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Yellowstone Gateway Museum

8 Popular things To Do In A Quick Day Trip to Livingston, Montana (2023)

Livingston is ahistoric train town located in southwestern Montana. It is just north of Yellowstone and thus is also known as the “Original Gateway City to Yellowstone National Park”. With four wild mountain ranges surrounding the town, scenic views and opportunities are abundant for outdoor adventure. Without travelling very far, you can literally have days of fun just in and around the town of Livingston. Whether it is about spending time within indoor attractions or letting the adventure come to life outdoors, Livingston has so much to do, learn, and experience.

Livingston is a hub for art, culture, ranch and cowboy. The town also has a charming downtown area with some great dining and shopping scenes. The best time for visiting Livingston is all through the year. However, considering June, July and August are the hottest months, you can skip these months for your trip. Though winters here receive heavy snowfall, that doesn’t stop tourists and locals from having fun outdoor. Keep reading about our picks for Popular things you can do in Livingston for more information. Have a look:

8 Popular things To Do In A Quick Day Trip to Livingston, Montana

1. Begin With Touring The Yellowstone Gateway Museum

The Yellowstone Gateway Museum is located at 18 W Chinook Street and is a part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. There isn’t a better indoor place for any National Park nerd to visit in the town. The museum is all about the rich and everlasting history of both Yellowstone and Montana State. When you walk inside the facility, you will come across a huge collection of artefacts that aren’t just a few centuries but over 12,000 years old. The permanent exhibits here interpret Native culture, early expeditions and stories of Yellowstone. Besides that, they even have several rotating exhibits so that every time you visit, there is something new to observe. On the outdoor setting of the facility, there is a blacksmith shop, a caboose, a one-room schoolhouse and a fleet of transportation vehicles.

2. Explore The Downtown Livingston

Downtown Livingston is like an old western town, just like what you would have seen in pictures. It is basically a historic district with everything from past and presents wandering along the lanes. A walk here will take you close to several Historic Register plaques, beautiful brick buildings, western fronts, and refurbished and new murals. The downtown region is also popular for its art galleries, including,

  • Danforth Museum of Art
  • The Green Door Gallery and the Frame Garden
  • Cactus Blossom Collective
  • Parks Reece Gallery
  • Livingston Center of Art and Culture
  • Avery’s Art Worx
  • The Visions West Contemporary

(All of these art galleries are great for a one-time visit).

Besides that, downtown Livingston is also popular for its shopping and dining scenes. If you are new to the city and looking for a fun evening spot, do not mind paying a visit here.

3. Learn History at Livingston Depot Center

The Livingston Depot Center is a historic museum inside an Italian style building. From the outside, its red and yellow brick architecture attracts visitors. It was originally built as the Northern Pacific Railroad back in 1902. Though today it operates as a museum that exhibits the history of the railroad and the region nearby. The museum inside this depot is seasonal and operates from May through September. Besides that, the depot operates as an event centre throughout the year. For exploring the museum, you can come here anytime from May through September, Monday to Saturday. The operating hours goes from 10 am to 5 pm throughout the week. The depot centre also hosts an art festival in the adjacent Depot Rotary Park during the fourth weekend of July.

4. Trek To and Around The Pine Creek Lake

Pine Creek Lake is a small oasis around Livingston, Montana. What makes trekking here popular is the towering mountains and pine forests surrounding the lake and providing it with a secluded setting. The trail is about 10.5 miles out and back and gains an elevation of 1,108 m. The route follows Pine Creek and eventually ends at the lake. Hikers can observe heavily forested areas throughout the trail, the majestic Pine Creek Falls, and patches of wildflowers with mountains looming in the background. Hiking on this route is a bit difficult and strenuous, but the end result is incredibly beautiful. Hikers here can try landscape photography or get down for fishing in Pine Creek Lake. The region is also popular for camping and backpacking.

5. Trek on the Livingston Peak Trail

Livingston peak is a part of the Absaroka range towering at the south of the town. Providing a perfect backdrop to Livingston, it also offers several hiking and climbing opportunities. Some of the popular trailheads here include the Suce creek, Misson creek, trailhead for Elephant head and the Swingly road. Most of the trails here are 10 to 13 miles out and back, with high elevation gains in between. The Livingston peak in itself gains an elevation of 9200 feet above sea level. Because the trails leading to the summit are steeper and often snowy, they aren’t for beginners. Unless you are an intermediate level hiker or an experienced one, drop the plan to summit the peak. While even experienced hikers will find the route strenuous, the views from the top will make it worth it. The Livingston town lightning with the glistening of Yellowstone River looks heavenly from the top. The most suitable time to plan a hike here is during the summer months.

6. Have Fun at the Yellowstone River in Livingston

Yellowstone River is a natural and historic treasure in the town of Livingston. Whether it is about fly fishing or floating down the river, it offers an abundance of recreational opportunities. For watercraft like boating, kayaking, and canoeing, access the Mayor’s Landingon the eastern borders of the town. The same region also has other landing options nearby. Though if you are just a beginner, be mindful before braving the turbulent waters of Yellowstone River. But if you are an expert in kayaking and canoeing, you can float nearer to the mountain range and live your fair share of adventure.

Besides that, for angeling, access the river from Mayor’s Landing, HWY 89, 9th Street Island, or the Carters Bridge. Again, because the river has some good-sized waves, be very mindful while navigating any further. The river has several Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout, and Mountain Whitefish. Apart from regular fishing, you can also enjoy Spring and winter dry fly fishing here.

7. Camp Overnight at the Mayor’s Landing

Mayor’s Landing is located on the banks of Yellowstone River, on the outskirts of Livingston town. It is just upriver from Sacajawea Park and is popularly known for serving as a watercraft launching point. With your personal kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized boats, you can access this space for getting into the water of Yellowstone. Besides that, the area also has vast walking trails that wander through river banks, wooded corners, and grasslands. Visitors can even bring their dog along and have a great time together outdoor. However, what makes Mayor’s Landing popular amongst tourists is its overnight camping facilities. The campsites accommodate both tents and RVs. Though it lacks several amenities, if you want to ditch your hotel and spend a night out in nature, it is a good location.

You can also head towards the Osen’s RV Park & Campground for extended camping options. The grounds here are expansive and quiet yet within proximity to the city. It has several RVing spots with electricity and water hookups. Not just that, but overnight stayers also get to use free Wi-Fi and cable facilities. It is definitely a home away from home, but only the one in a secluded and peaceful location.

8. Spend Some Time Outdoors At The Sacajawea Park

Sacajawea Park is right next to the Yellowstone River and is a multi-purpose day-use park. While the park is highly green and well-maintained, the backdrop of the distant Absaroka Range adds to more serenity here. And with the lusciously beautiful river beside, Sacajawea looks no less than a postcard wonder. A day here will introduce you to sports facilities, several play structures and other fun attractions. You can find youngsters, especially locals visiting here for a game or two of tennis. The park is also popular for its trails encompassing through the river bank and surrounding woodlands. Be it a Livingston local or a tourist; people visit here simply to adore the surroundings, click pictures and soak into tranquillity.

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