Looking up at the Tetons is one thing. Looking down from them? Indescribable. It’s no surprise climbers have been drawn to Jackson Hole for the better part of a century. But you don’t have to be an expert to get a taste for what it’s all about.
The Via Ferrata at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offers a safe but thrilling introduction to rock climbing. You’ll scale granite faces and cross suspended bridges strapped into a secure cable system with an expert guide.
Ready to take it to the next level? Jackson is one of the birthplaces of mountaineering and guiding, so you’re in the right place. An experienced guide can help you navigate the Tetons’ granite faces and boulder fields with the right gear and the right attitude. The Guide Wall is a great place to start, offering five pitches of beautiful, moderate-level rock climbing. Popular routes get busy in the summer, so it’s best to go with a guide who can help you plan.
Climbing also offers unparalleled access to the landscape and history that makes Jackson Hole so iconic. When you’re high in the mountains looking down, it’s hard not to feel awe-struck. It’s a feeling that we hope inspires you to help preserve this special place as you live by The Wild Rules. While you’re out there, remember to practice Leave No Trace. Climbing and conservation history in Jackson often go hand-in-hand — ask your guide for more information or stop in to Teton Mountaineering for a guide book and history lesson.
Jackson is an absolute paradise for rock climbers, but for years, there was no climbing gym. That meant no home base for the community to gather, train, and plan. So in 2011, Teton Climbers’ Coalition built one, and they put it somewhere anyone could use it: at the base of Snow King.
The Boulder Park in Phil Baux Park is now a beloved community hub. It features large boulder walls set with routes for climbers of any ability level. Experienced climbers, curious kids, and newcomers alike can use it for free at any time. There’s also an ode to the history of climbing in the Tetons.
The Coalition didn’t stop there. Teton Climbers’ Coalition successfully helped lobby to help fund a real, indoor climbing gym through a Specific Purpose Excise Tax (SPET) in 2019, and is working to expand the Boulder Park. They’re also working hard to help preserve local outdoor crags through education, responsible stewardship, and direct restoration.
Learn more about the Teton Climbers’ Coalition and their upcoming projects here.
How to do it
Unless you’re a truly experienced climber and can safely navigate high alpine terrain, it’s best to go with a guide. You can choose your adventure based on your comfort and experience level! If you’ve never climbed before but are curious about the adrenaline rush, the Via Ferrata at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is the perfect introduction. Climbers looking for a day of climbing without the commitment of a big summit can spend the day at the Guide Wall in Grand Teton National Park. Then, of course, there’s the big one: climbing the Grand, or any one of the Tetons.
What to expect
Adrenaline, unforgettable views, muscle soreness — that’s just some of what you can expect during a day of climbing in and around the Tetons. It’s a long day under some pretty extreme conditions. Elevation here is no joke, the sun is intense. But no matter how far you make it on your climb, you’ll finish feeling exhilarated and accomplished.
Know before you go
Extreme alpine conditions are no excuse to forget the principles of Leave No Trace. Everything that goes with you on your journey should leave with you, too. There’s also a long history of climbing and conservation going hand-in-hand in Jackson Hole — one that lives on in Jackson’s contemporary climbers and in the Teton Climbers’ Coalition. Ask your guide to share their knowledge and passion with you while you’re out there!