Trail

Pine Creek Falls, Gallatin National Forest, Montana

Livingston, MT
Length: 2.50 mi.
Type: Out & Back

About This Trail

[Total: 0    Average: 0/5]

ACTIVITIES: Hiking, waterfalls, fishing, camping

LENGTH OF HIKE: 2.5 miles

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Out and back

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Moderate

ELEVATION GAIN: 460 feet at waterfall

PARKING FEE/PASS: No

TOILETS: Yes

CHANGING TABLE: No

NURSING BENCHES: No

DOGS ALLOWED: Yes

BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: No

DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE: No

POTENTIAL CHILD OR BABY HAZARDS: Giardia reported in the water, unsafe
to drink.

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Drinking water

A beautiful mountain hike just south of Livingston, Pine Creek Falls is a family favorite because there are beautiful views of all that the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness has to offer. The second highest mountain in Montana, Black
Mountain at 10,941 feet can be seen off in the Mountain at 10,941 feet can be seen off in the distance, adding to the “big” feeling this trail gives you.

Expect a little bit of climbing but nothing a 4-year-old can’t do. It’s dog friendly and fairly well trafficked most of the day. If you plan to hike alone first thing in the morning in the summer, consider bear spray.

The trail extends a lot farther to a popular but very hard hike called Pine Creek Lake, if you want to go beyond the 2.5 miles. The waterfall and narrow footbridge to cross the creek below the falls are fun for little ones to experience. Stop to play in the pool of water, and play with the small rocks that have been swept down by the falls. Be sure to bring your own drinking water, as giardia, the microscopic parasite that causes diarrhea and requires antibiotics to cure, is ever present in this area.

Also there are bears and other large animals, so making noise can alert animals to
your presence and encourage them to move on before you arrive on the trail.
Remember this trail is near Yellowstone National Park, which makes it a popular destination for those visiting the park, so expect to see a lot of people on the trail in the warmer months. This is a trail you can snowshoe and hike in the winter as
well, so if you are looking for more solitude, consider hiking it then. You can also hike out on various side trails from this main trail to get a little more mileage in.

Want to make it an overnighter? Check out the 25 single camping sites at Pine Creek Campground. They are first-come, first-served, plus there is a reservation group site. There is water at the campground, and the campground is handicapped
accessible.

INSIDER’S TIP
The road to the trailhead is located a short drive through the camping area. There are several parking areas (which become full on a busy summer day) and the trailhead is clearly marked.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, Summer, and Winter
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 460 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains No
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception None
Pet friendly Yes
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Camping Nearby, Creek / River, Waterfall, and Wildlife Viewing

WHY IT’S A FAVORITE
“This is a favorite hike for our family, both just as a day trip and also when we camp at Pine Creek Falls Campground. While it does get crowded in the middle of the summer, it’s nice in the spring and fall, too. The trail is a bit rocky and has some elevation gain, but in general, it is really kid friendly. It’s shaded well in the summer, and the views of the falls are pretty at the end. The trail is also dog friendly.” —AMELIA MAYER

Trail Contributor

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Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.

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