What fun is going camping if there is nothing to do in the area? If you are camped at Montana’s Pine Creek Campground, you won’t have to go far to experience one of the most scenic waterfalls in the area.
Pine Creek Falls is just over a mile upstream from the campground via an easy and well-maintained trail. Elevation gain from the trailhead to the falls is only about 400 feet, which is doable for most anyone in the RV.
You will find the well-signed trailhead on the east end of the campground. From the trailhead, proceed southeast into the canyon entering the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness after about a third of a mile.
While the sign at the trailhead lists the falls at only a mile, up the trail those tracking their progress via GPS or an activity app will find they traveled closer to 1.25 miles before reaching the falls. Upon reaching the falls, be ready to enjoy a cool mist from the water crashing down from above.
For a great view, step onto the single log bridge spanning the creek below the falls with a railing screwed to the upstream side for support. If you’re lucky enough to visit in the spring or early summer, avoid the urge to head back as during periods of high runoff the falls split into two parts, with a second fall crashing down through the back side of the rocks around the corner after crossing the bridge.
Those looking to expend additional energy may consider continuing up the trail to Pine Creek Lake, which is listed as 5 miles from the trailhead. If you choose to camp at Pine Creek Campground and need something to do another day, consider hiking to George Lake which is accessed via the same trailhead out of the campground.
How to reach Pine Creek Falls
Pine Creek Falls and its campground lie about 10 air miles south of Livingston. You will find the turn off from Montana Highway 540 onto Luccock Park Road, which leads east 2.5 miles to the Pine Creek Campground and the trailhead to the falls at: N45° 29.844 W110° 34.190
The road to the campground and falls is single lane for most of the way, contains one sharp turn before you start up a medium grade, and has one switchback along the way. If you are uncomfortable driving this type of road with your RV, consider dropping your RV in the large pull-off just south of the intersection of Highway 540 and Luccock Park Road and proceed with your dinghy or tow vehicle.
Parking is limited at the trailhead, so plan on dropping your RV at the bottom of the hill and use your tow vehicle or dinghy to access the trailhead if you don’t plan to camp in the area.
Click here for information on Pine Creek Campground. You can also see what other RVers said about the campground on RV LIFE Campgrounds. If you are uncomfortable driving the road to the campground with your RV, you may consider camping at nearby Loch Leven (FAS) Fishing Access Site.
Currently, there is no day use fee or pass required to park at the trailhead.
Campgrounds with a gorgeous waterfall nearby to explore, just another fun adventure in RVing!
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.