Southeast of Big Timber there are the remains of an ancient volcano, now called Sliderock Mountain. The mountain was formed by the core of the volcano, which erupted sometime around 75 to 78 million years ago. The mud, ash, trees and rocks that flowed off the side of the volcano helped create some of the high hills at the base of the Beartooth Mountains on what is now the Tippet Rise Art Center, south of Absarokee. The center is an eclectic mixture of landscape sculptures by artists from around the world combined with musical events, livestock grazing and geological tours. Geology professor John Weber talked about Sliderock Mountain and other geologic features at the center during a recent public tour. The event provided participants with a look far back into time and included features like a fossilized tree trunk found while building a road. The entire event takes place on green, rolling hills with the Beartooth Mountains serving as a stunning backdrop. For more on the wayward volcano, and where its relatives are believed to have lived, check out my story at https://billingsgazette.com/outdoors/tippet-rise-art-center-geology-yellowstone-bighorn-research-association/article_839a1916-1d0f-11ee-848e-1bd0b49e381a.html.
Written by Brett French | Outdoors Editor for Billings Gazette Communications