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Take a Fourth of July weekend hike through ZooMontana

Entrance to ZooMontana.
Entrance to ZooMontana.

Looking for something fun to do around Billings on this Fourth of July weekend? ZooMontana offers a wonderful place to get outside, take a “hike”, and enjoy viewing a fascinating collection of animals native to the Northern Rockies and high plains of Montana as well as animals from northern Europe and Asia.

Prince, ZooMontana's Siberian tiger, is one of the main attractions at the zoo.
Photo taken by Jill Lippard

Located just off of Shiloh Road in southwest Billings, ZooMontana is open to the public from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. Entrance to the zoo is only $6.25 for adults, $4.25 for seniors, and $3.25 for children ages 3-15. ZooMontana is fully accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association.

Explore the 70-acre zoo and botanical garden along a beautiful system of paths and trails that weave through meadows, gardens, deciduous forest, and along Canyon Creek. Start by visiting the barn area which is home to sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, peacocks, and a retired Belgian Draft horse named Jake. Continue along the paths through the beautiful sensory garden before passing over Canyon Creek on a bridge. Search for the often elusive gray wolves in Wolf Woods. If you spot one of ZooMontana’s gray wolves, consider yourself lucky because their large enclosure offers several places for them to take cover. Don’t miss the porcupine and crow which are housed in a smaller enclosure near wolf woods. Next, head towards the Siberian tiger, sika deer, and red pandas. Prince, the Siberian tiger, will soon be joined by two female tigers from the Philadelphia Zoo. (Terney and Koosaka will make their ZooMontana debut at Zoofari at the end of the month). From here, head back towards Wolf Woods and turn left towards the bighorn sheep exhibit and the wolverines. Just past the bighorn sheep, enjoy one of the zoo’s newer additions, Bruno the grizzly bear. He really seems to enjoy his life in Bear Meadows. Continue past the waterfowl wetland ponds and visit the river otters before passing over Canyon Creek on another bridge. A pair of bald eagles can be viewed just across the creek and then you’ll find yourself back at the entrance. Before leaving the zoo, be sure to stop inside at the discovery center. Enjoy displays of smaller animals including snakes, turtles, frogs, rodents, and the adorable pygmy marmosets.

The only zoo in our state, ZooMontana provides a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a day outside and learn about a diverse collection of amazing animals.