Anything to do in Livingston, Montana?

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Anything to do in Livingston, Montana?

Anything to do in Livingston, Montana?
Question: Can you tell us what type of activities there are to do in and around Livingston, Montana, during the month of October?

Phillip Tomajko
New York, NY
[email protected]

The Yellowstone River makes a nice spot for fall fishing.
Adventure Adviser: Three words, Phil: You lucky dog. Bring your fly rod, hiking boots, a few hardy wool sweaters, and your appetite for fresh air and big fish. October's a great month in Montana's Paradise Valley--as long as you're prepared for coolish, breezy weather. A local angler from Livingston-based Dan Bailey's Fly Shop puts it like this: "The wind blows. There could be snow in the mountains. Heck, you might even get in some early-season snowshoeing. Could be 70 degrees. Then again, could be negative 10." Weather-wise, that pretty much sums it up.

In any case, fishing on the Yellowstone River is primo in October: The brown trout are spawning, the crowds have thinned out, and this year the river's running high thanks to last year's heavy snowpack. Dan Bailey's (800-356-4052) can tailor-fit a guided fishing trip for two anglers for about $275 per day, including transportation, equipment, and hot lunch. If you're looking to strike out on your own, check in at Dan Bailey's for tips on good holes on the Yellowstone, as well as info on fishing two local spring creeks--Nelson's and Armstrong's--both of which are on private land and require coughing up a small fee.

As for hiking, head south out of town into the Gallatin Range and take your pick of drainages to explore on foot or, if the weather's turned, on cross-country skis. Trail Creek, Big Creek, Rock Creek, and Tom Miner Basin are all good bets. In the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness Area, hike to Thompson Lake, Elbow Lake, Mount Cowan, and Passage Creek Falls.

For choice mountain biking, head south along County Road 540 or U.S. 89 to the town of Pray, along the Yellowstone River, and pedal the lower stretches of Mill Creek Road up to the wilderness boundary. For backcountry information, call the Forest Service ranger station at 406-222-1892. Livingston Cycle (406-222-2628) rents bikes and can recommend good loop rides in the area. Due to weather unpredictability, I suggest calling ahead to make sure they're still renting for the season. For other Livingston-area info, call the Chamber of Commerce at 406-222-0850.

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