Medicine Rocks

Medicine Rocks Entrance

Welcome to the Medicine Rocks State Park Picture Tour

It’s against the law to carve your name in the eighty-year-old nose of Abraham Lincoln at nearby Mount Rushmore in the state of South Dakota.   At Montana’s Medicine Rocks State Park, people still carve their name into the red pigment that’s over one-hundred-and-fifty-years-old.

In addition to witnessing Montana’s vast landscape, many of the tourists we run into during our photo shoots in eastern Montana are usually on a mission. Their primary objective, is to visit Montana locations that have a significant historical significance. More specifically, they want to see any remaining evidence from the past. To them, seeing an inscription from 1888 or seeing sandstone that was covered with red pigment by Plains Indians is the primary attraction of Medicine Rocks State Park.

We are sad to report the park is slowly losing it’s historical evidence due to vandalism. Folks of all ages are still carving their name in the sandstone.  It’s almost considered “tradition” to carve your name in the stone. On one of our visits, we watched a grandfather from South Dakota help his two grandsons from Montana carve their name in the sandstone just like he did when he was a kid growing up in the area.  I am positive the family was not even aware of the fact they are helping to erode Medicine Rocks State Park’s ability to attract tourist willing to spend money locally.

We noticed there is even more new graffiti carved in the sandstone since the time we first paid a visit the park in June 2004 and when we returned in July 2007. Can Carter County Montana afford to lose visitors who pump money into the local economy by renting motor homes, buying vacation supplies, gasoline and motel rooms? Is there anyway visitors to Medicine Rocks State Park be made aware that damage done to the sandstone formations in the park is pulling money out of their own pockets?

Because we felt there is a danger of losing something historically significant, we made a point to photograph as many of the Medicine Rocks State Park formations and inscription as possible.


Walk down Railroad Street  in Alberton, Montana.