Type: Snow, Alpine
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,973 total · 20/month
Shared By: Conor Raney on Oct 31, 2010
Admins: Lauren Heerschap, Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

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From the Green River Lakes trail head, follow the easy Highline Trail south-southeast for about 10 miles to where there is a bridge over the Green River. Cross the bridge and continue another 2 miles or so into Three Forks Park, to where the trail begins to climb more steeply. You should be able to see Wells Creek coming down from the east. Leave the Highline Trail and head into the Wells Creek drainage, crossing the Green on the way. You want to ascend on the south side of Wells Creek.

Now the fun begins. First you must navigate some dense woods. Then, rock hopping and scrambling starts in earnest as the drainage steepens. While tough going, the climb is very scenic as you ascend into a dramatic valley, and are often climbing right over the creek.

Somewhere around 10,200' you enter the crux of the route, a pinched-off part of the drainage called the Cleft. The walls close in here, and the creek becomes trapped between sheer cliffs. If Wells Creek is low, such might happen in late summer or fall, you might be able to simply step across and continue on your way. But, in mid-summer crossing the creek is typically out of the question without major effort, danger and gear. Instead, ascend the slabby cliff to climber's right (south). This is about 100' of technical rock climbing, which goes at about 5.6. The rock is good, but there are loose pieces. You may find an old pin on the route. After ascending the rock pitch, move along a narrowm, exposed ledge to finally bypass the Cleft. As of this summer there was some set protection on the route other than the old pins.

Above the Cleft, continue rock hopping and you will soon come to the upper Wells Creek drainage, at the west end of Many Bug Lake. Here the grade flattens for a while, but there is still more rock hopping to traverse around the right (south) side of Many Bug Lake. Next you encounter Scott Lake, at 10,515', as Gannett's dramatic west face looms above.

Continue around Scott Lake (north side is probably best), and climb east up the main drainage to a long, skinny lake at 10,795'.

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.

But first: two drainages feed the skinny lake at 10,795'. Pass the lake on either side and ascend the drainage on your right (more rock hopping and scree). At the top of this drainage you will encounter Minor Glacier. Ascend the glacier and the couloir which gradually steepens to maybe 40 degrees. You might be able to skip avoid some of the snow by climbing rock on one side or the other. At the top of the couloir, head climber's left to get on some loose, unpleasant talus. Continue up to the rugged north ridge of Gannett.

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.

Return the way you came!


From 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.


Possibly some cams/nuts if you feel uncomfortable with some run out and or free soloing.


Courtney Pace   Sandy
Did this route 9/3/11. Super fun and exciting. The climbing at the cleft was a little spicy. I thought it wasn't going to be a big deal, but it isn't for the timid. Bring your sticky rubber approach shoes as it seems like you are on rocks 75% of the time. We opted to cross the river on the way out and it is very easy right now with low water. I would say sept. is ideal time of year for this route.
Court Sep 4, 2011
Attempted this route in July, 2018. Water levels in the lakes above the cleft were too high to get around without some serious detouring and we turned back, but damn if it isn't beautiful up there. The climbing in the cleft is choss and not terribly "fun" but gets 10/10 for location... Also, a 35 meter rope is not long enough to rap from the top to the existing fixed anchor midway down the pitch (two rusted pins that wiggled when I prodded them.) We slung a big horn instead, and its sharp edges core shot the rope :( I'd recommend doing this route later in the season when the water is lower and you can bypass the climbing, as it eats up a lot of time that would probably be better spent on the glacier. Jul 26, 2018
Logan, UT
NathanC   Logan, UT
Gained the summit via. this route August 12, 2018. As stated in other comments, best to wait until September or later when the creek is lower. The technical pitch is ~40m length with a nasty 4th-low 5th class ledge after the horn. Might be a 5.6 with climbing shoes & sans pack, but in mountain boots and 40lbs strapped to you be prepared for a fight!

We also diverted climber's right above Many Bug Lake at the loose gully after the technical pitch, as Wells Creek appeared impassable at a very large boulder shortly after. On descent, we found it was passable but involves some interesting waterfall scrambling. If you'd rather gain an extra 1000', you can work the ledges above & come back down to Scott Lake around it's mid-point.

Rapping back out will also be quite a treat, as most things are quite loose. We removed several rap stations where the rock had loosened, and the old fixed rope on the lower half is core shot on the EDK at the block. The pitons also pulled out with zero effort, but were left for historical sake. A member of our team forgot the webbing, so there's a good bit of booty up there at the time of this writing!

Everything after Scott Lake is a comparative breeze. We opted for the less steep south snow field up the west face, traversing the discussed couloir at the top to gain the talus field.

10/10 for location, beauty, and remoteness though - we didn't see a soul after departing the trail, until the summit was mobbed with ~15 people coming up the gooseneck! Aug 15, 2018
John Sutherland
Cedar City
John Sutherland   Cedar City
Attempted this route July 2018 solo. Hiked from car to the Cleft in half day, but bailed there. I'm a fairly aggressive free solo climber, but this was too spicy for me. Given the remote nature, the loose rock, the 30# pack, and trail shoes, I decided after climbing 40 feet up that continuing was a bad idea. Water was too high to cross the creek. I wouldn't try it again without some protection. Oct 2, 2018