Grand Teton National Park: Middle Teton via South Couloir

Navigate boulder fields, rocky ridgelines, and seasonal snowfields during this long, challenging ascent of the third-highest peak in the Tetons.
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Navigate boulder fields, rocky ridgelines, and seasonal snowfields during this long, challenging ascent of the third-highest peak in the Tetons.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/things2know.htm.

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/back.htm

CONTACT Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300; nps.gov/grte/

-Mapped by Mike Trottier

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 22.9

Waypoints

MMT001

Location: 43.734577, -110.741673

Head S on trail. Note: Bring crampons any time except midsummer. Plan on 12 hours round-trip, or break it into 2 days

MMT002

Location: 43.726204, -110.75665

Bear R @ Y junction; head SW toward Garnet Canyon

MMT003

Location: 43.724281, -110.763001

Continue up long, steep switchbacks; look E for views into Jackson Hole

MMT004

Location: 43.726266, -110.765319

Bear L; follow signs to Garnet Canyon. In 1 mi., listen for sounds of Garnet Creek as it pours over 50-ft. Cleft Falls

MMT005

Location: 43.72514, -110.782501

Connect cairns through boulder field

MMT006

Location: 43.72583, -110.790398

Travel W through the Meadows (campsites; permit required). Official trail ends ahead. Continue WSW on climber's trail, navigating steep slide with loose rock

MMT007

Location: 43.724461, -110.797203

Continue W

MMT008

Location: 43.72356, -110.803497

Slowly ascend W between Cloudveil Dome and the Middle Teton

MMT009

Location: 43.724411, -110.819

Turn R on saddle between Middle and South Tetons. Rest and fuel up before last long scramble up SW couloir. To W, an 800-ft. cliff drops down to Icefloe Lake

MMT010

Location: 43.730414, -110.811077

Pointed 12,804-ft. summit of Middle Teton. See ripsaw point of Grand Teton to N, sheer rock face of South Teton to SSW. Retrace route back before p.m. storms blow in

Jackson Hole

Location: 43.724343, -110.762444

Climbing the switchbacks, open vistas stretch across to Blacktail Butte and the Snake River winding through the lush plains of Antelope Flats. ©Michael Trottier

Boulder Field

Location: 43.725212, -110.781927

Carefully navigate this pine-choken gully littered with scree. ©Michael Trottier

Views before the false ridge

Location: 43.723537, -110.800123

Sun streaks the stream-braided and boulder-strewn canyon before the false ridge. ©Michael Trottier

Eastern Views

Location: 43.72438, -110.818596

Reach the high scree fields between Middle Teton and South Teton and gaze over the rocky points of Cloudveil Dome and Nez Perce. ©Michael Trottier

Views of Icefloe Lake

Location: 43.724188, -110.818405

From the saddle approach to Middle Teton, Icefloe Lake comes into full view. ©Michael Trottier

Summit

Location: 43.730429, -110.810927

Hikers clamber over blocky talus to reach Middle Teton (12,804 ft.). ©Michael Trottier