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This area consists of large grey and blue Limestone fins. The climbing tends to be vertical or lower angle, with lots of the classic limestone pockets, jugs, and heavy on the crimps. Tends to be a bit steeper than it's neighbor Mulkey Gulch. The rock can be extremely solid or total choss depending on which side of a fin you are on, although there is plenty of great rock and good climbs to choose from. This area is a tight canyon so it can get rather cold in the winter, late fall, or early spring. On the other hand, the middle of summer can be extremely hot, but chasing shade can always find something climable. Probably the best conditions are in late spring through early fall.
From Missoula, take I-90 East towards Drummond. After about 35 miles you will come to the Bearmouth exit (#138), take this and go left under the interstate then turn right. Continue down the frontage road on the north side of the river, for about 15-20 miles. You will pass Bear Gulch and Mulkey Gulch before Rattler Gulch. Look out for the signs on the left and right sides of the road. Once you get to Rattler Gulch Rd., take a left and continue on the dirt road for a few miles until you come to the limestone right off the road. The majority of the routes are before the main sign which is before the yellow cattle guard. Look for the pullout on the left side of the road as you approach the area from the south and spot the main, visible buttress (with Orange Peel). This is the closest and nicest area to warm up. Conversely, park up by the area signs where there is a small pullout for the more scattered and obscure climbing if coming from the north.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Rattler Gulch:
No Animals Were Harmed During the Bolting of This Route 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80' Style Wall
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