- There are five peaks in Wyoming taller than 13,000 feet.
- Gannett Peak is the highest point in Wyoming at 13,804 feet above sea level.
- It is located in the Wind River Range of the central Rocky Mountains, which extends for 100 miles across west-central Wyoming.
Wyoming is the least populated state in the United States. It’s also home to some incredible peaks, including the Teton Range and the Wind River Mountain Range. Wyoming is a land of incredible vistas, shaded lakes, and great, flowing rivers. It’s also home to grizzly bears, wolves, and bison in the west. Wyoming rests on the straddle between the Continental Divide and the Rocky Mountains. But just how high is the highest point in Wyoming?
Join us to find out more about this fascinating state. We’ll discover just how high the highest peak in Wyoming is, as well as how close the other contenders come. We’ll also find out just what you can do at Wyoming’s highest point and what there is to do in the surrounding area.
Read on to learn more about the highest point in Wyoming!
Gannett Peak: Wyoming’s Highest Point
At 13,804 feet (4,207 meters) above sea level, Gannett Peak is the highest point in Wyoming. Gannett Peak is located in the Wind River Range of the central Rocky Mountains. This range extends for 100 miles across west-central Wyoming and includes several peaks over 13,000 feet. Gannett Peak lies 25 miles north of Pinedale, its closest town. The peak itself is located entirely within the Bridger Wilderness, which is a part of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
What About the Rest of Wyoming?
Wyoming itself is a combination of high plains, mountains, and mountain valleys. With so many high-elevation mountains, the average elevation of Wyoming is actually quite high: 6,700 feet. But, if you divide the state into northern and southern halves, you’ll find that the southern half is about 2,500 feet higher (on average) than the northern half.
With that being said, it’s important to note that Wyoming is a land of many mountain peaks. The tallest of these are spread over the Wind River Range, the Teton Range, the Bighorn Mountains, the Absaroka Range, the Medicine Bow Mountains, and the Gros Ventre Range. In fact, there are a grand total of 38 peaks over 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) in Wyoming.
Can You Drive to Gannett Peak?
In short, no, you cannot drive to the highest point in Wyoming. Gannett Peak is inaccessible to all but the most experienced mountaineers. At 13,804 feet, the peak is classified as a “Triple Crown,” in mountaineering terms. This means that it’s over 5,000 feet higher in elevation than the nearest road. It has over 5,000 feet of “clean prominence”, and is classified as an Apex peak. Apex peaks are high points with a high degree of difficulty. In fact, Gannett Peak is the fourth-highest peak on this list. It’s also considered very remote.
So, if you’re thinking about taking a pleasure trip to see Gannett Peak, you’ll have to view it from the road. Experienced mountaineers can complete the backcountry round trip in as little as 24 hours, though most take at least three days. Climbers may approach the mountain from Dubois in the east or from Pinedale in the west.
Most climbers tackle Gannett Peak between June and September when the weather is best. This is also a gorgeous time for non-mountaineers to take in the mountain’s visage from a lower elevation. Located east of Jackson and north of Pinedale, Gannett Peak is a must-see for mountain enthusiasts.
Where Is Gannett Peak Located on a Map?
Gannett Peak is located in the Wind River Range of western Wyoming in the United States. The peak is situated within the Bridger Wilderness Area and stands at an elevation of 13,809 feet (4,209 meters). To reach Gannett Peak, one must first travel to Pinedale or Lander, which are both small towns located near the range. From there, visitors can access various trailheads that lead into the wilderness area where Gannett Peak is located. Some popular starting points for a Gannett Peak climb include Glacier Trailhead and Big Sandy Trailhead. On a map, Gannett Peak can be found at coordinates 43°11′02″N 109°39′16″W.
Things to Do
Although visiting the highest point in Wyoming is out of range for most people, there are still many fun things to do in the surrounding area. Many outdoor activities center on the nearby town of Pinedale. If you’re into skiing, check out White Pine Ski Resort in the winter months, or head on over to neighboring Jackson. Pinedale also hosts the Museum of the Mountain Man, which is an experience in and of itself.
Outdoor enthusiasts who aren’t quite up to mountaineering can enjoy mountain biking, camping, fishing, ice fishing, rock climbing, horseback riding, backpacking, hiking, offroading, and so much more. Winter sports lovers can also go snowshoeing, nordic skiing, and even ice skating. So, all in all, the area surrounding Gannett Peak is chock full of activities for all.
Wildlife to See
Gannett Peak is home to a variety of wildlife species, including bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, mountain lions, and black bears. Other smaller mammals, such as red foxes and coyotes, can also be found on the peak. Birds like golden eagles, prairie falcons, and peregrine falcons soar through the skies above Gannett Peak. The alpine zone near the top of the peak is a great place to spot marmots sunning themselves among the rocks or hummingbirds flitting from flower to flower. Along with these creatures come various reptiles like garter snakes and lizards that can be seen basking in the sun. Gannett Peak truly offers an amazing array of wildlife for nature lovers to observe!
Wyoming’s Five Highest Points
Now that we’ve learned that Gannett Peak is the highest point in Wyoming, let’s learn about the other four top five peaks!
2nd Highest Peak – Grand Teton
Grand Teton is the second-highest peak in Wyoming, with an elevation of 13,775 feet. It is located in the Grand Teton National Park and stands proudly near the Snake River. This mountain has a rich history and was first climbed by William Osgood and Frank Peterson on July 29, 1898. The Grand Teton is considered one of the most iconic peaks in North America and offers stunning views from its summit. Not only does it offer breathtaking scenery, but it also provides plenty of recreational activities for adventurers, such as hiking, mountaineering, camping, skiing, and more! Whether you’re looking for a challenge or an escape from reality, Grand Teton should be high on your list when visiting Wyoming’s beautiful outdoors!
3rd Highest Peak – Fremont Peak
Fremont Peak is the third tallest peak in Wyoming, surpassed only by Gannett Peak and Grand Teton. Located in the Wind River Range of western Wyoming, Fremont Peak stands at an impressive 13,743 feet above sea level. The mountain is named after John C. Frémont, a US explorer who first surveyed the area during his 1842 expedition to the American West. It was officially designated as Fremont Peak in 1936 by members of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Hiking trails lead up to its summit, where visitors can take in views of nearby lakes and mountains, including Titcomb Basin and Mount Helen. With its rugged terrain and stunning scenery, Fremont Peak makes for an unforgettable adventure!
4th Highest Peak – Cloud Peak
Cloud Peak stands tall in the Bighorn Mountains at 13,167 feet, making it the fourth-highest peak in Wyoming. Cloud Peak is located just south of Greybull, Wyoming, and marks its place as part of the Bighorn Mountain Range, which stretches across Montana and Wyoming. The peak has been a popular area for hikers since the late 19th century, with its trails leading to spectacular views of surrounding mountains, lakes, and forests. Climbing Cloud Peak can be quite challenging due to its high elevation, but it rewards those who attempt it with stunning vistas that make up for all the hard work!
5th Highest Peak – Francs Peak
Francs Peak, located in the Absaroka Range of Wyoming, is the fifth-highest peak in the state. At 13,164 feet tall, it is one of the tallest peaks in Wyoming and offers spectacular views of its surrounding area from its summit. The peak was first surveyed and named by early explorer Nathaniel P. Langford during his expedition to Yellowstone National Park in 1872. Its name was derived from a French-Canadian trapper called “Francois,” who lived near nearby Fort Phil Kearny for many years before his death in 1876. Francs Peak offers a challenging hike for experienced hikers due to its steep slopes and often unpredictable weather conditions at higher altitudes. However, those who are willing to make the climb can enjoy breathtaking views of untouched wilderness on their way up, as well as stunning vistas once they reach the top!
Summary of the Highest Peaks in Wyoming
Here’s a recap of the highest points located in the state of Wyoming.
|1||Gannet Peak||Wind River Range||13,810 feet|
|2||Grand Teton||Teton Range||13,775 feet|
|3||Fremont Peak||Wind River Range||13,743 feet|
|4||Cloud Peak||Bighorn Mountains||13,167 feet|
|5||Francs Peak||Absaroka Range||13,164 feet|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Jeff Bernhard/Shutterstock.com
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