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Areas in Blue Cloud

La Cantina 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Landing Zone, The 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Main Buttress 3 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Elevation: 5,288 ft
GPS: 46.619, -112.212 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 10,926 total · 93/month
Shared By: Justin Marlen on Mar 13, 2009
Admins: grk10vq, Zach Wahrer
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Keep the gates closed! Details


Blue Cloud is a great, although small, cragging area just west of Helena, MT. The rock is quality granite, offering an array of sport and trad routes. There are climbs facing every direction, so depending on the season or time of day, you gan usually find a spot to climb catering to the current temperature. You can often enjoy having Blue Cloud all to yourself, but during common climbing times such as weekends or after work, expect a few cars in the parking lot. It is rare to find the crag truly busy.

Getting There

The access road to Blue Cloud starts from the Baxendale Fire Department, about five miles west of Helena on Highway 12. Drive north from the fire station a short distance, and turn right onto Blue Cloud Road. Continue for a few miles along the bumpy road, trending to the northeast. The road will pass through the first of two gates, and then drop into the creek bottom. As you rise out of the creek bottom, take the left hand fork in the road. You will reach the second gate. At this point, if you have a lower clearance vehicle you may wish to park in a clearing on the south side of the road. It takes about fifteen minutes to walk to the parking area from here. If your vehicle is somewhat rugged, continue driving. The parking area is located at the end of the road. The crag is situated just north of here, but the easiest approach is to walk along the old 4x4 track west out of the parking area. It will go up a steep hill and then curve back north to the crag as the grade lessens. Allow about ten minutes walking time from the parking area.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Blue Cloud

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Bryan Gartland
Helena, MT
Bryan Gartland   Helena, MT
Quick vehicle access to Blue Cloud remains uncertain and the approach is currently a bit longer than years past. Owners of the private ground east of the Forest Service boundary are still allowing walk-in access but you must park at the fork just past the third creek crossed by the gravel road. This is the point where new barriers and "foot traffic only" signs are presently posted and is about 3.8 miles from the Baxendale FD/HWY 12. It is at most 0.25 miles before the second gate (now locked) and the old low-clearance vehicle parking referenced above. Prior to the road closure I saw on several occasions yahoos buried past their axels, offroad, in mud bogs on the private land... I can't say I much question the landowner for taking action. The place was getting pretty torn up.

The good news is that it keeps the riffraff out and it's still only a pleasant 30 min hike through meadows and forest and boulders to the crags. Since the closure I have seen multiple parties climbing there only a handful of times, you'll likely have it all to yourself. Jun 16, 2016

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