Hyalite Canyon, Montana: The Premier U.S. Ice Climbing Destination

Just outside Bozeman, Montana is Hyalite Canyon, a premier spot in the Rocky Mountains for world-class ice climbing.  The area is home to 10,000 ft. peaks, lakes, streams and waterfalls, making it ideal for natural forming ice when winter comes.

In recent years a joint effort between the Gallatin National Forest and the Southwest Montana Climbers Coalition was formed to make sure ice climbers have access to this vertical playground by keeping the canyon road plowed.  Climbers had easy access to over 150 ice-climbing routes within less than three square miles.  This many routes in such a concentrated area contributes to Hyalite’s uniqueness and popularity.

The Genesis area has the fortune of being closest to the parking area and therefore the most populated with eager beginning climbers as well as experts.  Easy to moderate routes, like Genesis II (grade WI3) and Sleeping Giant Falls (WI4), can be found here alongside more challenging routes like Zack Attack (WI5) and Black Magic (WI5).  Mummy Cooler II (WI3) and Cleopatra’s Needle (WI5) routes can be found in the Twin Falls and Mummy areas of the canyon.  Winter Dance (WI7) has a section named after it.  Rightfully so since it’s one of the top ten best world routes and continually challenges ice climbers every season.

Winter Dance

With over fifteen distinct areas and so much going for it, it’s no wonder climbers come from all of over to strap on crampons, wield the ice axe and tackle the routes of Hyalite Canyon.

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