Top three reasons to go rock climbing on Gannett Peak
An exhilarating multi-day trek in a rugged alpine landscape
Stunning views of Wind River’s glacial lakes and mountain pastures
Challenge yourself on diverse terrain in a remote landscape
Situated far from any major cities and occupying a 100-mile stretch of the Great Divide in western Wyoming, the Wind River Mountains are a sight to behold. The Winds, as the locals know them, contain the largest glacial system in the Rockies and more than 40 peaks over 13,000 feet. Standing above them all is Gannett Peak, one of the most difficult-to-reach summits in the US. This is where some of the country’s finest alpine rock and ice climbing, day hiking and even fishing can be found, but to reach any of it is no walk in the park. The range can be accessed either from the east or the west side, with the approach lasting several days. Either way, a spine-tingling, awe-inspiring experience is guaranteed for any adventurer who decides to brave Wind River’s remote and rugged wilderness.
Late June through September
Jackson, WY, is about 1.5-2 hours from both Pinedale and Crowheart
Choose how you spend your days
5-day Rock Climbing Expedition From Cold Springs
Starting from the Cold Springs trailhead on the Wind River Indian Reservation, this five-day trip takes the shorter, east-side approach to Gannett Peak. Cross the aptly named Scenic Pass, camp on the serene shores of Echo Lake and marvel at the views of Wind River Range as you ascend Gannett Peak’s majestic glacial horn.
6-day Rock Climbing Expedition From Elkhart Park
This longer, six-day expedition approaches Gannett Peak from the west side of the Wind River Mountain Range. Take a scenic hike on Photographer’s Point and Seneca Lake, admire the jagged crown of peaks skirting Titcomb Basin and camp on Mt. Helen before a long alpine climb to Gannett Peak.
Itinerary: Cold Springs Approach
Day 1: Cold Springs and Scenic Pass
Meet your group at Crowheart and take a ride to the Cold Springs trailhead. After a 6-mile hike to 11,400 feet of elevation, reach Scenic Pass, which offers excellent views of the northern side of Wind River Range. Camp at Echo Lake by the Ink Wells Trail.
Day 2: Dinwoody Trail
Hike southwest towards Dinwoody Trail. Follow Dinwoody Creek upstream over multiple river crossings. After about 8 miles make camp at the terminal of the Dinwoody Glacier.
Day 3: Summit
An eventful alpine day will take you to the summit of Gannett peak before noon and back to the camp in the afternoon. The routes ahead are technical and feature glaciers, snow climbing and rock scrambling.
Days 4 and 5: Return
Enjoy the last two days in Wind River by retracing your steps and enjoying the breathtaking mountain scenery. Take in the views on Scenic Pass once again before returning to Cold Springs at noon on the fifth day.
Itinerary: Elkhart Park Approach
Day 1: Pole Creek Trail
Drive from the guide’s office to the Elkhart Park trailhead on Pole Creek Trail. Hike past the scenic Photographer’s Point and Seneca Lake. Establish camp near Island Lake and rest up before the long journey ahead.
Day 2: Titcomb Basin
Start the day with a 4.5-mile hike to the head of Titcomb Basin and up the glacier-carved valley. Enjoy walking along mile-long emerald lakes as the jagged peaks of Fremont, Sacagawea and Mt. Helen loom above you. In preparation for the next day’s challenges, practice snow climbing and self-arrest techniques in a nearby snowfield.
Days 3 and 4: Summit
Kick off the day with an early alpine start to the top of Gannett Peak and return to camp before nightfall. Expect a 14-hour day of mountaineering on technical routes, alpine glaciers and sections that require snow climbing and rock scrambling.
Day 5: Explore and enjoy
Having accomplished your goal, it’s time to wind down a bit and enjoy the beauty of Wind River some more. Explore, take photos, try your hand in fishing! There’s plenty of lakes in the area.
Day 6: Return
On the final day of the expedition revisit Seneca Lake, Hobbs, and Eklund Lakes. Savor the spectacular views of Titcomb Basin and Gannett Peak from Photographer’s Point.
Meet your guide
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides
This climb was life-changing. It was a true mountaineering experience that offered everything: risk, reward, pain, suffering, conquering fears, and pushing personal limits. Nadav was the best guide I’ve ever had. He was honest, laid back and answered any question we could throw at him. His knowledge about the mountains and the Winds in particular was greatly appreciated. He was an excellent teacher and mentor in the backcountry, but he also showed real interest in getting to know each of us on a personal level. I feel like that is rare trait these days. Over the course of the 5 days, I felt less like a client and more like a friend. On summit day, Nadav was honest and upfront. I never felt like he was babysitting us, but rather truly guiding us. We discussed every section of the climb prior to making any major moves. He never stopped teaching the entire day. He knew just how far to push us while managing the risks and keeping us safe. I feel honored to call Nadav my friend.
If you want to climb safely with confidence and learn about WHAT you are actually doing and climbing…Pick JHMG. Hands down the best guys for the job! YEARS of experience and professionalism are very obvious from the moment you step inside the shop. Nice guys, well trained and fun to climb with!
Get complete checklist for hiking and camping equipment.
Things to know
Covid measures in Gannett Peak, Wyoming
57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.
We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Wyoming please refer to the official website of the Wyoming Department of Health.
Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!
What you get on this adventure:
- An experienced, local rock-climbing guide with extensive knowledge of the area
- 5 or 6 days of hiking and climbing depending on your chosen itinerary
- All technical climbing gear
- Breakfast and dinners in the backcountry
- Cooking equipment
What’s not included:
- Equipment drop/portage and shuttle fees
- Lunch and snacks
- Permits and licenses ($345 is paid per person to the to the Wind River reservation for transportation and fishing licenses)
How fit do I need to be?
Both the 5-day and 6-day expeditions are strenuous treks that require a high level of fitness. You need to be prepared for a full day of hiking and snow climbing while carrying your equipment and gaining elevation up to almost 14.000 feet.
What about required equipment?
Your guides supply all the helmets, ropes, pickets, belays, crampons, and ice axes. However, you are welcome to bring your own equipment. Please coordinate with our office for gear checks. Backpacks, rock shoes, and boots can all be rented and purchased in their Jackson office. However, if you have your own gear, feel free to bring it.
Here’s a list of the equipment we suggest you bring:
- Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
- Hiking poles — optional
- Crampons – during winter months, can be rented
- Ice axe – during winter months, can be rented
- Ski goggles – during winter months, can be rented
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Spare clothes for layering
- Hiking pants
- Hiking socks
- Fleece jacket
- Warm, down jacket
- Waterproof rain jacket
- Rain pants (depend of the season)
- Wool hat
- Comfortable shoes for camp
- A three-season sleeping bag and mat
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Fishing gear
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.
Group sizes and age requirements
Group sizes and prices:
- The group size for these private trips is usually 3 people with one guide.
- Costs per person decrease as the group grows for private tours, so it’s the perfect opportunity to climb with friends and family.
Group pricing is for 2–3 people on a trip. You will be matched with other interested participants on group trips.
Hiking and Climbing on Gannett Peak can be arranged for bigger groups. Contact us prior to booking.
Min. age requirements:
- If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
- Minors as young as 15 may be permitted to climb on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.
If your group has climbers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
Getting there and meeting location
The closest airport is the one in Jackson Hole, but Idaho Falls (a 2.5-hour drive) and Salt Lake City (4-5 hour drive) are also air travel options.
It’s best to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip to properly acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before and stop by the guide’s office for an equipment check.
The Elkhart Park trailhead is located 14 miles east of Pinedale, while Wind River Range trips and classes operate out of the guide’s Jackson headquarters. Most trips start from this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes.