Little Bighorn Battlefield is a national monument established to preserve the actual historic site of the Battle of Little Bighorn which took place on June 25, 1876. On that day, more than 250 members of the United States Army and their associated personnel died in a skirmish with thousands of Great Plains Indians who were fighting to preserve their way of life and prevent encroachment of the white men onto their territory.
The site also doubles as a war memorial to honor and commemorate the sacrifices of those who fought in the battle. These include both members of General George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry, as well as members of the Lakota-Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians who died trying to defend their land against invasion. The battle itself is also reenacted each June just outside the nearby town of Hardin, Montana.
Little Bighorn Battlefield falls within the boundaries of the Crow Indian Reservation near the towns of Crow Agency and Hardin. The nearest actual city to the battle field is Billings, MT 65 miles to the northwest. It is open to the public all year round, even in the winter months with guided tours available during the summer. A self-guided tour road option is also available to visitors and meanders between the two separate battlefields that make up the site - the Reno-Benteen Battlefield and the Custer Battlefield. Although camping and picnicking facilities are not provided on the battlefield itself, some traveling accommodations are available in the nearby towns.
Today the Battlefield is maintained by the National Park Service and has been ever since 1940. Rangers are on the premises throughout the year to help educate the public about the battlefield. The guided tours - both self-guided and otherwise - are also designed to point out and illustrate all the major points of interest located on site as well. These include, but are not limited to the following.
Weir Point: Marks the spot where Captain Weir ascended a hill in the hopes of pinpointing General Custer's whereabouts.
Battle Ridge: The exact location where three of Custer's five companies finally fell and met defeat.
Custer Hill: A memorial shaft and gravesite that bears inscriptions of all the names of the U.S. Army soldiers who died in battle there on June 25, 1876.
Indian Memorial: A newly established war memorial erected to honor the sacrifices of the Plains Indians who died in the battle as well.
National Cemetery: A small national burial ground where not only the soldiers killed in Northern Plains Indian battles and at frontier posts are laid to rest, but also some of the soldiers who died serving in the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and both World Wars.
Also located on the premises is a visitor's center and historic museum containing additional information for tourists and educational exhibits as well. These include displays focusing on the history of the battle itself, the lives of the Plains Indians, and a look at the arsenal of weapons used by Custer and his army.