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Blackleaf Canyon

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Main Wall - North Face 
Main Wall - West End 

Blackleaf Canyon Rock Climbing 

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Location: 48.0184, -112.7131 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: grk10vq on May 31, 2009
This Afternoon

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Kim on a 5.11- at dentist area


A less traveled and nearly virgin area with very tall limestone walls. The rock here tends to be mosty solid, but expect a lot of choss. The walls can range from 50 to 600 feet. Mulit-pitch and single pitches comprise the areas numerous walls. One of the better and most traveled, Blackleaf Canyon has been the first of several areas to see development. Found close to the Bynum reservoir, this is a sensitive environmental area with "tread lightly" ethics. Primative camping with a few fire rings can be found, along with a pit toilet near the canyon's entrance. Most lines require little to no approach.

The climbs are on the main vertical wall just left of the parking lot. There are several miles of rock walls on both sides of the canyon. There are also a good number of freestanding pillars to the left of the main wall. Expect an approach of about 5 to 10 minutes from the car.

The rock here is a chert limestone which seems to be dominated by edges, a few cracks, and small pockets. You'll find a wide variety of features like slabs, roofs, bulges, protectable cracks and dead-vertical faces. The rock quality varies dramatically so expect a number of loose holds and flaky rock on the less traveled lines, which seems to be most of them?

Bring about 10-12 draws, a handful of runners, a single rack (for a few of the lines), and a 60 or 70 meter rope. There is a lot of loose rock here and it travels a very far distance with it's sole purpose being to hit your head... a helmet should be considered mandatory.

Getting There 

Get yourself to U.S. 287 aiming towards Choteau and head north to Bynum. Set the odometer and travel about 4.2 miles. Begin by making a left at Parketts Grocery store and look for the signs to Bynum Reservoir and Blackleaf Road #145. Travel on a solid gravel road until you pass the Bynum Reservoir turnoff on the left. Continue heading west on Blackleaf Road. At about 11.7 miles you will pass the Pollock Ranch Road on the left. Continue driving west/northwest on Blackleaf Road. At about 13.5 miles you will cross a cattle guard with signs marking your route. Follow the signs for Blackleaf Road and Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area. At about 16.1 miles go left at an intersection marked Blackleaf Canyon. You will cross Blackleaf Creek and eventually arrive at the trailhead at about 20 miles.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 7.8 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Blackleaf Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Blackleaf Canyon:
Climbign 101   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 5 pitches, 280'   Main Wall - West End
Crazy Like a Fox   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Main Wall - West End
Bodisattva   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 5 pitches, 510'   Main Wall - West End
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Blackleaf Canyon

Featured Route For Blackleaf Canyon
Rock Climbing Photo: The Northern Wall of Blackleaf Canyon

Uplift 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b  Montana : Blackleaf Canyon : Main Wall - North Face
P1: Well bolted pitch, very steep climb on crumbly and textured rock to a belay station before the roof. 5.9 Crux: Traverse across a crack near end of the pitch.P2: This pitch has two options, you can face climb for a 5.9+ R bolted or mixed 5.9.Face route: Dodge the roof by climbing R out of the belay station stay out of the crack and up the bulge, clipping mostly from reaching right.Mixed, crack: Dodge the roof by climbing right out of the belay station. Stay in the crack or u...[more]   Browse More Classics in Montana

Photos of Blackleaf Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Main Wall soaking in the sun
Main Wall soaking in the sun
Rock Climbing Photo: Nate belaying up CG in the classic Boreals on Clim...
Nate belaying up CG in the classic Boreals on Clim...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking for the near-invisible bolts
Looking for the near-invisible bolts
Rock Climbing Photo: The stunning cliffs of North Face-Main wall
The stunning cliffs of North Face-Main wall
Rock Climbing Photo: The best!
The best!
Rock Climbing Photo: Launching up steep rock
Launching up steep rock
Rock Climbing Photo: This wall is steep!
This wall is steep!
Rock Climbing Photo: Because there is still some loose rock, it's best ...
Because there is still some loose rock, it's best ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Look carefully and you'll see incredible incut che...
Look carefully and you'll see incredible incut che...
Rock Climbing Photo: Blackleaf Canyon from Bynum, MT.  Looking back aft...
Blackleaf Canyon from Bynum, MT. Looking back aft...
Rock Climbing Photo: Blackleaf is a wonderful 600 ft., mostly bolted al...
Blackleaf is a wonderful 600 ft., mostly bolted al...

Comments on Blackleaf Canyon Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 29, 2016
By Stu Ritchie
From: Denver
Aug 2, 2010
Spend the time to do your homework before journeying to will be rewarded with excellent, long limestone classics.
By Marty Bland
Sep 27, 2010
Stu, what is the season here? Got anymore photo's?
By gordwah
From: colorado
Jun 10, 2012
How many minutes is the approach to the walls?
By fendbend99
Aug 27, 2012
Here is a helpful website:

Weird to navigate but provides some good info
By Josh Kornish
Sep 3, 2012
The approaches here are about 10 minutes.

This was an interesting area to visit with rock quality ranging from complete shit (climbing 101) to excellent (Home Boys, Bodh., etc.) I wouldn't go as far to say that this is a destination area but certainly worth a visit.

Very tight spaced bolts

HELMETS ARE A MUST!!!!!!! Expect to get hit with something. also the winds can be insane!
By Matthew Abbott
Jun 14, 2013
Does anybody know where I can find a topo for the area?
By Mackenzie Moore
From: Missoula, MT
Jul 1, 2013
The last pitch of bodhisatva is contrived, runout at the top, and just plain bad. Would not recommend.
By Greg Corn
Jul 26, 2013

My webguy is slowly adding to this new site and trying to enjoy the summer at the same time.
Lots of content still to come....
have a good summer!
By Jasonfrommontana
Jun 23, 2015
As of 7/20/15 there are around 100 pitches in b leaf. The guide can be found at northern lights in bozo but it's not current. Feel free to ask me about beta I am working on a new free beta sheet but don't have one yet. For me the new routes are some of best. The rock is a bit sharp but the climbing is so varied it's worth it. For me rock quality is great but most ledges have a build up of loose stuff so be cautious. Have fun be safe keep crankin.
By AndreaA Arends
Jul 19, 2016
I am considering taking a trip out to this area in the next two weeks. I would only be traveling to climb here, basically a destination trip. I would be traveling from California and I am trying to decide if it is worth the time and money.

Also as I have researched, the area is protected so there is very little information online. I found a handful of routes and ratings with little descriptions but wondering if anyone has more they are willing to share.

By Jasonfrommontana
Jul 29, 2016
I'd love to give you a free beta sheet, it has about 30 routes on it. Drop me an email. I've had a hand in developing 90 percent of routes here. I love it but a 24 hour drive? I'm not sure unless your gonna hit up a bunch of areas on the way. Beware the Rock is sharp most can't climb three days straight. Hope I can help. Safe travels.

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