The Wind River Mountains, located in western Wyoming, are a great climbing and mountaineering destination. The massive range spans 100 miles and it’s crest forms the Continental Divide. The northern Winds are renowned for their 13,000’ glaciated peaks and remote alpine areas, including Gannett Peak, at 13,804’ the highest summit in the state. Jackson Hole Mountain Guides have been climbing in the Winds for decades, and have racked up an impressive list of ascents of many of their finest routes. Some of the best alpine rock and ice climbing in the United States is found in the Wind River Mountains. Backpacking, day hiking, and fishing are also pursuits to be enjoyed here.
Our 5 – 6 day Gannett Peak adventures approach from both Elkhart Park on the west side of the range and Cold Springs on the east sides of the range. Whichever approach you decide to do, one thing is guaranteed. The majestic views of the Wind Rivers will take your breath away.
Jackson Hole Mountain Guides Operates under a permit by the Bridger- Teton National Forest. Jackson Hole Mountain Guides is an equal opportunity service provider.
This Gannett Peak trip utilizes our traditional approach from the west side of the Wind River Mountains, and has a six day schedule. The trip starts with a two-hour organization session at our Jackson office the day before your trip. Paperwork is completed, gear is reviewed, packs are filled, and final details are made to carpool or meet at the Elkhart Park Trailhead, near Pinedale. Some people may drive down to Pinedale and meet the team at Bald Mountain Outfitters at 7am the first day of the trip.
Day One – (Approach to Island Lake, 13 mi)
5:00 am We depart the Jackson Hole Mountain Guides office and drive to the Elkhart Park Trailhead. If other team members have elected to stay in Pinedale, we meet them at Bald Mountain Outfitters.
7:00 am Rendezvous at Bald Mountain Outfitters. Two mules will carry in up to 300 pounds of gear for our team. Your gear should be packed in a separate duffel bag for the mules.
8:00 am Depart Elkhart Park Trailhead on the Pole Creek Trail. The 10 miles past Photographer’s Point and Seneca Lake is a beautiful and relatively flat hike. Camp will be established very near to the equipment drop just past Island Lake.
Day Two – (Approach to the head of Upper Titcomb Basin, 4 mi)
Today we load up our packs and hike 4.5 miles and several hours to the head of Titcomb Basin. As we travel up this glacially carved valley, we walk alongside two mile-long green-blue lakes. Jagged peaks (Fremont, Sacagawea, and Mt. Helen) rise abruptly into the sky. Camp is made above the upper lake and below Mt. Helen. In the afternoon, snow climbing and self-arrest techniques are reviewed and practiced on nearby snowfields.
Days Three and Four – (potential summit days)
An alpine start allows us to reach the summit of Gannett before noon and return to camp before dark. Be prepared for a 14-hour day! This long climb requires excellent fitness-please be prepared. There are a number of route choices, the most popular one being the Gooseneck Route. All routes are technical and entail crossing glaciers, snow climbing, and rock scrambling over exposed terrain. Our guides employ ropes, pickets, and belays whenever necessary.
We can alternatively have a partial rest/training day on Day Three, and possibly move camp up to the top of Bonney Pass in good weather. Day Four would then be summit day.
Day Five – (Hike part-way out, 6 to 9 mi)
The last two days of the trip are great for enjoying the Wind River Mountains. There is excellent fishing (permit required) in nearby lakes and the views remai stunning. We cover between 6 and 9 miles this day.
Day Six – (Return to trailhead, 8 to 11 mi)
The final hiking day takes us past Seneca, Hobbs, and Eklund Lakes. A final break at Photographer’s Point allows one last view of Titcomb Basin and Gannett Peak.
JHMG can also arrange for Gannett trips starting at Cold Springs road head on the Wind River Indian Reservation. This trip utilizes the shortest approach to the peak with a five day schedule; hiring a Tribal outfitter and purchasing a fishing permit are required for use of this road head and the tribal lands. (See pricing)
The Gannett Peak trip starts with a two-hour organization session at our Jackson office the day before your trip. Paperwork is completed, gear is reviewed, packs are filled, and final details are made to carpool or meet in Crowheart, near Dubois.
Day One – (Approach to Echo Lake)
7AM The party will meet the tribal outfitter in Crowheart, where we’ll park our cars and then get driven to the roadhead. Please have packs already packed up. The Cold Springs roadhead is at ~9500’, and we hike for about 6 miles, up and over the 11,400’, aptly named Scenic Pass, where Gannett Peak and the entire northern Wind River Range can be viewed. The first camp is at Echo Lake, by the Ink Wells trail.
Day Two – (Hike to Dinwoody Glacier)
From Echo Lake, we hike southwest and join the Dinwoody Trail. Following Dinwoody Creek upstream, we have several river crossings along the ~8 mile hike. Camp will be established at the terminal moraine of the Dinwoody Glacier.
Day Three – (Summit Day)
An alpine start allows us to reach the summit of Gannett before noon and return to camp in the afternoon. Be prepared for a full day! There are a number of route choices, including the Gooseneck Route and the South Couloir. All routes are technical and entail crossing glaciers, snow climbing, and rock scrambling over exposed terrain. Our guides employ ropes, pickets, and belays whenever necessary.
Days Four and Five – (Return to Echo Lake and the roadhead)
The last two days are great for enjoying the Wind River Mountains. We trace our steps back the way we came, with a final grunt up and over Scenic Pass. We’ll rendezvous with the Indian Guide at Cold Springs at noon on the fifth day.
6-day West Side Gannett Peak Climb (Elkhart Park): $4170 private 1:1; $3475 pp / 2:1.
5-day East Side Gannett Peak Climb (Cold Springs) Price: $3875 private 1:1; $3125 pp/ 2:1. (Be advised that an additional $450 is paid per person to the to the Wind River reservation for transportation and permit fees for East Side trips. This is paid directly by the client to the reservation, clients are expected to cover these charges for guides and porters. THE WIND RIVER RESERVATION DOES NOT TAKE CREDIT CARDS, YOU WILL NEED ROUGHLY $500-$1000 IN CASH OR A CHECK) (depending on the client to guide ratio.)
Price includes breakfasts and dinners (i.e., evening meal) while in the backcountry, technical climbing gear, tent and group cooking gear. ***HORSE SUPPORT OR PORTERS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from the WEST SIDE. Price does not include equipment drop/portage and shuttle fees.
Group pricing is for 2 – 3 people on a trip. We will match you with other interested participants on “group” trips. Please note that trips must reach minimum # of people.
Private trips cannot be booked directly online based on scheduling, please click here to inquire about specific dates for a private trip.
Please read through our policies by visiting this page.
Trips run from late June through mid-September.
- Train running shoes: For the beginning and end of the trip trail runners or a lightweight hiking shoe for more ankle support
- Mountain Boots: All Gannett Peak Climbs, require a crampon-compatible mountain boot
- Guide Pick: Scarpa Zodiac Tech
- Boots are also available for rent at the JHMG office.
- Socks: 2-4 pairs: Lightweight wool or synthetic socks
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Top:
- Synthetic/ Wool Sun Hoody:
- Synthetic T-shirt:
- 1- 2 Insulating Jacket: Lightweight fleece or synthetic Kora Strata hoody Jacket Women’s OR Delors Down Jacket Women’s Or Men’s For Strata Hoody OR Men’s Delors Down Full zip Hoody
- Soft Shell or Wind shirt: Men’s Kor Airshell Hoodie or Women’s Kor Airshell Hoodie
- Rain Jacket: Waterproof with hood Women’s Threshold Jacket or Men’s Threshold Jacket
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Bottom:
- Hiking Short or Pants: for approach
- Synthetic Climbing Pant:
- Rain Pant:
- Hat: lightweight to medium-weight warm hat and a Sun hat both should be sleek enough to be worn under a helmet
- Buff: Crater Lake Gaiter
- Gloves: BRING TWO PAIRS – one lightweight to medium weight pair – synthetic or fleece material.
On the Trail
- Alpine Climbing Pack: Internal frame only. 50 to 60 L for a 2 or 6-day trip. Large enough to fit all your personal gear plus ten pounds of food and water.
- Sleeping Bag: Phantom Alpine 30 degree
- The Mountain Guides rents synthetic 30-degree Mountain Hardwear bags
- Sleeping Pad: Closed-cell foam or Thermarest
- Water Bottles: (2-3 L/Qt.) or H2O hydration system
- Water Treatment: Steripen or filter in bottle or drops
- Stuff Sacks: zip lock bags for organization (optional)
- Dark Sunglasses
- Extra Contact Lenses
- Sun Hat or Visor
- Sunscreen: 35+SPF
- Lip Balm: with SPF
- Headlamp: with fresh batteries
- First Aid (minimal): blister care, ibuprofen
- Guides will carry a large first-aid kit
- Lunch, snacks & drink mix
- Lunch on the first day can be more robust such as a deli sandwich (keep the trash to a minimum since you will be carrying it)
- Trail lunch consists of snacks throughout the day. Aim for a variety of items including sweet, salty, fat, and proteins.
- Examples: beef jerky, cheese and crackers, dried fruit, bars, candy, PB&J, etc.
- Find a balance between high-calorie foods and space/weight in your pack
- Drink mixes with electrolytes
- Make sure to save some of your favorite snacks for summit day
Recommended & Optional Items
- Trekking Poles: highly recommended to help with uneven terrain
- Insoles: custom or aftermarket
- Insect Repellent
- Camp Shoe: lightweight
Cold Weather Considerations
Early and late-season temperatures require warmer clothing. You may consider additional clothing if you get cold easily or if it is unusually cold or windy.
- Buff or neck gaiter
- Extra down vest or jacket
- Expedition weight long underwear
- Extra gloves
**The Mountain Guides supplies all rock climbing gear, harnesses, helmets, locking carabiners & belay/rappel devices, 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 & purchased in our Jackson office.
For your safety and comfort, bring synthetic and or natural fiber clothing for insulation. Cotton
is NOT recommended and down must be kept dry. Clothing should be able to layer without encumbering movement.
Directions to Trailheads
Both Pinedale and Crowheart/Dubois are about 1.5-2 hours from Jackson.
Elkhart Park Trailhead is 14 miles east of Pinedale, and has a paved road the entire way to the 9380’ elevation parking lot. Near the east side of Pinedale, where the highway curves south and Faler’s General Store is located, turn east on Skyline Drive; there are signs for Fremont Lake. After three miles, bear right and subsequently pass roads on the right to Half Moon Lake and White Pine Ski Area. Pass a Forest Service A-frame house and the parking area is on the right. To rendezvous at the horsepacker’s, take a right on a small two track, FS Road 740B about a third of a mile before (not just before) the A-frame. Please contact our office regarding east side Wind River departures and shuttles.
Wind River Range trips and classes operate out of our Jackson headquarters, which is located in the south part of Jackson at 1325 S. Highway 89, Suite 104 and shares a parking area with Smith’s. Our phone number is (800) 239-7642 or (307) 733-4979. Most trips and classes will meet at this office for gear checks, preparation, and classes. The Jackson Hole airport is the closest, but Idaho Falls (a 2 – 2.5 hour drive) is a cheaper option and Salt Lake City (4 – 5 hour drive) are also air travel options. It is helpful to arrive a couple of days prior to your trip/class in order to acclimatize. Otherwise, you should arrive the day before and stop by our office for an equipment check. Do not plan on traveling the day after a significant climb – you will be tired and there are no guaranteed times when we will return to the trailhead. Plan on having accommodations for the night prior to and the night you return from a significant climb. There are a plethora of hotels, motels, and bed and breakfasts in Jackson and the surrounding area. Accommodations near our office make your transitions convenient. It is highly advisable to make reservations as early as possible.VIEW PDF
Talk To Us
Here you’ll find online tools and information about joining us for a trip of a lifetime! To sign up for a trip, or if you have any questions, please call us. Listed on the left side of these pages are links that you may find useful, including printable forms and policies concerning a trip with TMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.