Pine Creek Falls and Lake
The trailhead is situated about half an hour south of Livingston and is reachable by any passenger vehicle. This hike is 5 miles one way and gains over 3,000 feet of elevation and can be shortened by stopping at Pine Creek Falls 1 mile into the hike.
The hike starts out with a very moderate ascent and takes you through a beautiful forest before reaching Pine Creek Falls after one mile. A log bridge spans the creek and you can continue onward or spend the day around the waterfall. Should you decide to continue, the trail will switchback up a little ways and you’ll then be walking in high bushes. Once you hit this section and the trails veers towards Pine Creek, you cross the creek to the other side. This crossing may not be evident, but it’s the way to go to follow the trail.
After climbing up the valley, the trail (almost) reaches a small lake below the waterfall (pictured) that is Pine Creek. You’ll continue uphill on your final stretch of the hike and reach another small lake (pictured). This is not Pine Creek Lake! Follow the trail for another five minutes and you’ll see the actual Pine Creek Lake where you can go for a refreshing swim and eat your well-deserved lunch.
The trailhead for Knox Lake, and the close-by Timber Camp campground are about 45 minutes northeast of Gardiner, MT, accessibly by a good gravel road. This hike is about 3.5 miles one way and takes you into the Monitor Peak area.
The hike is moderate all along the way and involves two stream crossings. Be careful when you reach the (signed) junction to take a left. The medium-sized, flat lakes you reach after the second stream crossing, are not Knox Lake.
This hike is great when you want to avoid the crowds of Yellowstone National Park and the ABWF helped on two trail projects to install puncheons and turnpikes in 2015 and 2017!