Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out.
Learn more

Middle Teton Southwest Couloir is a 12.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Moose, Wyoming that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until September.

Length 12.7 mi Elevation gain 6,040 ft Route type Out & Back
Backpacking Camping Hiking Nature trips Rock climbing Bird watching Running Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Rocky Scramble Snow Off trail No dogs
Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

This is the standard route on the Middle Teton. From the Meadows, head up the south fork of Garnet Canyon. Climb all the way to the saddle between the Middle and South Tetons. Then the SW Couloir to the peak. This is more of climb and proper equipment is highly recommended.

Grand Teton National Park P.O. Drawer 170 Moose, WY 83012 Phone:(307) 739-3300

A climbing permit is not required for mountaineering, but climbers on overnight trips must have a backcountry camping permit to camp or bivouac.

The standard approach begins as for the Grand Teton, from the Lupine Meadows parking lot.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (100)
Photos (799)
Recordings (76)
Completed (206)
View user's profile page
Joy Taing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 5, 2020
Hiking

Totally agree with Amy and Kate’s recent reviews on this trail. Did this 9/23 and took me 11 hours. (For reference, I’m an avid hiker and backpacker and have no problems with 3000ft+ elevation gain). Was hesitant doing it solo but glad I did. I saw only a few people the entire time. Some helpful tips: -going up the couloir took me at least 45 mins..by that time I was so tired and had to rest every 5 steps. Recommend staying to the right or left walls of the couloir which makes it more of a climbing game but I found it more stable than the loose rocks if I went for the straight shot up the couloir. -yes to helmet. Rocks falling here and there. -be prepared for a long ascent up the boulders. The beginning part from trailhead to the Meadows is easy but the boulders to the saddle took me 3-4 hrs. (And thats with choosing a couple wrong paths). -you’ll find cairns here and there but don’t rely too much on them. And some points you do see a trail and then other times, it disappears. Really helped to download the map offline and follow that. -yes to staying to the left of the yearlong snow patch when you get to boulder section but don’t stay too far left -couple sections of walking on snow when passed the saddle and heading up couloir but no ice ax or crampons needed It was one of the most adventurous, fun, hard, and rewarding hikes I’ve done. Couldn’t believe I was standing on Middle Teton. (And the only one on top for that time!) Views of Grand Teton was insane and did not ever think I’d be that close to it. Was really tired when I got back to the car, but not surprisingly not dead yet. Think I just had too much adrenaline and excitement that I completed it.

View user's profile page
Kate Elizabeth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 4, 2020
Hiking

What an adventure! This was one of the hardest, funnest, sketchiest, and most rewarding hikes I’ve ever done. Amy Wu’s review below has some awesome advice - I won’t reiterate that all here, but she’s spot-on. I did this one solo and it took me just about 15 hours. I’m a super experienced hiker and decently fit, and thought I could do this in 12. Nope! The route-finding was pretty tough and I made some dumb mistakes in the boulders that made me have to backtrack. It’s do-able alone, but adds a bit more difficulty. I thought the trip from the meadow to the saddle was tougher than the trip up the couloir. There are some trails and cairns among the rocks, but you’ll inevitably lose them. Once you hit the saddle, you’ll be able to see where you’re going. The top is super exposed and sketchy. I was the only one up there around noon on a Saturday, so only spent a minute or two taking pictures before getting the eff down. There were a bunch of groups headed up after me, so it takes some time to wait people out and try not to rain rocks down on them. I did this on 10/3, and there wasn’t too much snow or ice. You’ll walk on some ice right after the saddle, but nothing scary. Didn’t need my axe, ended up using a shortened pole to help in the couloir. Absolutely recommend a helmet for the trip up and down the couloir. I took a nasty slip heading down and was glad I had it on. This is absolutely a hike for the books. Recommend it for anyone who’s really fit, really experienced, and has a sufficiently high beta!

View user's profile page
Randall Kempton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 25, 2020
Hiking

Go with someone who knows the route!

View user's profile page
Domenic Contrino
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 23, 2020
Hiking
View Domenic's Recording
View user's profile page
Tim Cihlar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 21, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Great walk. Went to the pass (didn't have the beta to hit the peak). The valley (where I enjoyed a lot of make-my-own-trail and boulder hopping) seemed liked it would end just over the next ridge, but I was met with yet another ridge. Getting to the top (well, the saddle) was worth it for the view and the accomplishment. Appreciated that it wasn't as crowded as Cascade Canyon.

View user's profile page
Amy Wu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 18, 2020
HikingGreat!Scramble

(1 day summit over Labor Day wkend) First, this is more in the climb than hike category. This will be significantly harder than any “hard” hike of a similar mileage on AllTrails. In my research of the major peaks you can summit in the Tetons without a guide, this is one of the easiest and least technical. The only easier one is Buck Mtn (I haven’t done it yet but says my guide friend) and then Static and Table Mountain are Class 1/2 non-technical. I did this with 2 friends who were beginner hikers but fit and we went quite slow @ 15 hours RT. We were one of the slowest on the trail, to give you a gauge on timing (nothing wrong with slow and steady). Most folks did this in 10-12 hrs and at that pace you should seriously consider tagging South Teton as well once you get to the saddle and can see both summits. We started at the trailhead at 4am - that’s when a lot of folks start, most going up the Grand in 1 day rather than the Middle. We brought 1 ice ax that wasn’t used, helmets + headlamps (must-haves with 4am start + rockfall danger in the couloir), and no other technical equipment. You go into Garnet Canyon, through a boulder field, then hit the meadow (it’ll be obvious when you get on the meadow) where you can refill water. At this point, the saddle is visible but the obvious trail ends; the path to the Middle/South is toward the left, path to the Grand saddle toward the right and not yet visible around the corner. It’s a choose your own adventure getting up to the saddle (no snow at all when I went up) which looks deceptively close and an absolute grind through a lot of boulder fields. This section is quite safe although some of the boulders can be large depending on your path. There’s a rock formation splitting a right vs left way up to the saddle - you can choose either path and the day I went up everyone chose the left one. Also, there is a number of small faint trails, not well marked but with cairn markers along the way. Try to follow these trails because it’s the easiest way through and going blindly through boulder fields (which we did going down because we got lost) isn’t all that fun. In the last 45min up to the saddle, try to stay as low as possible going up via the “valley” rather than the higher boulder fields on the 2 sides - it’s easier. At the saddle, the Middle summit is toward your right, and the couloir to the summit finally become completely visible, is the obvious way up to the summit, and its a class 3/4 climb from there. As long as you’re not totally off-path here (in the section to a plateau-like section then in the couloir) it’s actually minimal exposure, making this a great beginner summit. The center of the couloir is class 3, but the rock is loose and you can rain rockfall down on folks below. The 2 walls immediately on either sides of the center of the couloir are class 4, which I hugely preferred because quality of rock was so much better, but it can be steeper. You can honestly do either side going up. I found it easiest to go up the class 4, down the class 3 through the center while holding onto the rock walls on the sides. Once you come out of the couloir, the final summit section is first toward your left (when you face a steep drop immediately in front of you) then rounds up to the right with a summit medallion on top. Insane views of the Grand and Teton range at the summit. Coming down, we lost the path through the boulder fields post-saddle, but honestly you cannot miss the meadows so it’s not dangerous. If you’re an advanced hiker, comfortable with scrambling, I hugely recommend the Middle! Definitely no guide needed, although I’d personally prefer not doing this solo due to the trail finding along the way and coming down from the summit.

View user's profile page
Satish Gogineni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2020
HikingGreat!No shadeScramble

Hiked this route 9/12. Took me approx 10hrs for RT. Easy/gradual trail to the meadows but route finding after that to the saddle was a bit tricky (but was fun/interesting to hop on the boulders). The last stretch on the couloir was class 3/4 scramble to the summit. Best view of the Grand Teton from the summit. I’d highly recommend anyone who actively hikes to definitely attempt it. You wouldn’t need crampons or ice axe. Just prepare for a long day in the sun as it’s all exposed.

View user's profile page
Casey Martin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 17, 2020
HikingGreat!

Challenging and absolutely stunning hike/climb. As of 9/16: No ice axe or crampons needed. This will change with the next snowfall, but as of now, those items are unnecessary.

View user's profile page
Mark Spencer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 15, 2020
Hiking

The boulder fields in the upper garnet were necessary but uninspiring. Once at the saddle between south and middle Teton the views of Glacier Lake and into ID were spectacular. The rest of the hike was tedious but well worth it

View Mark's Recording
View user's profile page
Bill Beregi
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2020
Hiking
View Bill's Recording
View user's profile page
Blake Richard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 13, 2020

Looking for someone to hike the Middle teton and more in a week! Guides welcome as well. 949-402-6570

View user's profile page
Megan Catherine
Gray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 13, 2020
HikingGreat!
View Megan's Recording
View user's profile page
Cathy Han
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 11, 2020
Hiking

Did this today post the recent snow storm on Labor Day. Started at 6am, and arrived at the summit of the Middle at around noon. There was a solid amount of snow past the Platform campsites, but definitely manageable. It did make talus hopping a bit more of a headache, and finding the optimal path through the upper moraines was a bit harder with the extra snow coverage. Overall, probably 20% of the path I took between Platform and the summit was covered in snow. The warmth of the day melted a lot of it by the afternoon descent back. The couloir does have quite a bit of snow in it, which might get icy as it melts and refreezes in upcoming days. Today it was pretty powdery and not super hard-packed or icy because it’s stayed fairly cold up there, so I managed fine with trail runners and a whippet pole just in case. Several folks did turn around upon seeing the conditions. Probably only a half dozen people including me summitted today. I tried to tag the South as well but made it only 80% of the way up, since the final traverse through the top couloir is fairly exposed over what’s now a very steep and icy patch of snow. Didn’t feel like pushing for it! Great day, great scenery! Solid adventure for those who have the experience and the stoke!

View user's profile page
Andrew Staffaroni
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 9, 2020
Running
View Andrew's Recording
View user's profile page
Liam Robb O'Hagan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 8, 2020
HikingNo shadeOff trailRockyScramble

Tough Day on Talus above the Meadows. Coming down was no quicker than going up. Be aware of who is above and below you in the couloir. Parts of it are narrow and would likely funnel a falling rock. In the late season, the most challenging part is route finding through the rocks just above the saddle. I added some photos showing the best route. There is a nice shelf on the permanent snowbank that provides easy access to the gully you ascend through the rocks. Coming down, cross the flat area below the couloir until you see the saddle. You’ll see a trail/s going down to the left. Don’t descend them; you’ll hit the steep part of the snowfield which is definitely a crampons and ice axe exercise. I’m assuming the trails leading there are early season shortcut but once the snow has melted out It’s a no fall zone. We blindly followed a trail and had to climb back up.

View user's profile page
Preston Buehler
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 7, 2020
Hiking

So we hiked this on Labor Day 2020! It was so amazing and definitely one of my favorite hikes ever so far. The entire second half is basically just scrambling and you just got to be smart and not trip . It ended up being a little over 16 miles for us. We didn’t see too many animals other than a few deer and a whole bunch of bull elk as we were driving there. Also, we started at 6 AM and it took us almost exactly 10 hours(with 45 minutes or so at the top) I definitely recommend this hike, but you NEED to be in good enough shape.

View user's profile page
Hang Kei Simon Wong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
View Hang Kei Simon's Recording
View user's profile page
Kyle Barker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 30, 2020
HikingGreat!RockyScramble

Amazing trail! This hike is scenic all the way up. This long, difficult hike is well worth it! I strongly recommend only hiking this trail if you’re in great hiking or physical condition. We passed a few groups who were forced to turn around. Preparation (food, water and gear) is essential! Expect to take 11-14 hrs on this hike. The recorded map featured on this hike might not be accurate, our group had multiple tracking devices that recorded the hike being closer to 15 miles round trip (we did not take any detours, we went straight up). The first few miles you ascend a moderately steep dirt trail, the next few miles you scramble through several large, steep rock beds (trail is not largely present) and then you finish off the ascent with a VERY steep, lengthy Class 3 climb to the summit. We hiked on August 27 and only had to cross two small snow fields. With the current conditions you don’t need an ice axe or crampons, but I would bring hiking poles and hiking shoes that have a good tread.

View user's profile page
Carolyn Walker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 28, 2020
Hiking

Fantastic hike for the determined! My husband and I were on the trail (including hanging out on summits) for 12+ hours, but we couldn’t have asked for a better day to do it. Started before sunrise at 6am - it was the right choice for us, though many begin earlier. We did not camp and hiked this in one go. Talus fields could be better marked, it’s easy to lose your way especially going down, but most routes will get you where you need to go one way or another. A helmet is a good idea on the last stretch to the summit, and keep your distance from other parties there due to loose rock & potential rockfall. Unbeatable views, abs very little snow to traverse. Poles or microspikes help but aren’t necessary.

View Carolyn's Recording
View user's profile page
Jeff Mandrell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 28, 2020
Hiking

Chill. No chill. Chill.

View Jeff's Recording
Showing results 1 - 20 of 100