow and brown trout. The fishery was created with construction of the Yellowtail Dam; this blue-ribbon trout water runs for a 12-mile stretch. This fishery water is cool and nutrient-rich. Fly fisherman flock to the best tail water fishery in North America, spending tens of millions of dollars annually.
The Wolf Mountain Lookout is a federally owned recreation area encompassing approximately 120 acres. The Tribe and BIA jointly operate this recreation area.
The Bozeman Trail and Fort C.F. Smith. The Bozeman Trail crosses the Bighorn River near Fort C.F. Smith, traces of which can still be found.
The Reno, Benteen Battlefield, Garryowen, MT monuments commemorate the Indian victory over the seventh Calvary and are in conjunction with the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.
The Medicine Wheel- Located between Sheridan and Lovell, Wyoming on a mountain almost 10,000 feet above sea level, is a large wheel measuring approximately 80 feet in diameter, approximately 245 feet in circumference at a central cairn. There are many legends and traditions explaining the Wheel’s origin from Native Americans.
Chief Plenty Coups Park and Museum is located in Pryor. This museum and park preserves the log home of Chief Plenty Coups, the last chief of the Crow Indians and offers interpretive displays and picnic sites.
The Bighorn Canyon cross-cuts a 1,000 ft. high fault segment of the Pryor Mountains. It is home to a herd of wild, free roaming horses believed to be descended from the first Spanish horses that may have arrived as early as the 1700s.
The Bighorn Mountains are scenic wonderlands Bighorn Mountains on the Crow Reservation and northern Wyoming. Points of interest include Pretty Eagle Point and the Medicine Wheel in northern Wyoming