The South Ridge-Upper SE Face of Baxter's Pinnacle is one of the classic climbs of the Teton range and has the added benefit of being one of the most accessible routes in the park. A short boat ride across Jenny Lake and then 30 minutes of uphill hiking leads to the start of the route. There are approximately 6 pitches of climbing, mostly 5.6 and easier, with the crux coming at the beginning of the final pitch (2-3 moves of 5.9+). The crux can be aided as well, lowering the difficulties to 5.6. The Pinnacle has an excellent position with nice views of Teewinot Mountain and Jenny lake and is perfectly suited as a warm-up climb or for those in need of a short day (the entire climb takes only about 3 hours).
Approach Grand Teton National Park from the south on US 89 and enter the park on Teton Park Road at Moose Junction (entry fee required). Teton Park Road can also be accessed from the north in the vicinity of the Jackson Lake dam. Turn off the road following signs to the Jenny Lake Visitor's Area (this is also where Exum Mountain Guides have their offices). There is a large parking area here with clear signs pointing the way to the Jenny Lake boat dock, just 5 minutes from the parking area. Take the boat across to the west side of the lake (10 minutes) and walk up the steps to intersect the Valley Trail. It is also possible to hike around Jenny Lake from the marina to reach this point (1.6 miles) or to hike from the String Lake parking area. The approach begins on the Valley Trail (see route page).
See the Grand Teton page for more info on getting to the park.
An entrance fee is required for Grand Teton National Park ($20 per vehicle for 7 days or $50 for a 1-year pass valid at all US National Parks). There is a charge for the boat ride across Jenny Lake ($7 round-trip, $4 one-way). The first boat is at 8AM and the last return is at 6PM. There is typically a huge line for the return trip at the end of the day, so plan to wait for about 30 minutes.
Complete details on entrance fees can be found on the Grand Teton page.
When To Climb
Baxter's Pinnacle can be climbed any time due to it's ease of access, but is best during the warm months of the year (June-September).
"The inner loop road to Jenny Lake is closed in winter, so only snowmobile access is available to the Parking Lot. I think the closest parking would be Taggart Lake TH? Mabe Phelps Lake? The pullout at Moose for Blacktail Butte climbing area is sometimes used by XC skiers to start the ski along the road to Jenny Lake."
Camping is permitted at designated campgrounds within the park, such as the one found at Jenny Lake (no RV's). Sites fill up very quickly at the more popular areas, especially Jenny Lake. I recommend Gros Ventre Campground, located about 6 miles east of US 89 between Moose and Jackson ($14 per site, per day, no showers). There is also a Climber's Ranch operated by the AAC located on Teton Park Road south of Jenny Lake. There are cabins here which accomodate 8 people each at a cost of $8 per person, per night. There is a large pavilion for cooking, as well as showers, bathroom facilities, and a very impressive library of climbing magazine and books. Bivying in the back-country is allowed but a permit must be obtained from the ranger's station.
An extensive listing of camping and lodging options can be found on the Grand Teton page.