Beehive Peak is located in the Spanish Peaks area of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, about 35 miles south of Bozeman MT. Beehive Peak crowns the beautiful, glacially carved Beehive Basin with a rock buttress approximately 800 feet tall. Other rock buttresses line both sides of the basin, with one large granite intrusion (home to at least 2 established rock routes) plainly visible below and right of the summit buttress. Although it is a relatively easy approach, the routes on the final buttress range in difficuly from 5.8 to 5.11, with potential for new routes that could be even harder. Mixed climbing is available on the upper buttress in the winter.
Descent is via the obvious couloir climber's left of the buttress. (This couloir is an excellent ski in the winter or a classic 3rd/4th class ascent to the summit.)
The trail is heavily used by hikers during the summer, due to its proximity to Big Sky. This peak sees a fair amount of climber traffic during the summer, and the basin in general is heavily used in winter for backcountry skiing.
More photos will be incorporated into this page as soon as I can scan them in. And a thanks to Fred for the info on incorporating the topozone map. Check it out!
Driving directions: From Bozeman, drive south on Hwy 191 to the turnoff for Big Sky. Drive the Big Sky Spur Rd approximately 9-10 miles until it turns to gravel. Continue until the end taking a right immediately before the Moonlight Basin gate. Follow this road approx. 2 miles, winding through private developments. The trailhead is at the bottom of a steep hill, just below an extremely large and extremely ugly concrete and glass house. The trailhead is pretty small, so get there early to ensure that you can park!
From the trailhead, follow the obvious trail 2.5 miles to the lake. A faint climber's trail can be found (if you're lucky) leading past the lake to the boulderfield below the buttress. Basically, once you are past the lake, take the line of least resistance to the rock.
No red tape; this peak is located inside the boundaries of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, so all wilderness standards apply. No motorized vehicles, no motorized drills, no bikes, etc.
When To Climb
Climbing season generally runs from mid-June to October. Earlier ascents will encounter significant snow both below the base of the buttress and in the descent couloir, which could result in the need to rappel while descending. An ice ax is generally not necessary during the summer, but would be very helpful for early and late season. Weather is always a factor when climbing this mountain; afternoon thunderstorms are very common during July and August. Get an early start to avoid being caught high on the mountain!
In winter, mixed climbing (up to M5+) is available on the right side of the buttress, as well as the north and northeast aspects. Somewhat detailed beta (and a sneak peak at the Winter Dance guidebook) can be found here.
Camping is allowed anywhere in the basin, as long as you are 200 feet from the trail or any of the lakes. Most climbers will want to camp fairly high in the basin; however, stay below treeline for access to water. This is one of the best camping areas around, with abundant wildlife (moose, deer, mountain goats, and bear). Take standard bear precautions when camping in this basin.
Here's a current weather report and extended forecast for the region around Big Sky, MT.
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Live webcam for Lone Peak (about 6 miles from Beehive Peak) is available as well. This will give a good general overview of current conditions.
This peak is included in a climbing guide to this part of MT:Alpine Ice & Rock Guide to Southwest & Central Montana by Ron Brunckhorst.
Topos and routes for rock climbs on Beehive are detailed in this excellent guide.
Tom Turiano's Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone has discussion on Beehive.
And now, there's an even more comprehensive guide for winter climbs on this peak! Check out Winter Dance: Select Ice Climbs in Southern Montana & Northern Wyoming by Joe Josephson. This full color ice climbing guide is sweet, if you are planning on ice climbing in Big Sky country you should get a copy.
- Select Peaks of Greater Yellowstone
Well written, highly detailed guide for mountains in and around the Yellowstone area.