Looking at the falls from the riverbed. During th...
A really neat place to go and climb hard sport this area is under very active development and is host to mostly harder sport lines at the moment. The climbing is limestone and for the most part very steep for Montana. Some pockets are to be found but it is a lot of small edging. The river that flows through the canyon goes underground for part of the canyon but during spring can overrun and flow down the center. The waterfall has the same proclivity with it flowing under for most of the year but during high melt-off it will occasionally flow over the top of the riverbed. A really neat changing environment that feels a little different every time you go to it. Due to the very active route development many bolt lines you see will not be posted here as they are still projects in the making. This area is climbable pretty much year round with a fair amount of protection afforded by being in a canyon and mild temps. The best season is probably Spring and Fall, although during summer it can be fun to have a mid climbing sesh dip in the river.
Have a great time!
From the East To get to the Natural Bridges parking lot there are a couple of options. If coming from the east the best way is to get off at Big Timber exit 367 from I90. Drive through town following signs to state highway 298. Continue on state highway 298 for 25.1 miles and there is a sign designating Natural Bridges state park. Turn here and you have arrived at the parking lot. Expect around a 2 hour drive from Billings. From the West If coming from the West such as Bozeman there are two options. The route described as above stays on main roads and is slightly quicker but much less scenic than the way I prefer. I like to drive out to Livingston and then turn onto Swingley road and take it to Mcleod. See this map for details. g.co/maps/u6js7 It is a gorgeous drive and does not take much longer than staying on the interstate.
Isla is the iconic test piece of the area. A departure from other bozeman climbs, this is a true resistance route where the crux could be considered 3 bolts in length, and it is possible to fall much higher. A 5.11 introduction leads to a cave where several variations of no hands rests can be had. Prepare yourself because the rest of the way there is no place to more than chalk up and take a breath. Immediately leaving the cave you are meet with long moves between good holds leading to the "crux...[more]Browse More Classics in MT