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Blackleaf Canyon

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Main Wall - North Face 
Main Wall - West End 

Blackleaf Canyon  

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Location: 48.0184, -112.7131 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: grk10vq, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: grk10vq on May 31, 2009
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Blackleaf is a wonderful 600 ft., mostly bolted al...


A less traveled and nearly virgin area with very tall limestone walls. The rock here tends to be mosty solid, but expect a lot of choss. The walls can range from 50 to 600 feet. Mulit-pitch and single pitches comprise the areas numerous walls. One of the better and most traveled, Blackleaf Canyon has been the first of several areas to see development. Found close to the Bynum reservoir, this is a sensitive environmental area with "tread lightly" ethics. Primative camping with a few fire rings can be found, along with a pit toilet near the canyon's entrance. Most lines require little to no approach.

The climbs are on the main vertical wall just left of the parking lot. There are several miles of rock walls on both sides of the canyon. There are also a good number of freestanding pillars to the left of the main wall. Expect an approach of about 5 to 10 minutes from the car.

The rock here is a chert limestone which seems to be dominated by edges, a few cracks, and small pockets. You'll find a wide variety of features like slabs, roofs, bulges, protectable cracks and dead-vertical faces. The rock quality varies dramatically so expect a number of loose holds and flaky rock on the less traveled lines, which seems to be most of them?

Bring about 10-12 draws, a handful of runners, a single rack (for a few of the lines), and a 60 or 70 meter rope. There is a lot of loose rock here and it travels a very far distance with it's sole purpose being to hit your head... a helmet should be considered mandatory.

Getting There 

Get yourself to U.S. 287 aiming towards Choteau and head north to Bynum. Set the odometer and travel about 4.2 miles. Begin by making a left at Parketts Grocery store and look for the signs to Bynum Reservoir and Blackleaf Road #145. Travel on a solid gravel road until you pass the Bynum Reservoir turnoff on the left. Continue heading west on Blackleaf Road. At about 11.7 miles you will pass the Pollock Ranch Road on the left. Continue driving west/northwest on Blackleaf Road. At about 13.5 miles you will cross a cattle guard with signs marking your route. Follow the signs for Blackleaf Road and Blackleaf Wildlife Management Area. At about 16.1 miles go left at an intersection marked Blackleaf Canyon. You will cross Blackleaf Creek and eventually arrive at the trailhead at about 20 miles.

Climbing Season

For the All Locations area.

Weather station 7.8 miles from here

3 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Blackleaf Canyon:
Climbign 101   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 5 pitches, 280'   Main Wall - West End
Bodisattva   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 5 pitches, 510'   Main Wall - West End
Browse More Classics in Blackleaf Canyon

Featured Route For Blackleaf Canyon
thats me in blue taking on the first lead

Bodisattva 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a  MT : Blackleaf Canyon : Main Wall - West End
P1:(5.9) Start just left of "home boys on Soy" and follow the bolts 90' to chains.P2: (5.10)Follow the bolts up the prominent prow, 90'P3:(5.10) Head up left trending face to a ledge.P4:(5.10+) think shy of 5.11, its getting stout now. Follow the face that's just wonderful and crimpy with thin but fun feet to chains just below a roof.P:5 (5.12+) didn't try this pitch. It heads up a very slick looking shield....[more]   Browse More Classics in MT

Photos of Blackleaf Canyon Slideshow Add Photo
Blackleaf Canyon from Bynum, MT.  Looking back aft...
Blackleaf Canyon from Bynum, MT. Looking back aft...
Launching up steep rock
Launching up steep rock
Look carefully and you'll see incredible incut che...
Look carefully and you'll see incredible incut che...
This wall is steep!
This wall is steep!
Because there is still some loose rock, it's best ...
Because there is still some loose rock, it's best ...
Kim on a 5.11- at dentist area
Kim on a 5.11- at dentist area

Comments on Blackleaf Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Stu Ritchie
From: Denver
Aug 2, 2010
Spend the time to do your homework before journeying to Blackleaf...you will be rewarded with excellent, long limestone classics.
By Marty Bland
Sep 27, 2010
Stu, what is the season here? Got anymore photo's?
By gordwah
From: colorado
Jun 10, 2012
How many minutes is the approach to the walls?
By fendbend99
Aug 27, 2012
Here is a helpful website:


Weird to navigate but provides some good info
By Josh Kornish
From: Eugene, OR
Sep 3, 2012
The approaches here are about 10 minutes.

This was an interesting area to visit with rock quality ranging from complete shit (climbing 101) to excellent (Home Boys, Bodh., etc.) I wouldn't go as far to say that this is a destination area but certainly worth a visit.

Very tight spaced bolts

HELMETS ARE A MUST!!!!!!! Expect to get hit with something. also the winds can be insane!
By Matthew Abbott
Jun 14, 2013
Does anybody know where I can find a topo for the area?
By Mackenzie Moore
From: Missoula, MT
Jul 1, 2013
The last pitch of bodhisatva is contrived, runout at the top, and just plain bad. Would not recommend.
By Greg Corn
Jul 26, 2013

My webguy is slowly adding to this new site and trying to enjoy the summer at the same time.
Lots of content still to come....
have a good summer!
By Jasonfrommontana
Jun 23, 2015
As of 7/20/15 there are around 100 pitches in b leaf. The guide can be found at northern lights in bozo but it's not current. Feel free to ask me about beta I am working on a new free beta sheet but don't have one yet. For me the new routes are some of best. The rock is a bit sharp but the climbing is so varied it's worth it. For me rock quality is great but most ledges have a build up of loose stuff so be cautious. Have fun be safe keep crankin.
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