Pine Creek Lake Trail

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 Pine Creek Lake

10 miles (round-trip)

Duration: 7 to 9 hours

Difficulty: Moderate to difficult (very difficult in snow and mud) 

Elevation Gain: 3,400 feet 

Activities: Hiking, backpacking 

Crowds: Moderate traffic

Pine Creek Lake is a pristine alpine lake set in a huge glacial cirque on the north slope of Mount Black. The trail to the lake is well-defined and meanders through forest en route to the base of Pine Creek Falls. Past the falls, the trail becomes steep and strenuous, continuing past a series of waterfalls and smaller lakes before reaching Pine Creek Lake, where great views and a well-earned rest await. If you're feeling frisky, head on up to Black Mountain for incredible views of Paradise Valley and the Beartooth Plateau. Bring bear spray. 

Seasonal Conditions
This can be a difficult hike during the best conditions, but the trail is very difficult in snow and mud. Pine Creek is open year-round, though it's best for hikers from July through September. Don't hike up and ski down the trail (for the safety of others, you, and your skis). 

From Livingston, drive south on Hwy. 89. Turn left on Pine Creek Rd., then turn right on East River Rd. After a few miles, turn left on Luccock Park Rd. at the posted sign for the Pine Creek Campground.

Robert Stone's Pine Creek Map

Map courtesy of Robert Stone's Day Hikes Around Bozeman, Montana.

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