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Livingston Peak Trail
On the second of two kid-free hikes this year, Henry and I walked to the top of Livingston Peak. It was the Autumn Equinox and snow on the trail reminded us that fall was here despite the warmish weather.
We can see the peak from our kitchen window (in the winter and spring, in summer and early fall we gaze upon our neighbors' apple tree). We've talked about checking it out for years, but just never got around to it until now.
The hike isn't long (around seven miles roundtrip), but it is a little steep (just over 3,000 feet). Pretty darn steep at the end. Steep and slippery, with the mud and snow and slick grass.
It's about a 45 minute drive from our house to the trailhead. It's actually, quite close, but since we can't fly, we had to take the circuitous road to get there.
The trail is pretty mellow at first and then climbs steeply to a saddle. Then it climbs very steeply to the summit. It's probably not so bad when it's dry, but we were using our hands and pulling ourselves uphill by grabbing onto trees. Sorry, trees.
At the top, the view was amazing. We could see the rugged peaks of the Absaroka Range in one direction, and the plains when we turned around. Nice view of the Crazy Mountains, too. And Livingston and the Yellowstone River. Oh yes, we could see the Gallatin Range from there. It's one of those places people call the "Top of the World."
Even better than the views and the raised heart rate, was the chance to spend some time with Henry. It's nice to have several leisurely hours to chat and catch up. It's nice to meander through different ideas and thoughts. I still like hanging out with that guy.
Plan Your Own Trip
What: Hike to Livingston Peak, the pyramidal-shaped peak that stands over the town of Livingston.
Why: It fun. We look at it every day.
Where: Head east on Park Street in Livingston for 2.4 miles past Main Street. Turn right on Swingley Road and drive 2.3 miles to Forest Service Road 2532—signed as National Forest Access. Turn right. Follow the dirt road .7 miles where it turns left. Continue another 7 miles to the trailhead and road's end.
Who: Hikers with a decent level of fitness. Also, hunters. Wear your orange during hunting season.
Find out about skiing part of this trail in my book, Ski Trails of Southwest Montana.