Pinedale, WY: Gannett Peak

Climb Wyoming's highest peak on this 41-mile out-and-back in the Wind River Range.
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Climb Wyoming's highest peak on this 41-mile out-and-back in the Wind River Range.

Gannett Peak, Wyoming’s highpoint, is the most remote in the Lower 48—just reaching it entails a superb wilderness adventure. The 20.5-mile hike to the summit is the longest high-point approach and certainly the wildest. You'll ogle the steep granite spires of the Wind River Range as you trek through the area's rugged, remote valleys, which are resplendent with glacial lakes and alpine flowers.

It typically takes climbers 2 days just to reach basecamp on emerald-green Upper Titcomb Lake. After huffing up to 13,000-foot Dinwoody Pass in the dark, you'll zigzag the Gooseneck Glacier to the summit ridge. On bluebird days, you'll be rewarded with an unforgettable panorama of granite, ice, snow, sky, and one of the great remaining wildernesses in the Lower 48. On stormy days, you'll be inclined to get the hell outta there as fast as you can.

MAP Bridger Teton National Forest: Pinedale Ranger District ($17, grandtetonpark.org)

GUIDEBOOK Bridger Teton National Forest: Pinedale Ranger District ($17, grandtetonpark.org)

CONTACT (307) 367-4326; fs.usda.gov/btnf

-Mapped by Shannon Davis

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 33.0

Waypoints

GAN001

Location: 43.004427, -109.752302

The route begins at Elkhart Park. Hike northeast, then southeast on Pole Creek Trail.

GAN002

Location: 42.996581, -109.732347

Continue straight at next two junctions.

GAN003

Location: 43.00253, -109.720652

Continue straight (north).

GAN004

Location: 43.009731, -109.709687

Bear left on Pole Creek Trail.

GAN005

Location: 43.021404, -109.695396

Photographers Point

GAN006

Location: 43.019961, -109.686041

Go straight at next two junctions.

GAN007

Location: 43.035082, -109.67381

Hobbs Lake

GAN008

Location: 43.056973, -109.661107

Seneca Lake

GAN009

Location: 43.06685, -109.649563

Continue straight at the junction east of Little Seneca Lake.

GAN010

Location: 43.070675, -109.646258

Bear right onto Indian Pass Trail.

GAN011

Location: 43.081866, -109.630208

Island Lake

GAN012

Location: 43.093446, -109.629543

Bear left, heading north on Titcomb Basin Trail.

GAN013

Location: 43.12166, -109.637074

Titcomb Lakes

GAN014

Location: 43.133374, -109.63892

The official trail ends and you're on your own. Pick your own route ahead; this above-treeline, off-trail striding and scrambling will spoil you forever. Hop boulders and skip through flowering meadows for a few more miles until you find yourself encircled by granite and glaciers, an orgy of mountains. Now climb one of the peaks. Doesn’t matter whether it’s a technical ascent or a hike. You’ll get the view of a lifetime.

GAN015

Location: 43.153008, -109.641623

Bear right and climb northeast into a bowl beneath Dinwoody and Miriam Peaks.

GAN016

Location: 43.164622, -109.638577

Crest Bonney Pass, a saddle between Dinwoody and Miriam Peaks. Next, descend north across the Dinwoody Glacier. The ascent up the Gooseneck Route is straightforward in good conditions (midsummer is usually ideal), but snow-travel skills are required.

GAN017

Location: 43.180333, -109.646087

Turn left and ascend the northern side of Gooseneck Pinnacle.

GAN018

Location: 43.180865, -109.654927

Turn right (north); follow the ridgeline to Gannett Peak.

GAN019

Location: 43.184315, -109.654284

Gannett Peak: You'll get unrivaled views of the Winds from this 13,804-foot peak. Follow the same route back to the trailhead.