Exploring Alberta’s Crown Land: Livingstone – Public Land Use Zone

Public Lands Camping Pass Required

As of June 1, 2021 – The Alberta government charges PLUZ users to random camp along many of the PLUZ in the Rocky Mountains. This is to help cover expenses associated with maintaining the land and providing services.

You can purchase a Public Lands Camping Pass here (~$20/3 days or ~$30/year)

Livingstone is a Public Land Use Zone (PLUZ) found in Southern Alberta. Like other PLUZ, Livingstone is a popular place for backcountry campers and off-road enthusiasts. Livingstone is one of the newer PLUZ. It was created in 2018 alongside Porcupine Hills PLUZ in order to provide designated trails to protect the environment and provide OHV recreation access for southern Albertans.

See Also: Ultimate List of All PLUZ (Crown Land) In Alberta

Official Crown Land Camping Alberta Facebook Group
TexasNorth has partnered with the Crown Land Camping Alberta Facebook group with the intention of sharing our crown land experiences and to become better stewards of all of the beautiful crown land that Alberta has to offer!

This group is the largest crown land group in Alberta and has been instrumental in my adventures in Alberta’s Public Land Use Zones.

Read about my experience with Crown Land Camping Alberta

What is the Ecology of the Livingstone PLUZ?

Livingstone contains subalpine, alpine, and montane regions. The subalpine regions are found higher in elevation than the upper foothill montane regions but below the alpine region. The subalpine zone has cooler/wetter summers and colder winters. Vegetation in this region is largely lodgepole pine forests at lower elevations, and spruce and fir trees found higher up. Lastly, the alpine region of Livingstone PLUZ exists above the treeline on the mountains. Climate is similar to the subalpine regions. These cold temperatures ensure that snow remains on top of the mountains well into the summer. Only low lying plants and lichens are able to grow in the alpine regions. Lower in elevation, there is the montane foothills which consist primarily of coniferous trees such as douglas fir and lodgepole pine with some Aspen mixing within[1].

What kind of wildlife exists in the Livingstone PLUZ?

There are many different types of mammals that live within the Livingstone PLUZ including black bears, grizzly bears, moose, elk, deer, wolves, and mountain lions. In higher regions, you will also find mountain goats and bighorn sheep. There is also a vast variety of birds that reside in the Livingstone PLUZ including various sparrows and finches.

How big is Livingstone PLUZ?

Livingstone is a large Public Land Use Zone spanning approximately 1398 square kilometers (539.8 square miles) across the southern, eastern slopes of the Alberta Rockies.

How to get to Livingstone PLUZ

Getting to Livingstone PLUZ is actually fairly simple.

Starting from the town of Coleman, Alberta:

  1. Leave Coleman northbound on the Forestry Trunk Road (Highway 40)
  2. As soon as the private property disappears, you are in the PLUZ. The entirety of highway 40 in this stretch is Livingstone PLUZ until you enter Cataract Creek PLUZ at the Y-Intersection with Highway 532

What is Allowed at Livingstone PLUZ?

ActivityLivingstone PLUZ Rules
CampingRandom backcountry camping is allowed at Livingstone PLUZ provided that all campsites and fires are set back at least 1km from any Recreation Area, Provincial Park, or public roadway.

Note that in the Willow Creek region, camping isn’t random but rather users must camp in designated ‘node.’
Motorized ActivitiesOff Highway Vehicles (OHV) are allowed to be used at Livingstone PLUZ. OHV includes motorcycles, ATVs, Side by sides, and snowmobiles. Trucks and SUVs are allowed off road at Livingstone PLUZ.
Non-Motorized ActivitiesHiking, Equestrian, and Cross Country skiing are allowed at Livingstone PLUZ. Mountain biking at Livingstone should be acceptable provided you aren’t constructing ramps and sticking to existing pathways.
HuntingHunting is permitted at Livingstone PLUZ provided that you are following the Alberta Hunting Regulations.

FishingFishing is permitted at Livingstone PLUZ provided that you are following Alberta’s Fishing Regulations.
Note that Alberta could alter these regulations at any time

Rules for Horses In Livingstone PLUZ

Horses are permitted in Livingstone, however they must be tied up at least 100 meters back from any lakeshore. Alberta Parks doesn’t want horses tied to trees however because this can damage the trees. Many people will tie their horses to their trailers instead, but if you do this – the horse must not be able to reach the drip line of any tree (basically not under the canopy of any particular tree). Additionally, equestrians cannot use electric fences at all on any Crown Land in southern Alberta.

What is near Livingstone PLUZ?

Other PLUZ: Porcupine Hills (east), Kanananskis (north), Cataract Creek Snow Vehicle (north)

Nearby Parks: Chinook, Island Lake, Lundbreck Falls, Maycroft, Racehorse, Oldman Dam, Oldman River North Provincial Recreation Areas.

Closest Accommodations: BCMInns – Coleman

Closest Restaurant: The Rum Runner Restaurant and Pub (Coleman)

Closest Gas Station: Husky (Coleman)

Closest Town(s): Blairmore, Coleman, Lundbreck

Closest Major Population Center (Population 25,000+): Lethbridge, Alberta

Closest Hospital Emergency Room: Crowsnest Pass Health Centre (Blairmore)

Closest Hospital Urgent Care (Non-Life Threatening): Cochrane Community Health Centre (Cochrane)

Nearby Destinations: Lundbreck Falls, Fernie Ski Resort, Castle Ski Resort, Crowsnest Pass, Lille Ghost Town



[1] Willoughby, Michael. “RANGE PLANT COMMUNITY TYPES and CARRYING CAPACITY for the SUBALPINE and ALPINE SUBREGIONS.” Sustainable Resource Development Public Lands and Forests Division, no. 3, 2006. Open Alberta.

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