Hyalite Canyon

A popular climbing destination near Bozeman, Montana. It's home to the Bozeman Ice Festival and some of the world's best water ice climbing.

Getting There

The main canyon is about 30-45 minutes from Bozeman. Drive south on S 19th Ave for ~6 miles, then turn onto Hyalite Canyon Road at the sign marking the entrance to Hyalite Canyon. Follow that for 19 miles. At ~17 miles, you'll cross a bridge, and at ~19 miles, you'll encounter a fork. If the road is open, take the right fork into the Main Canyon, where most of the popular climbing areas are.


Stay at any Airbnb or hotel in Bozeman or Belgrade.

Climbing Area & Routes

Climbing Areas

Hyalite has a variety of climbing routes, from WI2 to WI6, including Genesis I & II, Cleopatra's Needle, Black Magic, Winter Dance, The Amphitheater, Unnamed Wall, Mummy's Area, Dribbles Area, and Twin Falls Area.

East Wall

2.0 miles round trip, 1,000 feet of elevation gain, 7,766 ft high point

A link-up of 3-4 ice climbing routes on the East Canyon Wall's Genesis Area including Lower Green Sleeves, The Girdle, Hangover and/or Upper Green Sleeves with steep snow scrambling in between that makes for a full day of multi-pitch ice climbing.

  • Lower Green Sleeves: Hike up and past Genesis I along the East Wall to Lower Green Sleeves (WI2-3). Build an anchor at a tree on the right. Belay follower from above, then traverse climber's left to reconnect with the boot path (if present) and follow it to the base of The Girdle.
  • The Girdle is a short WI3-4 pitch. Belay from a tree to the right and then traverse slightly left and up to the base of Hangover. The Girdle is not always in. If it's not, circumnavigate it to climber's left of a steep snow gully with a couple of short rock bands or ice steps and either veer climber's right for Hangover or left for Upper Green Sleeves.
  • Hangover (WI3-4) can be climbed in one long pitch with a 70 meters rope or broken up in two pitches with a 60 meter rope. There are anchors at the top both right and left but if trying to do in one pitch with a 70 m rope, use the left anchor which is a bit lower. Rappel down back to the base.
  • Upper Green Sleeves: Traverse climber's left from the base of Hangover, up and over a small divide to the next gully to  the base of Upper Green Sleeves. There are two variations of Upper Green Sleeves, the right one is a bit hidden in the trees (WI3). The left variation starts with some rambling low angle ice that can be circumvented by scrambling a short rock band dihedral. The base of the "real" climb is right of the rock band. Rope up here for 2-3 pitches of ice climbing, depending on conditions. The first pitch is WI2 with many short bulges. A tree anchor is on climber's left, and the second pitch is much steeper (WI3-4) with curtains and pillars. Some weaknesses and easier lines can be found.


  • Guidebook: Big Sky Ice, 3rd ed. by Ron Brunckhorst (Ron Brunckhorst 2008).
  • Review the local avalanche forecast. Generally speaking, the west-facing side of the canyon (including Genesis I & II, as well as Mummy's and the Dribbles area) is more prone to avalanches, but there are climbs on the other side of the canyon as well, like Twin Falls, which funnel avalanches. 
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing
  • Climbing Category: Water Ice
  • Seasons: January, February, March, December
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Intermediate Ice Climb, Water Ice Climb
  • Land Manager: Custer Gallatin National Forest
  • Parking Permit Required: see Land Manager
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 25
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • USGS Fridley Peak, MT

Upcoming Activities

There are no activities scheduled at this location.

Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Hyalite Canyon/Genesis I & II
  • Hyalite Canyon/Genesis I
  • Hyalite Canyon/Genesis II
  • Hyalite Canyon/Cleopatra's Needle
  • Hyalite Canyon/Black Magic
  • Hyalite Canyon/Winter Dance
  • Hyalite Canyon/The Amphitheater
  • Hyalite Canyon/Unnamed Wall
  • Hyalite Canyon/Mummy's Area
  • Hyalite Canyon/Dribbles Area
  • Hyalite Canyon/Twin Falls Area
  • Hyalite Canyon/East Wall
Hyalite Canyon East Wall GPX File

A GPX file of the Haylite Canyon East Wall "link up" route by Emma Agoasta Feb 2022. Ignore last detour on descent—it was a missed turn.

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