The art of the ascent is realized in Montana's Yellowstone Country, with some of the best climbing in the Rockies. Scale rock slabs on the sides of mountains and deep in canyons. Summit multipitch peaks for otherwise unattainable views. Whether you're an expert or aspiring, there are routes for all climbing levels.
Learn the ropes from a local climbing instructor or guide. Beartooth Mountain Guides runs day trips near Red Lodge, multiday mountaineering courses in the Beartooths and guided trips up Granite Peak, Montana's highest point. Montana Alpine Guides leads half-day rock climbing adventures out of Bozeman and Big Sky.
The Ovens is a small but popular local limestone crag only minutes from Red Lodge Mountain Ski Resort. This easily accessible, well-bolted sport climbing wall is perfect for beginners, although it's not called "The Ovens" for nothing—arrive late in the afternoon when the rock is in the shade.
With over 350 climbs, it's completely understandable that Gallatin Canyon is called "the heart and soul of Bozeman's climbing community." This climbing mecca lies 20 minutes south of Bozeman on US 191 and features two distinct sections. On the east side lies Storm Castle Creek, a limestone sport area that includes Scorched Earth, a south-facing wall that can be climbed in the winter. On the west side, Gallatin Tower's sturdy granite beckons traditional climbers with some of the best multipitch routes in Montana.
Climbers of all abilities flock to Bozeman Pass, locally known as "the Pass," located off I-90 between the Bear Canyon and Trail Creek exits. The area features more than 30 sport routes on high quality limestone with easy access. Expert climbers will want to test their mettle on Training Wall's challenging routes. Another climbing hot spot, Frog Rock, lies only minutes away on the other side of the freeway.
The closest crag to town, Hyalite Canyon, south of Bozeman, is famed for its ice climbing opportunities but also hosts a popular gneiss rock climbing area called Practice Rock.
Bozeman Climbing Boulders
The Bozeman community is so fond of climbing that it erected eight recreational climbing boulders around town for novices and experts alike to enjoy. Try them all: Gallatin County Regional Park Large and Small Boulders, Depot Park Boulder, East Gallatin Recreation Area Boulder, Bozeman Pond Boulder, Langohr Park Boulder, MSU Boulder and Storymill Park Boulder.
Spire Climbing + Fitness
With 18,000 square feet of climbing surface and walls up to 50 feet tall, Spire Climbing + Fitness offers indoor climbing fun perfect for the whole family. Buy a day pass or take a lesson.
In Beartrap Canyon along the Madison River, Neat Rock offers traditional climbing in a beautiful setting that gets a lot of afternoon sun—a perfect springtime destination.
Mill Creek, south of Livingston, gives climbers the chance to climb some roadside granite in one of Montana's most heavenly locations—Paradise Valley.
Between the months of July through September, intrepid climbers attempt to ascend 12,800 Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana. Only experienced climbers should tackle this strenuous summit that rises from the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness south of Roscoe. Both trailheads lead to a steep 10- to 12-mile hike and exposed rock climbing.
Attention multipitch climbers: The Ramp is considered a "must-do," easy to moderate, traditional route in the East Rosebud Valley south of Roscoe.