Climb Gannett Peak Wyomings Tallest Mountain

Tom’s experience climbing Gannett Peak:

Gannett peak is the highest point in Wyoming and is often considered the most difficult state highpoint in the lower 48 states. Located in the Wind Rivers, Gannett is among some of the prettiest mountains I’ve ever seen.

Getting anywhere in the Wind Rivers is difficult as there are often many steep passes between you and your destination. We approached Gannett from the West along the Pole Creek Trail.

Gannett Hike

From the Pole Creek Trailhead you will need to hike 16-18 miles to the Titcomb Basin. The trail doesn’t gain a ton of elevation overall during this stretch but it does go up and down quite a bit making the trek a little difficult.

Hiking Gannett

Our goal was to get to Titcomb on day one, summit day two and head back to the trail head on day three. Along the way to Titcomb you will pass multiple beautiful lakes but the best part is definitely Titcomb Basin.

Gannett Climb

My dad always says that the Wind Rivers has some of the best scenery in the world it just takes 15 to 20 miles until you get to it from any trailhead. I have found that to be pretty much the case on my trips here. We set up camp at Titcomb Basin.

Climbing Gannett

If you want to camp close to Lower Titcomb Lake thats fine but will make summit day longer and more challenging. If you are concerned about time and energy on summit day you may want to camp closer to the base of Bonnie Pass.

Gannett Peak Summit

We decided to camp near Lower Titcomb so that we wouldn’t have to carry our backpacks as far in day one and three but it did make summit day more difficult. Either way there are plenty of excellent campsites all around both lakes.

Gannett Peak Bergschrund

On summit day be sure you wake up early. We left our campsite at 3:15 but we were at the far end of Titcomb. I would suggest being on the pass as early as possible so that you are hiking up ice instead of slush. You will climb up Bonnie Pass which was covered in snow and very steep. It almost appeared as a mountain itself.

Bergschrund Gannett Peak

We reached the top of Bonnie right at dawn and was able to watch the sun rise from there and got our first view of Gannett. From here we regrouped and planned out our route to the summit. The trail is mostly snow with a few rocky scrambles up Gannett. You will head around the backside of the rocks you can see from Bonnie and head towards the Bergschrund. The Bergschrund is usually the most dangerous part of the mountain. When we were climbing, there was plenty of snow and we didn’t feel like we were in too much danger. However the glaciers are very steep and ice axes and crampons are necessary.

Summit of Gannett Peak

Most groups were also roped up however we weren’t after we talked to a few groups who also thought it wasn’t necessary. The views from the summit are gorgeous and we really enjoyed our time on top. We also got cell service so it was fun sending summit photos to loved ones. We headed back down the mountain over Bonnie and back towards our tent. From the Titcomb base of Bonnie Pass to the summit of Gannett and back to the base of the Pass took us about 11 hours round trip with a few pretty decent brakes. However we passed multiple groups that took over 17 hours for the same stretch. We camped that night and headed out after a great nights rest the next day.

Gannett Peak Wyoming

Total round trip mileage was about 40 miles with total elevation gain of about 9050′. Dogs are allowed in the Wind Rivers. We were very lucky that the weather was so good for us the whole time and the snow was in such great condition.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The trailhead starts right next to a campground and there is a ton of parking available. From Pinedale, Wyoming, head towards head towards Fremont Lake. Eventually the road will change to Skyline Drive. The road was in poor condition when we went but any vehicle should be able to make it to the trailhead. The road will turn to dirt and the trailhead is on the left right near the change to dirt. There are outhouses at the trailhead and plenty of sings to get you to the Pole Creek Trailhead.


Pole Creek Trailhead: 43.003313,-109.751809

Titcomb Basin: 43.121159,-109.635143

Bonnie Pass: 43.163871,-109.63789

Gannett Peak Summit: 40.45961,-112.626288

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Enjoy the peaceful Ryder Lake in the Uintas

Tom’s experience at Ryder Lake:

Ryder Lake is a popular overnight camping spot in the Uintas. You begin the trail at Christmas Meadows which is the same trailhead as the more popular Amethyst Lake.
Ryder Lake Christmas Meadow

The trail is 17 miles round trip. You follow the same trail as to Amethyst but when you come to the fork instead of turning left to Amethyst you stay on the trail and go straight.

Ryder Lake Fork

The trail is mostly level at the beginning but there are a few river crossings and a lot of mud. I was able to find rocks and logs to cross over rivers so my feet stayed pretty dry.

Trail to Ryder Lake

However, I did get muddy. My dog got very muddy. After the Amethyst fork there is one more fork where you take the left fork.

Ryder Lake Trail


Hiking to Ryder Lake

Both forks have signs but both are difficult to see if you aren’t paying attention.

Ryder Lake Hike

After the second fork the trail begins to gain elevation and is quite steep for a short distance.

Ryder Lake Uinta

There is plenty of water along the trail so if you bring a way to filter it you can stop many times along the trail rather than carry all of your water.

Uinta Ryder Lake

Dogs are allowed on this trail.

Tom’s Rating:

Trail Info: The trail to Ryder Lake starts out at the Christmas Meadows trailhead off of the Mirror Lake Highway in the Uinta National Forest. The road from the highway to the trailhead is a graded dirt road and any car could make it so long as it isn’t too wet or snowy. The trail is well maintained and well signed all the way to Ryder Lake but is rocky and steep in a few spots. It is 17 miles round trip to the lake and back. The trail can get very muddy and there is a lot of access to water along the trail and at a few lakes if you bring a purifier.


Christmas Meadows Trailhead = 40.822245,-110.800906

Ryder Lake = 40.726377,-110.826007

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