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.

294 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
 111
Skyline Arete
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 110
Sparerib
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 51
The Dagger
Trad
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 50
The Waltz
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 134
Standard Route
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 57
Thing In Between
Trad
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 39
Pineapple Thunderpussy
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 42
Diesel Driver
Trad
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 55
First Best
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 62
Tigger
Trad 2 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 46
Black Line
Trad
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 38
Orange Crack
Trad 3 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 37
Soft in the Middle
Trad, Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 36
Bowling for Buicks
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 17
The Fugitive
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Skyline Arete E Side > Skyline Buttress > Skyline North
 111
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 6 pitches
Sparerib E Side > Sparerib Area
 110
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
The Dagger W Side > Gallatin Tower
 51
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
The Waltz E Side > Waltz Formation
 50
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Standard Route W Side > Gallatin Tower
 134
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Thing In Between W Side > Gallatin Tower
 57
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Pineapple Thunderpussy E Side > Pineapple Buttress
 39
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Diesel Driver E Side > Black Line Buttress
 42
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
First Best W Side > Gallatin Tower
 55
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Tigger W Side > Gallatin Tower
 62
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
Black Line E Side > Black Line Buttress
 46
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Orange Crack W Side > Gallatin Tower
 38
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 3 pitches
Soft in the Middle W Side > Gallatin Tower
 37
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad, Sport
Bowling for Buicks W Side > Gallatin Tower
 36
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Fugitive E Side > Tango Tower
 17
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Gallatin Canyon »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
NickinCO
colorado
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
Dana Prosser
Boulder
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