The Tetons host a range of moderate to difficult mountain summits that can be reached in a long day or in two easier days. These climbs represent a variety of difficulties and experiences, but all are classic. If you are interested in climbing a non-technical peak in a day, try one of these!
While some of the high peaks can be climbed in a day, remember that the rather lengthy approaches make turning these climbs into an overnight adventure a good option.
Some say that the view from the top of Surprise Pinnacle is one of the most spectacular in Grand Teton National Park. This moderately strenuous adventure is for those who want to get off the beaten path, and experience the beauty of the Tetons without the demanding fifth class climbing of the Grand Teton.
Southeast Ridge – 11,618’ II, 4th class
Disappointment Peak has something for everyone. The Southeast Ridge of Disappointment Peak is a pleasant one-day climb with little technical difficulty. Approached via the scenic Amphitheater Lake trail, the route offers great views throughout the day. While a rope is taken for a few tricky spots, the roped climbing ends well below the summit. Along with Surprise Pinnacle, summit of Disappointment Peak has probably the best views of any Teton peak. For something more technical, consider the East Ridge.
Teewinot East Face – 12,325’ II, 4th class
The East Face of Teewinot is a popular mid and late-season non-technical ascent once the snow has melted. In early and mid-season steep snowfields and couloirs are encountered so snow climbing skills are a must. Although it is the most accessible of the big peaks, the ascent and especially descent of the relentless 5500-foot face is challenging. This is not a trivial undertaking in spite of the lack of technical difficulties. Incredible summit vistas are the crowning prize for topping this great mountain. Be forewarned, the descent down the unrelenting slope is hard on the knees. This moderately long one-day climb starts from Lupine Meadows.
Grand Teton National Park is located roughly 30 minutes from our Jackson, WY headquarters. Our Jackson office 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. Lodging recommendations and many more details can be found in the downloadable document below.
Sitting on the eastern edge of the Great Basin, the north-south-trending Tetons rise dramatically from the floor of Jackson Hole without any foothills along an active fault-block mountain front system. Because it forms one of the first tall barriers to moisture sweeping eastward from the Pacific Ocean, much of the range’s precipitation falls as snow during winter and spring, but summers and fall are generally dry and pleasant, with the always-present possibility of thunderstorms.
The local climate is semi-arid with a yearly extreme high of 93 °F and extreme low of -46 °F. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Grand Teton National Park was -63 °F, and snow often blankets the landscape from early November to late April. Jackson Hole has long, cold winters. The first heavy snows fall by the beginning of November and continue through March. Snow and frost are possible during any month. By May and June, mild days and cool nights alternate with rain and occasional snow. Valley trails are snow covered until late May. Warm days and cool nights prevail during July and August, with afternoon thundershowers common. In autumn, sunny days and cold nights alternate with rain and occasional snow storms.
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 your movement.
Objective Dependent – Salewa footwear is available at Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for rent. JHMG also carries a selection of Five Ten Rock shoes for rent.
- Sticky Rubber Approach Shoes or Hiking Boots. Trips before mid July and those with extensive snow require a lightweight mountaineering boot (not a plastic boot). Guide Pick: Salewa Mountain Trainer or Salewa Firetail
- Rock Shoes for technical rock routes
- Socks: 1 – 2 pair: sized for your boots and blister prevention
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Top
- Synthetic T-shirt – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Wicked Light T
- Insulating Jacket: lightweight down or synthetic – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Thermostatic Jacket, Zonal Jacket, Compressor Jacket
- Soft Shell: fleece or pile
- Rain Jacket: waterproof/breathable with hood. Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Plasmic or Epic Jacket
- Synthetic/Wool Long Underwear Bottom
- Hiking Short or Pant for approach – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Men’s Mesa, Women’s Corsica convertible pants
- Synthetic Climbing Pant – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Chockstone Pant
- Rain Pant – Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Plasmic Pant
- Hat: lightweight to medium weight warm hat – sleek enough to be worn under a helmet
- Gloves: one lightweight to medium weight pair – synthetic or fleece material. If snow route, shell also recommended.
- Gaiters: only until mid-July
On the Trail
- Back Pack: internal frame 35 Liter capacity (2000 cu in) Guide Pick: Mountain Hardwear Via Rapida 35
- Water Bottles (2-3 L/Qt.) Or H2O Hydration system
- Dark Sunglasses
- Extra Pair Contact Lens
- Sun Hat or visor
- Sunscreen (35+SPF)
- Lip Balm
- Insect Repellent (until early August)
- Headlamp, Fresh batteries
- First Aid: minimal – blister care, analgesic, etc.
- Lunch and Snacks
- Bear Spray (if advised)
- Trekking Poles
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.
- Down Jacket
- Medium weight long underwear
**Jackson Hole Mountain Guides supplies all the 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 a printable version of this list, please click below: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 JHMG. We encourage ALL prospective climbers to read our Preparation advice. Our office can help place you with others who are looking to climb.