Categories
Livingston & Paradise Valley

Pine Creek Campground – Gallatin National Forest

Pine Creek rushes out of the Absaroka mountains just south of Livingston, MT in Paradise Valley. Pine Creek Campground is at the end of a 3-mile paved road leading into the national forest. The campground has 27 sites set in the forest near the creek. The Pine Creek trailhead is adjacent to the campground and leads to Pine Creek Falls and Pine Creek Lake.

Pine Creek Campground
SeasonMemorial Day-Labor Day
Number of sites27 campsites
ReservationsYes – recommended
AmenitiesWater, Vault Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire pits, some food storage
AccessiblePartially
FirewoodYes – available for purchase
AttractionsHiking, Pine Creek Falls, Pine Creek Lake
Nearest CityLivingston, MT – 14 miles

Directions to Pine Creek Campground

From I 90 in Livingston, take US 89 south for 3.3 miles to the East River Road (us 541). Turn left and follow the East River Road for 7 1/2 miles to the Luccock Park Road. Turn left onto this road which is very well signed for Pine Creek. Continue on the paved Luccock Park road for 3 miles to the campground. Please drive this road slowly. The road crosses private land almost all the way to the end. Always respect private property.

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Pine Creek Campground Details

The campground is open with full services from Memorial Day to Labor Day. It may be open with reduced services for a longer season. For more information contact the USFS Livingston Office at (406) 222-1892.

Photo of typical campsite in Pine Creek Campground
This is a typical campsite in Pine Creek Campground. Each site has a table and a fire pit. Most have bear-proof food storage cabinets.

Almost every night of the season the campground completely fills and campers without reservations are unable to get a campsite. Online reservations are available for all campsites. Reservations are open for all season until the site closes in the fall.. If you want to camp here plan in advance and make reservations early.

There are 27 sites and most can be used by tents, campers, or RVs. I don’t believe there are many if any, pull-through sites for long rigs. Be sure to check this out when you reserve.

Each site has a picnic table and fire ring. The campground has conveniently located water and vault toilets. Firewood is available for purchase from the camp host. Most sites have bear-proof food storage lockers. Note: This is bear country so take the appropriate precautions.

The campground is near a stream in a forested valley at about 5,650 ft. The night skies are usually clear and the stargazing can be excellent.

Activities at Pine Creek Campground

Hiking – The Pine Creek Trail has its trailhead right in the campground. This trail leads hikers to Pine Creek Falls and Pine Creek Lake while a side trail leads to George Lake. Each of these trails provides a great hiking experience.

Accessible Streamside Trail

The campground has a paved accessible streamside trail that begins across the road from campsite 23. There is reserved handicapped parking by the trailhead. the trail leads a short distance to the edge of Pine Creek. There are a couple of “docks” that have been leveled and paved for accessible fishing. there are also a few signs to help interpret the area. While the trail is only paved for a portion of its length, it continues for some distance following the stream.

Photo of streamside sign on the Pine Creek accessle trail
This sign is located streamside along the Pine Creek accessible trail. The creek rushes by in the background as the signs discusses the stream ecology.

Fishing – Pine Creek is open to fishing in the campground and from there upstream. Thus, there are miles of potential stream fishing. However, Pine Creek has never been known for producing any quality fishing experiences except for the excellent fishing found at Pine Creek Lake. Pine creek is high gradient and difficult to fish. On top of that, the creek has a very low population of fish. I suggest you go elsewhere if you hope to catch fish.

For more information about the Pine Creek Campground contact:

Custer Gallatin National Forest
Livingston Office
5242 Hwy 89.
Livingston, MT 59047
(406) 222-1892

Frequently Asked Questions

Are reservations required to camp at Pine Creek?

Reservations are not required but might as well be. The campground fills almost every night. Without a reservation, you won’t get a site.

When does Pine Creek Campground open?

The campground is fully open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. The campground may be open with reduced services at other times.

Are there other nearby campgrounds?

There are only a few other public campgrounds in Paradise Valley. There is camping at both the Loch Leven and Mallards Rest Fishing Access sites and at the Mill Creek Campground.