Twin Falls

Page Type
Montana, United States, North America
Route Type:
Ice Climbing
Time Required:
Half a day
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Twin Falls
Created On: Oct 21, 2009
Last Edited On: Nov 14, 2010


Twin Falls is one of the largest ice formations found in Hyalite Canyon. It is found on the west side of the canyon between Elephant Mountain and Palace Butte. The climb is anywhere from 190 to 250 feet tall, depending on where you climb.


To get to Twin Falls, begin at the Grotto Falls trailhead. Follow the trail up about 1/4 mile to the last intersection of the climber's trail with the Grotto Falls Handicap trail (it is an obvious intersection). If you come to the Amphitheatre, you've gone about 100' too far. Branch off to the right on the handicap trail for a few hundred feet until it turns to the left (south). Look for a green ribbon and turn right, or make your own way to the creek and find a log to cross on. Once on the other side of the creek, make your way up the steep slope angling to the left. You will come to a gully directly below the climbs. From the gully you will clearly be able to see Cleopatra's Needle (commonly referred to as "Cleo's"). Climb up to Cleo's and traverse left 200' to the base of Twin Falls.

There will usually be a well-beaten climber's trail since this is a popular climbing destination. Expect about 1 1/2 hours for the approach.

Route Description

Twin Falls: 190' to 250' WI3+
FA: Unknown
The left and right sides of Twin Falls are the same in height and difficulty, but the left side consistently forms thinner than the right side. Some years, there will also be a smear of ice in the center, providing a third climb to interested parties.

Pitch 1 climbs about 150' to a flatter section of ice 2/3 the way up the climb. The crux is usually at the start or shortly thereafter, followed by smooth, rolling ice. Pitch 2 finishes the climb to the top of the falls, where there are many belay options.

By starting on the extreme right or left of the falls, you could do the entire climb in one pitch, as the ice begins much higher on the sides than towards the middle. Be careful with thin ice on this climb - it is a high-volume falls in the summer, and water will flow below the ice for the majority of the winter.

To descend, head to the top of the Right Falls. There will be slings around a tree. Either use two ropes to head all the way to the base or use one rope, making two rappels. The second rappel station is located in the center of the climbs around a tree only about 40 feet from the top.

Essential Gear

Ice screws to your comfort level - most are comfortable with around 8 screws.