Northwest Ridge

Page Type
Wyoming, United States, North America
Route Type:
Time Required:
Half a day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 4

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Northwest Ridge
Created On: Sep 5, 2007
Last Edited On: Sep 5, 2007
Table of Contents


From the Jenny Lake Visitor Center, follow signs to the Jenny Lake boat dock. It’s about a 5 minute walk from the parking lot.

Once at the boat dock, you goal is to find yourself on the west side of the lake. To get there, you can either take the boat (see Red Tape section) to the boat dock on the west side of the lake or follow a well-trodden trail (about 2 miles) around the south, and then west, side of the lake to the boat dock.

From the boat dock on the west side of Jenny Lake, pick up the Cascade Canyon Trail. The maintained trail heads steeply west through beautiful forest toward the mouth of the canyon. About a mile from the boat dock, at a point near the base of Symmetry Couloir, the obvious, large gully coming down from between Symmetry Spire (right) and Storm/Ice Points (left), look for a climbers’ trail that heads off right and aims for the cliffs near the base of the couloir.

Follow the climbers’ trail to the cliffs. A 30-foot headwall (class 4) must be climbed, exiting hard left at the top to regain the trail. Once back on the trail, follow it steeply up Symmetry Couloir to the col at its head.

Hiking Symmetry Couloir Toward the Col


From the col between Ice Point (left) and Symmetry Spire (right), pick up the obvious northwest ridge of Ice Point. You can gain the ridge directly from the col (low 5th class) or bypass the initial steep section on the left to reach easier ground.

Once the northwest ridge is gained, follow it a few hundred feet to the summit. Several exposed class 3-4 sections must be negotiated, typically staying true to the crest.

To descend, retrace your steps.

The roundtrip is about 3000 feet of gain over 6-7 miles, if doing the entire approach on foot.
Downclimbing the Northwest Ridge


In good, summer conditions, nothing more than the usual hiking/scrambling gear should be needed. Some may feel more comfortable doing the final ridge climb in rock shoes. Some webbing may also be useful.