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Mill Creek North Rim

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Mill Creek North Rim  


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Location: 46.3102, -114.2394 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 15,269
Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Josh Kornish on Aug 2, 2011
Forecast:
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The official crag dogs. Otis and Barlow.

Description 

An excellent destination for climbing in western Montana, Mill Creek features everything from TR to multi-pitch trad. This area get some decent exposure to the sun in the winter allowing it to be climbed almost year round. This area is infamous for it's ticks so be prepared. Some new routes are being put up by a couple of professors from the University of Montana. Please see millcreekreport.blogspot.com. Downloadable guide available there.

A great destination with a lot of potential. Bring a helmet!!! I have had close calls with rock falling from the big walls. Have fun!

Getting There 

From Missoula: Drive about 35 miles south on US 93. You will see Mill Creek Trail Road on your right. Drive up the road until you reach the trailhead which has a pit toilet and parking. Take the trail about a half mile up until you reach a log bridge. Cross that take a left and continue for about the same distance until you reach trail headed up the mountain to the seemingly obvious wall. Approach takes roughly 30-60 minutes. An early start is nice.

The trailhead is off of Cow Creek Road out of Pinesdale.

The Drive:

Take Highway 93 south from Missoula toward Hamilton.
Mile marker 54, look for Sheafman Creek Road on the right.
Turn west and drive 1 mile to the top of a s.hort steep hill.
Turn sharp left to stay on Sheafman Creek
Follow the road a couple of miles including a sharp right curve.
At stop sign turn left onto Main and drive into Pinesdale.
Approx. .9 miles from stop sign, brown forest service sign “Sheafman Creek Trail”
Turn right onto West Cow Creek dirt road. (GPS Coord: 46.323650, -114.218033)
Drive slowly through the neighborhood.
Park at gate (1/2 mile), or if gate open (summer), park at right hairpin (1 mile).
Approach trail begins at hairpin. (GPS Coord: 46.316267, -114.229533)

The Hike:

Follow the trail through a gate and tress for just a few hundred yards down and into a deep drainage. The trail will leads back out of the drainage and curve around to the crest of the ridgeline in about 200 yards. Look for a large cairn (sometimes missing) and clearly-traveled trail branching off sharply uphill along the ridge until it turns sharp left into Mill Creek Canyon. Follow this trail for about 3/4 of a mile to the climbs.

Climbing Season



Weather station 6.3 miles from here

33 Total Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',18],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',2],['5.8',2],['5.9',3],['5.10',12],['5.11',9],['5.12',5],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['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 Mill Creek North Rim:
No Sweat Arete   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 500'   No Sweat
No Dick Tick    5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Tick Farm
Liger    5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 80'   Tiger Stripe
Witness the Tickness   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Tick Farm
Shere Khan   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Tiger Stripe
Big Science    5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Big Science
Browse More Classics in Mill Creek North Rim

Featured Route For Mill Creek North Rim
Big Science

Big Science 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  MT : Mill Creek North Rim : Big Science
Climb the steep face to a ledge under the crux roof (V4/5). Once over the roof it is fun, super steep climbing on big holds to the chains. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in MT

Photos of Mill Creek North Rim Slideshow Add Photo
Warming up on the Tick Wall on a January morning.
Warming up on the Tick Wall on a January morning.
The gate where you exit the road onto the trail to the crag.
BETA PHOTO: The gate where you exit the road onto the trail to...

Comments on Mill Creek North Rim Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mill Creek Report
Feb 25, 2012
The Drive
Highway 93 south from Missoula toward Hamilton.
Mile marker 54, look for Sheafman Creek Road on the right.
Turn west and drive 1 mile to the top of a s.hort steep hill.
Turn sharp left to stay on Sheafman Creek
Follow the road a couple of miles including a sharp right curve.
At stop sign turn left onto Main and drive into Pinesdale.
Approx. .9 miles from stop sign, brown forest service sign “Sheafman Creek Trail”
Turn right onto West Cow Creek dirt road. (GPS Coord: 46.323650, -114.218033)
Drive slowly through the neighborhood.
Park at gate (1/2 mile), or if gate open (summer), park at right hairpin (1 mile).
Approach trail begins at hairpin. (GPS Coord: 46.316267, -114.229533)

The Hike
Follow the trail through a gate and tress for just a few hundred yards down and into a deep drainage. The trail will leads back out of the drainage and curve around to the crest of the ridgeline in about 200 yards. Look for a large cairn (sometimes missing) and clearly-traveled trail branching off sharply uphill along the ridge until it turns sharp left into Mill Creek Canyon. Follow this trail for about 3/4 of a mile to the climbs.
By Alex Vitti
May 27, 2014
THE HIKE (addition)

To extrapolate on the previous description of the hike and help people find the trail... where it mentions to "look for a large cairn and a clearly-traveled trail toward the routes" I can assure that at this time there will be no easily noticeable trail, let alone a cairn. What you want to be on the lookout for is what resembles a beaver dam's worth of sticks, logs, and twigs on your right. Truthfully its a lot harder to miss than a cairn. (This is a result of an anonymous local who apparently hates climbers. I could rant for a while here but I'll bite my tongue). Anyway, when in doubt look for the stick and log piles because they are probably right on top of the trail. Follow alongside the intermittent piles and you will find yourself at the crag without any problems.

(Just as a heads up I fully expect this post to be totally outdated in a couple years tops).
By DaveT
From: Albuquerque
Oct 14, 2014
I climbed here mid Sept and the first bolt on many climbs was partially removed. It looked like some kind of statement, not poor bolting. Is there an access fight going on or something?
By Josh Kornish
From: Missoula, MT
Oct 14, 2014
Dave,

There are some issues with one individual in particular. Check out the Mill Creek Report blog to stay up to date with the issue.

The Western Montana Climber's Coalition is working with the Forest Service on this issue.