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Areas in Gallatin Canyon

Big Sky Area 10 / 20 / 6 / 202 / 2 / 0 / 2 / 57 / 236
East Side 118 / 29 / 4 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 141
Stormcastle 3 / 41 / 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 47
West Side 20 / 15 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 30
Elevation: 5,000 ft
GPS: 45.407, -111.225 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 268,579 total · 1,925/month
Shared By: Nick Stayner on Apr 6, 2007 with updates from Ben Redinius
Admins: grk10vq
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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.

454 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Gallatin Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Skyline Arete
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Dagger
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Waltz
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Standard Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Thing In Between
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pineapple Thunderpussy
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Diesel Driver
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
First Best
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Trad 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Black Line
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Orange Crack
Trad 3 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Soft in the Middle
Trad, Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Bowling for Buicks
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
The Fugitive
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Skyline Arete E Side > Skyline Buttress > Skyline North
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 6 pitches
Sparerib E Side > Sparerib Area
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
The Dagger W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
The Waltz E Side > Waltz Formation
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Standard Route W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Thing In Between W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Pineapple Thunderpussy E Side > Pineapple Buttress
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Diesel Driver E Side > Black Line Buttress
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
First Best W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Tigger W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
Black Line E Side > Black Line Buttress
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Orange Crack W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad 3 pitches
Soft in the Middle W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Sport
Bowling for Buicks W Side > Gallatin Tower
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Fugitive E Side > Tango Tower
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Gallatin Canyon »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
NickinCO   colorado
Any info on free camping in the area? Aug 24, 2012
Nick Stayner
Wymont Kingdom
Nick Stayner   Wymont Kingdom
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. Aug 31, 2012
Anacortes, WA
IJMayer   Anacortes, WA
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! Jun 14, 2013
Dana Prosser
Dana Prosser   Boulder
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. Aug 19, 2013
B-Mkll Mackall
Bozeman, MT
B-Mkll Mackall   Bozeman, MT
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... Apr 20, 2014
Hey guys,
My partner Alex and I left some gear (A sling, alpine draw and BD stopper) just underneath the imposing runout section on The Joker's third pitch on the Watchtower in the canyon. If there are any bold folks out there braving this climb, I'd be more than happy to trade a sixer of your choice for the returned gear. My number is 507-340-7409, Thanks! Sep 3, 2016
Herm-Dawg Millionaire
Bozeman, MT
Herm-Dawg Millionaire   Bozeman, MT
I dropped my black Smartwool jacket on the east side, somewhere near the south side of Skyline Arete. Please HMU, if you find it! Apr 30, 2018
Lost a #2 BD C4 at the tower on 5-8-18. Anyone seen it? There is green tape on the cam and on the matching yellow racking carabiner. May 10, 2018

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