Climb the Grand Teton

May 15, 2024 | Posted in: JHMG

Climbing the Grand Teton

Are you ready to take your climbing adventures to new heights? Join us as we share the rewarding ascent of the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park. When climbing with the certified professionals at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, no experience is necessary and you will combine training, acclimatizing, camping, and climbing the Grand into four memorable days and three transcendental nights at the Corbet High Camp (11,200”).

Why the Grand Teton?

The tallest peak in Grand Teton National Park and the third highest peak in the state of Wyoming (after Gannet and Fremont Peak in the Wind River Range, which The Mountain Guides also guide). The Grand Teton is an iconic sight and on every climber’s life list. Visible from downtown Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and below you as you fly into the Jackson Hole Airport, the Grand Teton’s allure is next to none. Without meandering foothills in the approach, climbing the Grand Teton is a direct ascent and can be completed anywhere from 1-4 days, and offers a variety of routes to the summit, enticing for climbers of varying skill levels. 

How Tall is the Grand Teton?

Rising dramatically to an elevation of 13,776 feet (4,199 meters), the Grand Teton stands as the tallest peak in the Teton Range and the third highest peak in Wyoming, offering unparalleled panoramic views of Jackson Hole, The Gros Ventre Mountains, Teton Valley, Idaho and the dramatic peaks of Grand Teton National Park.

Is Hiking the Grand Teton Hard?

Reaching the top of the  Grand Teton climb is not for the faint of heart. Under the supervision and support of your expert guide, it is an achievable goal for any climbing ability. Because the mountains can be unpredictable, exposure to mountain weather can present sudden storms that require mental fortitude, and traveling across rugged terrain requires strength and focus. With the right preparation and guidance, the breathtaking summit of the Grand Teton can be within reach for any climber that is eager to embark on an unforgettable adventure.

Can You Free Climb the Grand Teton?

Free climbing is to climb with the safety of climbing equipment; a rope and protection. Yes, you will climb under your own power, protected by safety systems. The Grand Teton presents a formidable challenge for all levels of free climbers. There are multiple routes to the summit at a range of difficulty, creating many options to push one’s limits, test one’s skills, and stay within one’s comfort while applying textbook climbing skills and techniques. Your guide will assess your abilities and pick a route that is a good fit for you.

What Climbing Grade is the Grand Teton?

Reaching an elevation of 13,776 feet, the Grand Teton is an alpine climb with many route options that vary in difficulty and technicality. We typically guide the Pownall-Gilkey Route; it is direct and one of the most straightforward routes to the summit. The other most popular route we guide is the Upper Exum Ridge. (5.5) A scenic journey up one of the most prominent south facing ridge lines in the Tetons. The route takes you through features like the step across, golden staircase, wind tunnel, and friction pitch. Other routes range in difficulty up to 5.12, providing a diverse array of challenges for climbers of all skill levels.

How Long Does Climbing the Grand Teton Take?

The duration of a Grand Teton climb varies depending on factors such as weather conditions, the chosen route, and the skill and experience  level of the climbers. While it is possible to climb the Grand Teton in one day, a guided climb with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides takes 4 days, which includes a prep day, approaching, summiting, and descending. We offer two itineraries. A 3 day plus prep day which starts with a training day in Jackson and then 3 days on the mountain. The other itinerary we offer is the 4 Day Climb which is 4 days on the mountain with day 1 hiking to our camp and day 2 being your training day.

What is Climbing the Grand Teton with Jackson Hole Mountain Guides like?

Our 4-day commitment ensures exceptional service, unforgettable mountain experiences, and expert-led learning and adventure. You will meet your guide at our office in Jackson Hole for a gear check before you start your journey. Preparation includes a single day climbing class at Corbet High Camp or in Jackson Hole to ensure you are comfortable applying your climbing skills en-route. You’ll learn how to communicate on the mountain, and get comfortable with one another.Your ascent will start early at the Lupine Meadows trailhead, where you will ascend to the historic Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Corbet High Camp; a 6 mile hike up the beautiful Garnet Canyon gaining 4,200 feet of elevation. Corbet High Camp features a pristine water source, a weatherport for cooking, eating and hanging out and tents equipped with sleeping bags and pads. After settling in, you and your guide will practice multi-pitch climbing and rappelling just 10 minutes away from camp! Then you will eat a delicious dinner prepared by your guides and fall asleep under the stars and the shadow of the Grand Teton. 

Day two or three, depending on the itinerary you booked, is summit day! You will awake early, fill yourself with an energizing breakfast, and head out for your climb. The climb to the summit is roughly two miles, but gains 2,700 feet in elevation, so slow but steady upward momentum is key. Most will either climb the Pownall-Gilkey Route or the Exum Ridge, based on your guide’s discretion, weather, time and ability, and it will take 5-7 hours to reach the summit. YOu will then descend to the comfort of the Corbet High Camp for a warm and delicious meal and rest after a hard day’s work.

Day three or four is part of what makes the JHMG program special! If you were unable to summit on day two, day three provides a second opportunity to summit if weather/fitness allow.. If you did summit on day two, then you have the option to descend back down to Lupine Meadows where you can return your car and look directly at all the amazing ground you covered to climb the Grand Teton. 

Book your Adventure Now

We are excited to announce that we still have some  availability to climb the Grand Teton with Jackson Hole Mountain guides this summer 2024. A trip that notoriously fills up fast and requires 1-2 years of advanced planning, take advantage of our last minute openings and secure your spot to climb the Grand this summer.

Book Now


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