Upper Gallatin River Access Restoration Projects

The Upper Gallatin is a world-class river, loved by all who value outdoor experiences. Where it flows through the Custer Gallatin National Forest, increased use threatens the river’s health.

In 2015, the Task Force spearheaded the Gallatin Canyon River Access Site Assessment, examining almost 40 miles of the Gallatin and mapping 111 public river-access sites between Yellowstone National Park and Spanish Creek. In partnership with the Custer Gallatin National Forest, we’ve put together an ambitious plan to improve access while repairing vital natural resources.

Upper Deer Creek (Baetis Alley) Recreation Area

The Upper Deer Creek Restoration project is the second large-scale restoration project to restore the ecological health of the river, sustain fisheries and water insect species diversity, and improve ease and safety of river access along the Upper Gallatin Corridor. Project activities included enhancing riparian buffers, capturing run-off of fine-sediment from the parking area and other pathways, improving the trail system, developing an accessible fishing access point, which is lacking along the entire Upper Gallatin corridor, and installing interpretative signage to educate the public about the importance of healthy riparian areas and how individuals can minimize their impact on riparian areas.

Design Plans

Moose Creek Flat Recreation Area

The Moose Creek Recreation Area project broke ground in fall 2017, restoring a heavily trafficked public day-use area and campground suffering from severe erosion and streamside vegetation damage.

The project:

  • Stabilized 145 ft. of streambank using bioengineering (vegetation and natural materials) techniques
  • Planted 10,939 sq. ft. of floodplain vegetation
  • Built 1,000 ft of trails, one boat ramp, and one terraced kayak launch
  • Installed 1,460 ft. of riparian fencing
  • And designed three educational interpretive signs focused on river ecology, recreation etiquette, and aquatic invasive species

Design Plans

Moose Creek, Gallatin River, Whitewater Rafting, Big Sky