Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing in the Beartooth Mountains

The Beartooth Mountains are the large, dramatic, inspiring set of crags located in south-central Montana and are part of the Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness. This range includes areas such as Custer, Gallatin and Shoshone NF. One of the more recognizable formations here is Granite Peak, the highest point in Montana. The name of the mountain range is attributed to a rugged peak, Beartooth Peak, that has resembles that of a bear's tooth. Many adventures await the climber who sets out for a day or two in the Beartooth Mountains. Some of the more recognized areas here include Beartooth Pass, East Rosebud Lake, Granite Peak, Hell Roaring Plateau , and Stillwater River Canyon. Expect inclement weather changes, high altitude climbing, and varying alpine conditions. Plateaus are found at altitudes in excess of 10,000 feet and the mountains have hundreds of lakes and streams. Winters are severe with heavy snow and torrent wind.


Most all of the crags here are composed of granite and crystalline metamorphic rock.

  •           Information

    Helpful Web Pages:

    Mountain Project

    Summit Post

    Wood & Iron Works


    Guide Books:

    Alpine Ice and Rock Guide to SW and Central Montana by Ron Brunckhorst


    This book published in 2000 is the only worthwhile printed guide to the area. It includes a lot of climbing history and good old stories.


    The Rock Climbers Guide to Montana by Randall Green


    This nice selection of Montana Rock Climbs published by Falcon Press in 1995 covers Granite Peak but ignores the rest of the Beartooth Wilderness.


    Hiking the Absaroka-Beartooth Wildernessby Bill Schneider


    Another excellent Falcon book from 2003 (second edition). It focuses on hiking but contains a lot of worthwile information for all visitors of the area.

  •           Locations

    Beartooth Pass

    East Rosebud Lake

    Granite Peak

    Hell Roaring Plateau

    Stillwater River Canyon

Rock Climbing in the Bighorn Mountains

The Bighorn Mountain Range is 80 miles long – extending south from the Montana border to Central Wyoming – and features a mixture of high-quality climbing routes in all vertical ranges up to 1,600’. These routes vary by size and location, and are composed of a mixture of rock (granite, sandstone, and limestone) to make things interesting.

  •           Information

  •           Locations

    Tongue River Canyon:

    The Tongue River Canyon is easily accessible from Sheridan and features numerous limestone walls with routes for all abilities.



    Heading west on I-90 from Sheridan, take exit 9 onto Highway 14 and pass through the town Ranchester. As you are entering the town of Dayton, just before crossing the Tongue River bridge, turn right and follow the river via the gravel road. The road ends and the trailhead begins at the parking lot.


    Post Creek:

    On highway 14 crossing Granite Pass in the northern Bighorns, go about 10 miles east of Shell. The Post Creek pullout will be on the right if approaching from Shell and about 3-4 miles past the Shell Falls visitor area if coming from Sheridan. There are 5-6 known ice climbs of 1-3 pitches that cascade over the black dolomite band. Obvious from the road, the climbs require a rather steep bushwhack of 30-45 minutes. Excellent lines!


    The Shroud:

    When fully formed, The Shroud can be 100 feet in length and almost 200 feet in height. This massive slab of thin ice is perfect for an introductory experience or a convenient solo.


    About 2-3 miles before the Shell Falls visitor area if coming from Sheridan and across the creek. Park immediately above in large pullout and follow trail downhill and across log to base, about 5 min. The rock type is limestone; the type of climbing is ice.


    Tie Hack:

    "The climbing is unlike any limestone I've climbed on (most of which I don't like)--I've heard it's even better than what you find in Europe. It's well-known, but not terribly well-traveled, making for an awesome community and bomber routes that aren't glassy."


    Check out the route at Patchwork and Pebbles.

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