Gannett Peak is the highest peak in Wyoming, and in the Wind River Mountain Range, at 13,804 feet. It has five rugged glaciers on its flank, the largest glaciers in the American Rocky Mountains. It is remote and considered an exciting alpine mountaineering challenge due to its inaccessibility and moderate difficulty.
The trip includes traversing glaciers that contain deep crevasses that in early spring that can lay hidden under a coat of shallow snow. Ropes, crampons, ice axes and the knowledge on proper usage are essential. Furthermore, the strenuous 20+ mile trail hike approach adds to the endeavor. Over the past years, climbers report that the Goose Neck Route has changed dramatically. Due to receding and melting glaciers the route has become icier. The bergschrund is also becoming a more complex obstacle to overcome. It is recommended that groups attempting to climb this peak go earlier in the season, i.e. June and early July, so that snow bridges are in better condition.
Gannett Peak is located in the northern Wind River Mountain Range on the Continental Divide (in both the Fitzpatrick and Bridger Wilderness Areas), in west-central Wyoming (Fremont & Sublette Counties). It is 25 miles north-northeast of Pinedale. Looking at a map of the Wind River Mountains, locate Green River Lakes and New Fork Lakes north of Pinedale. Split the difference between the two lakes and go east approximately 10 air miles until you hit the Continental Divide and you’ll see Gannett Peak.
Gannett Peak is accessible from several routes. From Elkhart Park trailhead near Pinedale, the route of approach usually goes past Seneca and Island Lakes to the head of the Titcomb Basin. Depending on the overall length of the trip, training requirements, and whether horse packers have been used or not, it will take you 2 to 4 days to reach the upper Titcomb. Weather, conditioning, timing, and other variables determine the exact location of the summit camp. Summit day starts early so that you can reach the top in the morning hours and return to camp before dark. There are a number of route choices, the most popular one being the Gooseneck. All are technical and entail crossing glaciers, snow climbing and rock scrambling. Approaches from the Green River Lakes or New Fork Lake trailheads on the west side of the Wind River Range are longer than the traditional approach routes, but the rewards include being off the beaten path. Access to Gannett Peak is also popular from the Dubois side, with the Glacier Trail being the main and most popular trail, which starts outside the town of Dubois. Trail users should expect plenty of other company on the trail, including those on foot, horse pack strings, and those with llamas. It is recommended that visitors plan this for a multi-day trip, a couple days for travel in and out and a couple for exploring.
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