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Gallatin Canyon

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*in progress* Greek Creek and Surroundings  
Ashes of Stone Buttress 
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Wafer, The 
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Watchtower - First Tier, The 
Rest Day:
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From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Gallatin Canyon  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 5,000'
Location: 45.40709, -111.22527 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 192,593
Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nick Stayner on Apr 6, 2007  with updates from Ben R
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Description 

I first spied the crags of Gallatin Canyon in spring of '02. I was driving up from Jackson, WY with my dad, planning on touring Montana State. After passing through the stretch with the climbing, I didn't even need to see the school- my decision was made! Not really, but I was pretty psyched.

Gallatin Canyon has two distinct areas. Driving S. from Bozeman, you'll first spot the limestone buttresses. There's great sport here (including a south facing winter area called Scorched Earth), as well as some mixed routes.

A couple more miles to the south, you'll spot the main, high-quality gneiss area. On your right, somewhat hidden, sits the Gallatin Tower, with tons of classic routes. The left side is where the majority of the climbing is. This area, with few exceptions, is trad. While you may have to wait in line for a classic route on a weekend in peak season, 9 times out of 10, you won't. High quality lines are everywhere.

Pay campgrounds are located in the canyon a couple miles south of the climbing. For free camping, throw down a tent on a number of USFS roads that exit the canyon (Squaw Creek, Portal Creek, etc...).

Getting There 

From Bozeman, head west for a few minutes to reach US 191. Head south on 191 for 20 or so minutes and you're there. For the Gallatin Tower and the Cube, park in the prominent pullout on the right. For all other areas, continue for another minute or two and cross a bridge. Immediately afterwards, park in a large dirt area next to the river.

Climbing Season



Weather station 4.3 miles from here

203 Total Routes

['4 Stars',35],['3 Stars',79],['2 Stars',52],['1 Star',26],['Bomb',3]
['<=5.6',5],['5.7',0],['5.8',13],['5.9',20],['5.10',54],['5.11',35],['5.12',22],['5.13',5],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',4],['V2-3',21],['V4-5',9],['V6-7',10],['V8-9',4],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Gallatin Canyon:
Skyline Arete   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, 6 pitches, 500'   Skyline Buttress
The Waltz   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 300'   The Waltz Formation
Sparerib   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   Sparerib Area
Fire Escape   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Fish Face
Thing In Between   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Gallatin Tower
Generation X   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   Gallatin Tower
Pineapple Thunderpussy   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Pineapple Buttress
Diesel Driver   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 130'   Black Line Buttress
Ashes of Stone   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 190'   Ashes of Stone Buttress
Standard Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   Gallatin Tower
First Best   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   Gallatin Tower
Tigger   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 140'   Gallatin Tower
Black Line   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 115'   Black Line Buttress
Savor the Flavor   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   Pineapple Buttress
Bozeman Beautiful   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 170'   Ashes of Stone Buttress
Kabooki Direct   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Black Line Buttress
Soft in the Middle   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Gallatin Tower
Bowling for Buicks   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 80'   Gallatin Tower
The Fugitive   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Tango Tower
Fakir   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   Black Line Buttress
Browse More Classics in Gallatin Canyon

Featured Route For Gallatin Canyon
Pat D. on the FA of Double Barrel Shotgun on First Buttress. Photo courtesy of Casey Smith.

Double Barrel Shotgun 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13  MT : Gallatin Canyon : First Buttress
Clip a bolt and climb up oppositional seams to the horizontal slot. Rest and keep moving up large steep butt flares, slopers and sidepulls with decent gear and a bolt. At the large jug step right onto a series of rails and edges, continued good climbing (5.10+)to a pair of shuts at the anchors.One can also climb straight up the corner of rotten quartz at 5.8....[more]   Browse More Classics in MT

Photos of Gallatin Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Tick season in Gallatin Canyon- Ben Elias on Sparerib.
Tick season in Gallatin Canyon- Ben Elias on Spare...
Ashes of Stone
Ashes of Stone
The Throwback, high in the Gallatins...
The Throwback, high in the Gallatins...
Storm coming into the canyon view from the Tower
Storm coming into the canyon view from the Tower
The east side of Gallatin Canyon from the top of Gallatin Tower.
BETA PHOTO: The east side of Gallatin Canyon from the top of G...
Evening light on the east side
Evening light on the east side
Gallatin river
Gallatin river

Comments on Gallatin Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By NickinCO
From: colorado
Aug 24, 2012
Any info on free camping in the area?
By Nick Stayner
From: Billings, MT
Aug 31, 2012
For good free camping, try Storm Castle Road (north of the climbing) or Portal Creek Road (south of the climbing). These options are currently inaccessible due to fires, however.
By IJMayer
From: Bozeman, MT
Jun 14, 2013
Looking for a partner for Gallatin Canyon. This might be appropriate for the forums, but I'm hoping for quick responses. I'm psyched for anything 5.10d and easier trad. Personal message me if you're also looking for a partner!
By Dana Prosser
From: Boulder
Aug 19, 2013
There is a really nice pay campsite south of the climbing at swan creek- Off the main highway a little, so you don't have the traffic noise.
By B-Mkll
From: Bozeman, MT
Apr 20, 2014
Any beta on the gneiss crag JUST off the road (like abutting a road pull-off) a mile or two before Greek Creek heading southbound? Poked around it today and the rock looks solid, even saw a lone bolt above a small roof so clearly its been climbed...