Elevation: 4,242 ft
GPS: 46.101, -114.254 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 19,304 total · 132/month
Shared By: grk10vq on Mar 26, 2007
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer
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Bitterroot Valley's Lost Horse Canyon has been a focal point of climbers for many years. Arguably one of the best areas in Montana, Lost Horse features quality bouldering and some of Montana’s best cracks. The rock here is granite and solid by nature. Home to climbing both big and small, Lost Horse will keep you busy and psyched! Grab a pad, grab a rope, or grab both. Whether you wrestle the pebbles or wrangle the single and multi-pitch cracks, its a win-win situation.

If you're not climbing, Lost Horse Canyon is a great recreational area offering hiking, biking, fishing, and bird watching.. Camping is free and permitted at established sites only.

SUPPORT: The Bitterroot Climbers’ Coalition (BCC) is a non-profit organization that deals with access and environmental impact in Montana’s Southwest and Bitterroot Valley. They've worked hard on the area's issues and access, so lend a hand and show support when you can. Pack in/pack out and consider bringing WAG BAGS for waste removal when in the more remote areas.

Getting There

Head south about 10 miles past Hamilton. Turn right onto Lost Horse Creek Road. Follow this road just past the Lost Horse Resort to several pull offs.

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I am new to Missoula and have only recently started to climb here and am looking for as much beta as possible. The bouldering so far is great but i would to find out about more. Like how do I get to the clearcut boulder? Where is the motherload area? Mar 26, 2007
Motherload area is 100 yards or so past the Forest Service Gate (from the beta photo) on the left, near the trashed burned-out Pontiac. There is a great boulder (House Boulder) on the right side of the road, across from the Motherload area. There are also a few good boulders down the same road and to the left, one of which is Whale Rock or something. Clearcut boulder is near the John Wayne boulder, which is a little bit of a hike up the first road on the right after you cross the creek (it is kind of hard to find, as I recall). K2 Boulder is also on that same road. There used to be an *awesome* guide floating around, compiled by Ben Osburn, I think. There might be a copy you could photocopy at Missoula Rock Garden or Trailhead maybe. Rick Torre also has a decent bouldering guide that covers several areas, but not the Motherlode area. They have that at the Bitterroot Public Library. Apr 2, 2007
Owen Darrow
Owen Darrow   Garmisch,
Found this online guide that should be all you need to boulder Lost Horse, enjoy!
losthorseclimbingfestival.f… Jan 1, 2012
What is the camping like at Lost Horse, is it free? is it it super busy in August? Can I parka 10 foot trailer anywhere or is it strictly tenting? is it designated camp spots?
Thanks Mar 16, 2012
Of little faith
Of little faith   Monf***ingtana
Camping in lost horse is free, there is usually plenty and you should be able to find a cool spot, definitely good for a 10 ft trailer. It may be a little busy, but with other users besides climbers, although there will probably be a few other climbers at least. Great time to go, nice and warm, plenty to do! Mar 17, 2012
Thanks ConorD!
the shots in the guidebook make most of the area look relatively flat, I just was wondering if the roads down into the free camping spots are 4x4 which would cause my trailer to flip over!
I think my son and I will enjoy it. Mar 26, 2012
Lost Horse bouldering, guide books are still available for purchase at The Trailhead in Missoula and at Valley Bikes in Hamilton. Feel free to call me for more information or have one mailed directly to you. 406/531-5879. Peace. Rick Torre. I also have 40 years of Bitterroot climbing areas. Aug 18, 2016
Kyle Redberg
Big Sky, MT
Kyle Redberg   Big Sky, MT
Do they still hold the festival here?
Any more info on the area would be awesome! Sep 28, 2017
Festival hasn't been held in a few years. I pm'd you, happy to provide some beta if you come out. Sep 28, 2017
Greg Sullivan
Recently from Juneau, AK
Greg Sullivan   Recently from Juneau, AK
I'm new to MT, go figure, I need some help. I'm trying to follow that hand drawn map, but I can't find a good comparison between that map and google maps. About how far up Lost Horse Rd can these pullouts and stray boulders be found? Also, much need to worry about bears and such up that way?
Thanks all. Aug 7, 2018
The WMCC is organizing the festival this year:


I've also been working on an updated bouldering guide which can be found at:

Greg, the boulders start just past the lost horse resort, the bridge is a good land mark. There are no know Grizzlies in the Bitterroot though there are black bears etc. Aug 13, 2018