Current Gallatin Streamflow: 2030 cfsVIEW MORE

Upper Gallatin River Access Restoration Projects


Creating and maintaining proper river access points for the Gallatin River is critical. River use is skyrocketing and access points will serve as an important medium for preserving this incredible watershed. Without preservation investments along the Gallatin River, I feel that the region’s growth will outpace the river’s ability to serve and irreversible damage will occur.

Eric Ladd

CEO, Outlaw Partners, L & K Real Estate, and Boundary Expeditions

The Upper Gallatin is world class, loved by all who value outdoor experiences. Where it flows through the Custer Gallatin National Forest, the river is also easily accessed. That combination has brought about increased use, which the threatens the river’s health by eroding streambanks and trampling streamside vegetation. The Gallatin River Task Force in partnership with the Custer Gallatin National Forest has put together an ambitious plan to improve public access sites with the goal of repairing those damaged locations. Our first project is at Moose Creek Flat Recreational Area, soon to be followed by three other locations: Deer Creek, Baetis Alley, and Doe Creek.

Together, we will keep the Gallatin pristine for future generations to enjoy.

Map of Access Sites

In 2015, the Task Force mapped 111 public river access sites between the Yellowstone National Park boundary and Spanish Creek to prioritize sites for future restoration work. The first project broke ground in fall 2017 and focuses on the Moose Creek recreation area, a heavily trafficked public day-use area and campground with severe erosion and streamside vegetation damage. Work will follow at Deer Creek, Baetis Alley, and Doe Creek.

Moose Creek Flat Recreation Area

Deer Creek

Baetis Alley

Doe Creek

Moose Creek Flat Recreation Area

The Moose Creek Recreation Area is a popular public day-use area and campground with severe erosion and streamside vegetation damage. Loss of streamside vegetation and constant recreational use at Moose Creek contribute excess fine sediment (sand, mud, or clay) to the river and threaten the health of the fishery.

The Moose Creek restoration project will improve river health and public safety by establishing hardened, designated areas to access the river and restoring streambanks.

The project installed:

  • 145 ft. of streambank stabilization using bioengineering (vegetation and natural materials) techniques
  • 10,939 sq. ft. of floodplain vegetation plantings, including willow cuttings along the channel margin
  • 1,000 ft of trails
  • One boat ramp
  • One terraced kayak launch to repair an old bridge abutment
  • 1,460 ft. of riparian fencing
  • Three educational interpretive signs focusing on river ecology, recreation etiquette, and aquatic invasive species

Design Plans

River Use Survey

We value your input!

The Gallatin River Task Force has partnered with Montana State University to collect information about how recreationists use the Gallatin River. We will use this information to develop a vision for river access improvements along the Upper Gallatin. You can give feedback through an online survey. See you on the river.