The Indians called the buttes “wagamu paha”, meaning gourd hills. The Sioux used the site for tribal ceremonies, and put Pumpkin Buttes to good use as a perfect lookout during battles with settlers along the Bozeman Trail. There are hundreds of tipi rings on and around the buttes that prove that Native Americans lived and worshipped here for centuries.
Pumpkin Buttes not only served as a welcome landmark along the Bloody Bozeman Trail, but it also became a hideout for famed outlaw “Big Nose” George Parrott. In the 1950’s, uranium was discovered near Pumpkin Buttes, which would generate alot of ill will between prospectors and stockmen. There were only a few small mines that worked the area.