OverviewThe Tourist Creek and Wells Creek routes access Gannett's spectacular and seldom-visited west face. These are long and difficult routes, covering roughly 18 miles from the Green River Lakes trail head to the summit. For Tourist Creek, the first 10-11 miles (depending on how you do it) are on the easy Highline Trail, but after that there is no trail and very little easy hiking. Once you head up Tourist Creek from the Highline you will encounter brutally steep rock hopping for the next 1.5 miles or so (gaining 2000 vertical feet), which is exceptionally difficult with a backpack.
Getting ThereFrom Pinedale, head west on US-191 for 6 miles and turn right (north) on WY-352. Follow WY-352 for 44 miles to the Green River Lakes trail head. There is a campground and water at the trail head, as well as overnight parking for backpackers.
After gaining about 2000' in 1.5 miles there are some flat grassy areas at about 10,200' that make excellent camp sites.
Shortly after the grassy areas, start working right (southeast) to escape the main drainage. The upper Tourist Creek drainage is complex, but if you keep working right whenever you can you will eventually reach a lake at 11,085' under the dramatic southwest face of Mount Solitude.
Heading basically south, pass around the west side of the lake and head for a pass above its south end. The pass divides the upper Tourist and Wells Creek drainages.
At this point you can see Gannett's west face and the upper part of Minor Glacier that you will be climbing. A prominent finger of snow heads towards the summit from the main part of the glacier. You will ascend this couloir to a talus field climber's left of the top of the snow.
Once on the north ridge, work south towards the summit, ascending class 4 rock. This is fun climbing and not super exposed. A couple of rappel stations have been rigged in recent years for the descent. The rock ends with a short walk across snow to the summit.
Essential Gearsticky rubber approach shoes for all the rock hopping
trekking poles would help
crampons & ax
map: Earthwalk Press "Hiking Map & Guide: Northern Wind River Range, WY"
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