None for a day hike: backcountry camping permits are $25
There is a point while hiking back to the South Teton where you will think you’ve wandered into some horrible kind of wormhole that ends in a treadmill. You’ll have crested another roll in a boulder field only to see more rolling boulder fields in front of you. The South Teton is way, way, way back there.
If Teewinot is the biggest bang for your hiking/climbing buck in the Teton Range, the South Teton is the summit that keeps on giving, by going on and on and on. This isn’t a bad thing—it’s not the like the approach is via some smoggy slum. You’re up in a beautiful high alpine environment. I just want to prepare you for it.
The South (12,519 feet tall) is two hundred-ish feet taller than Teewinot. But it’s double the mileage.
What Makes It Great
This is a great introduction to the kind of terrain in the Teton Range. It's a burly day, but fair - the terrain is non-technical, even if there is some exposure at time. Route finding and efficiency are essential to a safe outing. It's also the perfect warm up for those aspiring to climb the Grand.
Who is Going to Love It
Experienced scramblers and hikers who want a true taste of the Grand Teton experience without the overly technical aspects.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
The trail for the South Teton is the same trail you use to get up to the Grand Teton, the Lower Saddle, the Middle Teton, and the Meadows. It starts at the Lupine Meadows trailhead. It’s 4-some miles to the Meadows. Once there, head south of the Middle Teton. At this point the trail is no longer packed dirt, but is through loose rock/scree fields. It’s fairly obvious though and requires no scrambling. There is no exposure to worry about. The route passes south of the Middle Teton and north of Nez Perce, Cloudveil Dome, the Ice Cream Cone, and Spalding Peak. The South Teton is the very last peak—the western-most—of that group. You’re aiming for the saddle between the South and the Middle.
From that saddle, there’s about 700 feet left. Look down and west from that saddle and you’ll see Icefloe Lake, the highest lake in Grand Teton National Park.
The ridge leading to the South’s summit is obvious from the saddle. There are several moments along it where you might want to use your hands, but the exposure and the climbing is never as much as is it ascending Teewinot.