Best Climbing in Montana

Trying to find the best climbing in Montana? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.


Montana, Jefferson County

00 :08 hrs
0.3 mi
- ft

This may be one of the best boulder fields in the state. There is a very short walk. Please stay of private land and drive slow on the dirt. Keep the gate the way you found them. There are at least 50 boulders and many more routes.


Montana, Jefferson County

00 :14 hrs
0.5 mi
40.680054 ft

This is one of the classics areas in the state with over 50 routes. Make sure that you park legally. Do not park at the historic parking area. You will be ticketed. Follow the trail down for the parking area. There are many famous routes on the wall. Make sure that you are prepared for a short but very steel walk.


Idaho, Idaho County

31 :31 hrs
17.4 mi
1600.8064 ft

This outing starts off Forest Road 6223 at the Selway River and Indian Creek Campground in. The route passes by 4 different peaks before reaching Watchtower including Indian Ridge, Green Mountain, Burnt Strip Mountain and Cooper Point. You'll definitely enjoy the scenery of pristine Selway Bitterroot Wilderness and Bitterroot National Forest as you travel along the ridge-tops and creek-sides. There are plenty of places to camp along the creeks, but there are also lots of mosquitoes. There are some nice camp sites high along the ridge-crest to Watchtower Peak with no accessible water but fewer mosquitoes.


Montana, Flathead County

05 :41 hrs
1.6 mi
825.6821 ft

Pollock Mountain is the most southerly summit along the Garden Wall. The southwestern end of the mountain is often mistaken as the summit. The real summit is the isolated butte high above the Lunch Creek Basin. This route follows along lunch creek, once when you reach the bottom of the falls head east up what looks like a ramp, around the waterfall. The trail then is marked by cairns to the Piegan-Pollock Saddle. From here follow the base to the most dangerous section of the route known as the “Great Cleft”. This is a large break in the cliffs. The entrance to the Great Cleft is marked with prominent yellow lichen rock. Be aware there is a wrong route marked by cairns to the south of the “Great Cleft”. Watch for the yellow lichen rock. There are nice hand and footholds but inexperienced climbers should use a rope. Once you reach the top of the Great Cleft follow the trail to the summit.


Montana, Gallatin County

02 :13 hrs
3.7 mi
381.02612 ft

This is a popular meadow in Bozeman with easy access and terrain. There is no avalanche danger, which makes this a great place to take a beginner backcountry skier. Expect the crowds here when the snow conditions are prime. There are a few options for the descent, and the further south you go the more difficult it is to get back to the skin track. The ski down to the car is a quick and relaxed fun ride.


Montana, Flathead County

07 :34 hrs
2.4 mi
823.95557 ft

Bishops Cap is named for its formation that is a similar shape of a Roman Catholic bishops cap. This route goes to Pollock Mountain and then follows along the Continental Divide on to Bishops Cap. This is an exciting and exposed summit with only a 300 sq feet area at the top. The views are spectacular because of its location along the Garden Wall. There is some class 3 climbing to get to Pollock Mountain with the most difficult obstacle known as “The Great Cleft”. The climb from Pollock to the base of Bishops Cap is easy. There is some class 3 climbing and a class 4 cliff located on the southwest side to reach the summit. Bring a helmet, and a rope. There is an optional descent that drops down off the Continental Divide to the Highline Trail.


Montana, Cooke City-Silver Gate

21 :49 hrs
11.3 mi
1188.7888 ft

Granite Peak is Montana’s highest mountain and a popular destination in the Beartooth Range. This approach is up the south face. You should plan on 2 days and one night, a few ideal base camps are Elk Lake or Sky Top Lakes. The trailhead begins just north of Cooke City and passes by Lady of the Lake and a several other high mountain lakes. The trail heads east at the Broadwater River and up towards Elk Lake. Climbing up the face requires scrambling over enormous boulders and loose scree up the couloir. There is not too much exposure but early in the season it can be icy so a rope is recommended. Be careful of falling rocks while climbing up the couloir. Once at the top of the couloir climb right and make your way to the summit.


Montana, Flathead County

07 :25 hrs
3.1 mi
664.5332 ft

Mount Cannon is a rugged peak with fantastic views of the Garden Wall, Hidden Lake and Logan Pass. Be sure to bring the camera as there are breathtaking photos to be shot from any angle. The trail begins at the Hidden Lake Trailhead and follows the trail to the lake overlook. Shortly after watch for a marked trail that takes off uphill to the right towards Bird Woman Pass. This section is easy to follow from the marked cairns. There are some fun scrambles and a Class 4 cliff on the summit ridge with a lot of exposure. Bring a rope and helmet. There are good hand-holds and foot placement. Once on top of the cliff walk along the summit ridge to the top.


Montana, Stillwater County

22 :49 hrs
9.8 mi
1861.0889 ft

Granite Peak is Montana’s highest mountain and a popular destination in the Beartooth Range. This popular route is done via Avalanche Lake. Plan on two days for this adventure and climbing in August or early September is ideal. En-route you will travel through stunning high alpine lakes. As the climb begins it is a relaxing jaunt up to Mystic Lake. The trail follows along the shoreline of Mystic Lake to the West end; then turns south and climbs along Huckleberry Creek. Be cautious along this section as it is steep, narrow and sometimes icy if done early in the season. An ideal base camp is at Avalanche Lake. Be aware of the dangers of this open and exposed mountain, afternoon storms can hit unexpectedly. From Avalanche Lake it’s a short scramble to the ridge before the technical ascent begins. The panoramic views here are amazing and one you will never forget. The last 300-ft is technical with sections of exposed class 3 and 4 rock climbing. There are experienced climbers that do this without a rope. But it is best to be prepared with an ice axe, rope, harness, slings and a rappel device.


Montana, Big Sky

02 :48 hrs
4.4 mi
358.4126 ft

Beehive and Bear Basin are one of the most popular places to backcountry ski. There is fantastic scenery, great snow and the access is short and pretty easy. This route begins in Beehive Basin and then descends into Bear Basin. The trailhead parking is limited so try and get an early start. Once you reach the ridge between the two basins there are several descent options. This route descends the south bowl which is a little steeper. Bring some good skins because once you descend into Bear Basin you’ll need to skin back up to the ridge.

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