Livingston Montana is 1 hour to Bozeman Montana, 2 hours to Big Sky, 1 hour from Gardiner, Montana and the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Between Gardiner and Livingston is the 53-mile long Paradise Valley on highway 89 and one of the most breathtaking valleys in the west. Yellowstone River runs thru it, framed by the 920,000-acre Absaroka-Beartooth Mountains to the east and the Gallatin Mountains to the west.
Rich Farm Land thru the Valley
Rich farm land is woven throughout the valley and it is a mecca for elk, pronghorn, bighorn sheep, deer, and moose. Winds can sometimes blow in 50 to 60 miles-per-hour in the spring, added with brutal cold winters – but Livingston’s natural setting can’t be beat.
Livingston is a direct result of Northern Pacific Railway which became a centralized point in the Rockies and the railway’s location for railroad shops to service steam trains before their ascent over the Bozeman Pass, the highest point on the line. Founded in 1992, Livingston was named after Johnston Livingston a pioneer Northern Pacific Railway stockholder. Crawford Livingston Jr., Johnston’s nephew purchased large amounts of real estate and established the First National Bank in the city.
Epicenter of Fly-Fishing
Situated on the banks of the Yellowstone River, this former railroad town is the epicenter of Montana fly-fishing. Yellowstone River, the longest undammed river in the United States, remains a fisherman’s paradise. Top notch experts at any of the Montana Fly Fishing Guide are worth it. Some of the most sought-after guides work out of Sweetwater Fly Shop, just outside of town on U.S. 89 South. Sweetwater Fly Fishing Shop guide James was a wealth of information. In the summer, rafts and drift boats dot the river from Emigrant to Springdale. A great base camp is at KOA Livingston-Paradise Valley with cabins on the Yellowstone River.
Today the mountain town’s population is 7,000 consisting of mostly artists, writers, ranchers – Thomas McGuane and Jeff Bridges still live nearby. Other notable artists link here including Margot Kidder(lead actress in Superman), Jim Harrison(Legends of the fall)