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Red Cliff Campground

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Red Cliff Campground Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 6,500'
Location: 45.17292, -111.24205 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 15,479
Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael MacFadden on May 26, 2008
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BETA PHOTO: The entrance to the Red Cliff Campground.


A fairly easy approach leads you to the base of an obvious sandstone cliff. There are several bolted routes ranging from 5.8 to 5.10. Some shady spots and reasonable temps most of the summer. The approach is a little dicey (steep and loose). Good approach shoes are recommended.

Getting There 

The campground is in the Gallatin Canyon approximately 48 miles south of Bozeman, MT on US 191. It's about 7 miles south of the Big Sky ski area. Enter the camp ground by crossing the bridge. At the fork in the road veer right. Continue back until the obvious trail head. The cliff is just up the trail.

The Red Cliff's Campground is open for camping from 5/15 - 9/15. Before or after this time you have to park on the road and walk into the campground. This will add a bit to your approach. You can also park in the pick nick area and walk in.

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.6 miles from here

19 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Red Cliff Campground

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Red Cliff Campground:
Pocket Pool   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Cliff
Pocket Protector   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 70'   Main Cliff
Hot Pocket   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 60'   Campsite 18 Cliff
Zingy   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Energy Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Red Cliff Campground

Featured Route For Red Cliff Campground
Rock Climbing Photo: Pocket Pool

Pocket Pool 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  Montana : Gallatin Canyon : ... : Main Cliff
This climb goes up and around an arete / buttress. Pull the sandstone pockets all the way up, feeling fairly overhung. The crux is pulling over the bulge after the 3rd bolt. The start is a little exposed, watch out for the bat guano....[more]   Browse More Classics in Montana

Comments on Red Cliff Campground Add Comment
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By sqwirll
From: Las Vegas
Jul 15, 2008
I'm pretty sure that this cliff is limestone that has been stained.
By Michael MacFadden
Sep 8, 2008
It very well could be. The only limestone I have climbed has tended to be a darker gray color. I suppose I have seen some that is more of a tan as well. I read somewehre else that this was sandstone, and looking at the rock it was very red. However, the ground there was saturated with what looked like red clay. So as you point out I suppose this could be limestone stained by the red clay.

The rock formation did have a lot of pockets typical of limestone, so it is very possible.
By Jclimb
From: Moab, UT
Jul 23, 2010
FWIW, there is a such thing as red limestone. Iron oxide in surrounding soils can turn the limestone red, yellow, or brown, whereas carbon impurities will turn it the typical blue, gray, and black. Often combination of these minerals streak or stripe the exposed cliff creating the "black & tan" and blue & gold combination that are so appealing. Think Black & Tan cliff outside St George, Utah or the French Cattle Ranch at Tensleep, Wyoming or even the walls of areas like Ceuse, France or limestone crags in Spain. Red & brown limestone is not unusual to find in areas such as Montana and Wyoming.
By Jack Taylor
Sep 14, 2016
This cliff is a part of the Madison Limestone bedrock unit, positioned stratigraphically below the Red Sandstone of the Amsden formation. The red coloration of this limestone unit is consistent throughout the entire formation spanning from the Bighorn Range in Northern Wyoming through the Absarokas and Beartooths due to stains from sediment weathered from the Amsden formation.

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