Explore Outside Billings Powered by Black Dog Coffee: Two Moon Park
Despite taking its name from the Northern Cheyenne Commander at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, Two Moon Park is a peaceful and beautiful nature park just minutes from downtown Billings. While it has some colorful history, including a mid-1980’s incident involving vigilantes, this article focuses largely on what you can see and where you can go, all before you run out of your favorite morning coffee.
Nestled in a bend of the great Yellowstone River, Two Moon Park is really two parks in one. Entrance to the park is at the edge of the Heights, just off Bench Boulevard near the Centennial Ice Arena. The upper section of the park overlooks the river to the east, and has a parking area, picnic tables, and a public restroom. It also has a trailhead for the (mostly) paved Dutcher Trail, which leads south to both Earl Guss Park near the Metra and Coulson Park further up the Yellowstone River. While the upper park does not have the direct proximity to the river, visitors are still treated with great views and easy access for a short outing, perfect for a busy schedule.
To reach the lower park, the entrance road then continues down the hill through a pair of switchbacks descending into the cottonwood trees to another parking area in the river bottoms. A staggering five different trails then head out north and south from this point. The only south-heading trail is Old Eagle, which winds back up the Weeping Wall, a cliff seeping with natural springs and covered with trees, past a bench to the upper park. The longest trail is Rocky Jeune, which runs nearly a mile along by the river through the cathedral-like trees to an area referred to as “The Point,” a triangular peninsula formed by the Yellowstone and an incoming creek formed from the springs in the Weeping Wall. Overall, Two Moon Park has nearly four miles of trails that loop through its woods and meadows. Fortunately, there is a free printable map that shows all the trails and features available here.
In addition to its forest and cliff, Two Moon park also has four natural meadows: Helen’s Meadow sits up against the Weeping Wall on the west side of the park, Jim Phelps Meadow is the smallest and sits nearly in the center of the park, and the Ohdeer and Northern Meadows form a sizeable expanse in the north of the park just west of The Point. This means that Two Moon park offers the adventurous family a chance to see cliffs, overlooks, forests, meadows, and expanses of river without even leaving town.
Two Moon Park is also host to events and fundraisers. One of the largest is the Haunted Hallows Event is put on by Billings Jaycees every October around Halloween. In addition, the Park also has a surprisingly complex history which is catalogued by the Yellowstone River Parks Association. Apparently Two Moon Park and Coulson Park even once traded names!
When visiting Two Moon park in summer, be sure to bring bug spray when visiting the lower park. While the gentle breeze and elevation over the river tends to keep mosquitos in the upper park to a minimum, the lower park is both sheltered and well-watered and mosquitoes can be a problem for the unprepared.
Two Moon Park is an excellent reminder of just how much variety we have in our corner of the west. Be sure to check out our next entry for more local adventures!
Black Dog Coffee House has three locations:
- 1528 24th St W (by The Joy of Living and Sanctuary Spa & Salon)
- 2147 Poly Dr (inside Roots)
- 3115 10th Ave N (Harper & Madison location near the hospital district)
Explore Outside Billings Powered by Black Dog Coffee: Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site
We're starting a new series sponsored by Black Dog that encourages getting outdoors and enjoying the little explorations that can happen around and near Billings! Don't forget to grab your coffee, tea, or favorite drink and discover some of the great areas around our town! To kick things off, we'll explore the Yellowstone Kelly Interpretive Site in Sword's Park.