Livingston Spring Fever

Livingston Spring Fever

Harrison, Melynda
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If your forehead is feeling warmer than usual, it might just be spring fever. There are a variety of cures for that in Livingston and the surrounding area; here are a few of the best ones.

On the River
The Joe Brooks Chapter of Trout Unlimited hosts the annual Yellowstone River Clean-Up April 9. Meet at the Civic Center with your boat, waders, kids, and gloves and help clean up our favorite river. Last year, 152 volunteers in 34 boats scoured 75 miles of river and collected an impressive 12,460 pounds of trash.

After the river is cleaned up and is looking its best, anglers anxiously await the Mother’s Day caddis hatch. Sometime in May, the caddis flies start luring trout to the surface and fishermen to the river.

The islands in the Yellowstone provide ideal growing conditions for tasty morels. While you’re drifting downstream, stop at an island or two and keep your eyes on the ground. That brown, nondescript lump lurking under last autumn’s leaf litter might just be the crux ingredient in tomorrow night’s dinner. Be careful, though, because many edible mushrooms have toxic look-alikes—only experts in fungus ID should pick mushrooms.

On a Bike
Crisp morning air, steamy hot springs, and bison grazing on just emerging grass blades await springtime cyclers in Yellowstone National Park. Summer crowds can make Yellowstone somewhat less appealing; but in the spring, the roads—and the Park—belong to those willing to work for it. From about mid-March (depending on the weather) until the third Tuesday in April, the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and the west entrance is plowed and open to non-motorized traffic. Instead of driving from one designated lookout point to the next—barely noticing what’s in between—bikers can enjoy their whole journey at a slower pace and notice the beautiful details. Visit for more info.

On Skis
Because it’s often hard to tell spring from winter, Livingstonians keep their skis out just a little longer. Cooke City hosts its annual Sweet Corn Festival the weekend after Bridger Bowl closes in April. Skiing enthusiasts invade Cooke City for a chance to ski the countless corn-covered slopes and uncharted glades of the surrounding Beartooth Mountains.

There may not be a shuttle this year, but skiers can ride their own snowmobiles or skin their way up to Daisy Pass, where they’re rewarded with infinite possibilities for runs back into town. Live music and a party sponsored by Big Sky Brewing Company (where they usually unveil a new beer) make for plenty of après-ski opportunities as well. Contact Matt “Raz” Schneider, owner of the Miner’s Saloon, at 838-2214 or visit

On Your Plate
After all that outdoor activity, head to Mark’s In and Out for foot-long hot dogs and made-in-Livingston Wilcoxson shakes. Actually, for most Livingston folks, it’s the first thing on their spring to-do list. On opening day in March, the line extends across the parking lot of this 1950s drive-in—regardless of the weather.

Take your tasty treasure down to Sacajawea Park for the first picnic of the year and watch for migrating sandhill cranes and trumpeter swans. Gaze across the Yellowstone River at the Absaroka Mountains and forget about all those Christmas decorations still hanging from your eaves.

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