Located inside of the Grand Teton National Park, Mount Owen is one of the greatest of the Teton peaks in both elevation and climbing interest. All routes require knowledge in mountaineering and rock climbing and vary in degree of difficulty from 5.1 to 5.10 and very high quality of rock. The views are nothing short of spectacular which also makes Mount Owen one of the most appealing climbs in the Tetons. As the second highest peak in the Tetons, it rises dramatically above the plains around Jackson Lake but still sits nearly 1,000 feet lower than the Grand Teton. Approach this peak with lots of respect and know that this peak will probably kick your butt and requires more effort than an ascent of the Grand Teton due to the lack of trail and more remote setting.
Getting There - Lupine Meadows TH
Mount Owen is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming inside Grand Teton National Park. From the north entrance of the park, drive south 28.5 miles to Moran Junction on Highway 191. From Moran Junction, continue south on the highway for 18 miles to Moose Junction where you turn right (west). If you are coming from Jackson Wyoming, drive north on Highway 191 for 12 miles to Moose Junction and turn left (west). At Moose Junction, drive about seven miles to the sign for Lupine Meadow Trailhead. Drive just under a mile on the gravel road to the trailhead with a huge parking area and restrooms. Lupine Meadow trailhead is the jumping off point for most routes on Mount Owen as well as the Grand Teton. Expect a lot of cars at this trailhead.
From Lupine Meadow Trailhead (6732 ft) follow the trail south through the forest as it gains a small ridge and curves west. At 1.7 miles the trail forks and you want to right fork towards Garnet Canyon and Amphitheater Lake. Begin a series of long switchbacks ascending beautiful meadows for another 1.3 miles to the next junction. Continue to the right and follow the trail to Surprise and Amphitheater Lakes. In early season there will surely be snow on the trail and the lakes will be covered with ice and snow. It's a total of 5 miles on the trail to 9,714 foot Amphitheater Lake, however no camping is allowed at the lakes so you must continue north another 10 minutes or so, and gain the small 9,880 foot saddle between Disappointment Peak and Point 9,967. This saddle has a nice perch sitting next to a deep gully that offers fantastic views of Mount Owen off to the northwest.
Main Route Options
When To ClimbJune through September are the usual climbing months. Months outside of this range encounter snow, ice and the associated dangers but don't necessarily make the mountain unattainable.
Camping/Red TapeGrand Teton National Park Entrance FeesA pass is required to enter/re-enter the GTNP. Single entry fees are listed below. Details on other types of passes can be found at http://www.nps.gov/grte/
Single entry pass - valid for 7 days - $20.00 per vehicle; $10.00 per person for single hiker or bicyclist ; $15.00 per motorcycle
Permits are required for backcountry camping within the GTNP and can be obtained at the Jenny Lake ranger station. Arrive early and be prepared to stand in line during peak season. (some people bivy in the parking lot or outside the ranger station)
Other RoutesWest Ledges - II, 5.1
Southwest Ridge - III, 5.6
South Face - III, 5.6, A1
South Chimney - III, 5.6
Fryxell - II, 5.4
Bunton - II, 5.6
Koven - II, 5.4
East Ridge - II, 5.6
Northeast Snowfields - III, 5.6
Crescent Arete - III, 5.7
Run-Don't-Walk Couloir - IV, 5.9, A3, WI4
North Ridge - IV, 5.9
North Face - III, 5.6
Northwest Ridge - III, 5.7
Northwest Face - III, 5.6
Serendipity Arete - IV, 5.6, AI or IV, 5.7
Intrepedity Arete - III, 5.10-
North Ridge - IV, 5.9
CampingAmerican Alpine Club's Climber’s Ranch
The American Alpine Club's Climber’s Ranch is located 7 miles past Moose Junction on Teton Park Road and offers shared cabins with bunks (bring your own sleeping bag) for $8 per night member/$16 non-member. A cooking area and showers/restrooms are on site. Spots are available on a first come/first served basis but some reservations are taken. Call ahead for specifics - 307-733-7271. AAC membership is not required.
Grand Teton National Park has five campgrounds all on a first come, first served basis. Jenny Lake campground has 49 sites for tents only and fills very fast. Other campgrounds: Gros Ventre - 360 sites, Signal Mountain - 86 sites, Colter Bay - 350 sites, Flagg Ranch - 175 sites, and Lizard Creek - 60 sites. Colter Bay and Flagg Ranch each have over 100 full RV hookup sites.
Winter Weather Forecasts: Bridger-Teton National Forest Avalanche Hotline - 307-733-2664