The Blacktail is rich in archeological sites including an extensive cave system dating back to the last Ice Age, a Sun Wheel, a Medicine Wheel and numerous tipi rings from the more recent Native Americans. As part of your stay with us here at the Blacktail Ranch, we’ll take you out for fantastic Montana cave tours along with visits to other historic sites. You’ll also enjoy our on-site museum which houses artifacts from the cave and early pioneering days.
History Behind the Montana Cave Tours at Blacktail Cave
In 1946 Tag was a youngster and he discovered one of the most amazing archeological finds in North America, a cave whose inhabitants date back to the Ice Age, maybe earlier. Tag has spent his lifetime exploring and mapping the cave and it’s 5 miles of passageways. Over the years he discovered lots of bones and some stone artifacts, and when he opened the ranch to dude ranch vacationers, he started taking them on tours of the cave wonders.
In 1960 professional archaeologists began digging in the cave and found arrowheads, knives, spear points and scrapers inside. In 1972 Tag’s son Jon took part in a dig the found a 11,300 year old Goshen spear point next to a giant Musk Ox skull, the spear point possibly evidence of the earliest hunter in Montana.
Evidence from the cave floor shows that people have been using the cave for six thousand years, and diggers have found everything from Paleo Indian spear points to metal arrowheads used by tribes Lewis and Clark may have encountered.
Also found were a giant short faced bear skull, about 20 percent larger than modern Grizzlies, a Musk Ox skull who’s bigger than any bison you would see today, as well as bones from a 27,000 year old horse!
The Blacktail Ranch Museum
The Ranch’s museum, created by Tag, displays hundreds of artifacts dating back beyond the ice age taken from the cave and surrounding area. Twenty-eight different ice age animals were located in the cave, including some elephant bones! The museum is also a glimpse of early life in Montana for settlers of the region. Enjoy chatting with Tag about the cave and early Montana life during your visit to the museum.
Our Montana Cave Tour & Ranch Museum in Photos
“Loved visiting the cave, and spending time with Tag in the museum was very special.” Irwin H