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During our 9 day #FLtoYellowstone trip we reached Wyoming in 46 hours non stop. Taking short sleeping shifts and fueled solely by our thirst for adventure, we knew the sooner we got to Wyoming the sooner our adventure would begin. Though we recommend to others that they prioritize sleep we finally ran out of adrenaline when we reached Wyoming. With only 3-4 hours of sunlight left it was time to find a place as close to Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Park as possible. With a strong desire to avoid hotels and soak in as much of the great outdoors as we could, we agreed that our first night in Wyoming needed to be in the sticks. So with a little on the fly googling we stumbled on Green River Lakes.

green river lakes wyoming2

Arriving as the sun set over the mountains, the LED Bars were finally gonna contribute to the expedition. With no reservations and arriving in late May, we crossed our fingers and hoped we would be able to find a place to sleep. A combination of snow and rain consistently fell throughout our way in to the Bridger-Teton National Forest and it was quickly evident that these roads were not going to be very well maintained. Our flagship 4Runner (@fargo4x4 on Instagram) and its brand new BFG KO2 All Terrain tires along with our 360 LED light bars grouped together to give us all the consumer confidence we needed that we would make it to the lake. This night ride consisted of multiple close calls with Wild Elk, Moose, Pronghorn & more. So if your a photographer or wildlife nerd like us we highly recommend you spend a weekend here.

Upon reaching the campground we found it to be very clean and also very empty so we chose a spot and buckled down for the night. The next morning despite driving more than 48hrs non stop with little to no quality sleep, we somehow still woke up before sunrise and got to enjoy the sight of the sun painting the scenery as it rose up. Despite the heavy fog we began to see everything we drove by that our LED bars could not show us and we were simply amazed!

Wildlife all around us, crisp cold air, and pounds of mud in the wheel wells but we were in love. We will come back here again and highly recommend any adventurist making a trip to Grand Teton National Park & Yellowstone National Park take a pit stop here.

Additional Helpful Info:

 

Green River Lakes
Bridger-Teton National Forest
USFS National Forest Recreation Site – Typically open June 15 to September 10

 

 

 

Green River Lakes is 52 miles north of Pinedale. The season of operation is typically June 15 to September 15. There are 39 individual camp units at this campground, plus three large group areas. Regular sites are non-reservable, and are first-come, first served. Group campsites can be reserved in advance online through Recreation.gov, http://www.recreation.gov/. See the reservation website for this year’s fees, advance reservation requirements and cancellation policy. A Campground Host is at the campground during the summer who can answer questions about the area. This campground gets high use, but is typically never completely full up. There are regular pull-in sites for small cars, plus pull-through sites for RVs. There are no constructed pads for tents, but cleared areas are located near each unit and picnic table. Each unit also has a firepit. Water spigots are dispersed throughout the campground and shared between units. No showers at any of the campgrounds on the BTNF.

Features:

  • Elevation: 8,000 feet
  • Managing Agency: USFS, Pinedale Ranger District
  • Average Season: June 15-September 15
  • Campground Host: Present
  • Daily Camping Fee
  • Reservable Sites: No for campground, Yes for group areas
  • Miles from Pinedale: 52
  • Number of Sites 39
  • Day Limit: 10 days
  • Drinking Water: Yes
  • Trash Pick-up: No
  • Picnic Tables: Yes
  • Toilet: Yes, handicap accessible
  • Showers: No
  • Cell Phone Reception: Marginal to None (drive down road to get reception)
  • Services Nearby: Guest Ranches; Get needed food, gas, other supplies in Pinedale
  • Near Trailhead: Yes, access to northern Bridger Wilderness & Wind River Range
  • Near Lake or Stream: Yes, Green River and Green River Lakes
  • Boat Launch: Yes, primitive, for canoes and small craft (see photo at right)
  • Boat Ramp: Primitive small boat launch
  • Bear-Proof Containers: At some campsites. This is Griz & Black Bear habitat.
  • Trailhead: Yes, with corrals, trailhead parking, horse trailer parking
  • Group Sites Available: Yes, 3 fee Reservable Sites. To reserve, call 1-877-444-6777 (toll free) or online at http://www.recreation.gov/.
  • Other comments: Biting bugs (mosquitos and flies) can be extreme in July/August. Bring bug spray or your favorite repellant method. Sunscreen highly recommended also.

Once the campground closes in the fall, water is turned off and services are suspended. No Campground Host is on duty after the summer season. Visitors can still stay in the campground after the summer season, but must provide their own water. Restrooms remain open. No fee is charged once services is suspended.

Reservations must be made at least 4 days in advance. There is no electricity/water/sewer site hook-ups at this campground. ATV’s or ORV’s allowed on designated trails only. Water faucets are available at various locations in the campground. Parking vehicles or campers on any portion of the campground roadways is not allowed. Please park vehicles and campers completely within the parking pad provided at each site. All equipment must fit on the site pad. Vehicles park in developed areas only. No extra vehicles are allowed.

Nearby:

  • Bike Riding
  • Boat Launch Ramp
  • Boating (1/2 Mile)
  • Fishing (1/2 Mile)
  • Garbage Service (Dumpsters 10 Miles away at Kendall Ranger Station)
  • Hiking Trails (1/2 Mile)
  • Horseback Riding (1/2 Mile)
  • Mountain Biking (1/2 Mile)
  • Photography
  • Sightseeing
  • Stream (1/2 Mile)
  • Swimming (1/2 Mile)
  • Wildlife Viewing

Access
The first road portion is paved highway. The last 23 miles are gravel and slow speeds are necessary. The road typically opens sometime in June after the snow melts and the roadbed dries out and firms up. The Campground is typically open mid-June to mid-September. In drier years, the campground may open as early as the beginning of June. Access depends on weather conditions for the road and campground/trailhead/boat launch area. The nearest full-service community is Pinedale, 52 miles south of the campground. The Pinedale Ranger District recommends calling them for current conditions at 307-367-4326. Maps and information are available at sporting goods stores in Pinedale.

Dispersed Camping
For those who enjoyo ‘roughing it’, there are many areas for dispersed camping in the area along the Green River Lakes road. Many places already have fire rings and cleared areas for campfires for those prepared and equipped to dry camp. Campers are encouraged to use existing dispersed spots to have less of an impact on the landscape. Campfires are allowed in these locations as long as campfire restrictions are not in effect due to high fire danger. Campers are responsible for keeping their campfires under control at all times. There are also limits to the number of days visitors can occupy a campsite, so check with the nearest Forest Service office to discuss your plans for extended stays. Dispersed camping site soperate on the “Pack it in, pack it out” system since trash services are not offered in those locations. Bring your own drinking water or use approved purification techniques before drinking any water from area streams or lakes. Consider all open bodies of surface water to be infected with the giardia micro-organism which can make you very ill if you drink the water without treating it first.

Boating
Motorized boats are allowed on the lower lake, however, the earthen boat ramp is suitable only for smaller vessels. The upper lake is within the Bridger Wilderness area (Upper Green River Lake), therefore no motorized boats of any kind are allowed on the upper lake. Jet skis and other personal watercraft are not allowed.

Bears
Both grizzly bears and black bears inhabit the mountains and forests around Green River Lakes. It is not unheard of to have a bear come into a developed campground, but it is not common. Green River Lakes Campground has bear proof storage containers or storage poles at some sites. It is important for campers to be “bear aware” and keep a clean camp at all times. The Upper Green River Lakes area is designated Grizzly Bear Habitat and food storage regulations are in effect. Food and garbage are required to be stored where it is impossible for a bear to reach, such as in a closed vehicle. Local Forest Service offices have pamphlets and information handouts on how to camp in bear country.

Pets
Pets must be kept under control at all times. It is the obligation of dog owners to keep their pet under control at all times to avoid injury to horses, riders, hikers and other forest visitors. Dog owners are asked to be considerate of others and not leave pet waste on trails or in campsites.

Trailhead Access & Corrals for stock
This is a high hiking use area. Users will encounter hikers on foot as well as stock animals including horses, mules and llamas. The popular Highline Trail begins here and follows most of the length of the Wind River Range, 80 miles to the south. This trail typically isn’t free of snow until July and August. In the early season, hikers should be prepared to encounter high water crossings, muddy trail conditions and tree downfall. Note that this is designated grizzly bear habitat and food storage regulations apply for both the campground and backcountry users.

There is a large parking area for wilderness travelers at the trailhead, including toilet, water, corrals and hitch rails.

Other Considerations:

ELEVATION: This is HIGH ELEVATION RECREATION, and your physical performance may be affected if you are not acclimated. Be sure to take it easy and drink extra FLUIDS. If you do start to notice shortness of breath, fatigue, headaches or dizziness, get to a lower elevation as quickly as possible. Please be aware that natural water sources may contain Giardia lamblia or other bacteria. A fine filter (0.2 microns or less) is recommended for all water you use. Water from campground hydrants is regularly tested by the Wyoming State Health Department.

WEATHER: It can SNOW any day of the year in Pinedale! Visitors at any time of the year should come prepared for cold weather. Afternoon thunderstorms and rain showers are common in the summer and can build quickly. While summer days may be warm, nights are generally cool. Bring warm clothing. Also, bring and use SUNSCREEN. At this high elevation sunlight is more intense than you may be used to and serious sunburns can happen quite quickly.

TRIP ITINERARIES: If you wish to file your trip itinerary with someone, contact the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office at 307-367-4378, rather than the Pinedale Ranger District. Forms are available at the Ranger District office. In emergencies, or for Search & Rescue, call the Sheriff’s Office 24 hours a day.

Note: Some maps still show that there is a lodge at Green River Lakes Campground. This lodge is no longer in business and is used only as a work center base camp for Forest Service employees and the Campground Host. There are NO COMMERCIAL LODGING OR RESTAURANT SERVICES available at the end of this road. The only developed facilities are the Forest Service campground. The closest lodge accommodations and restaurant services are approximately 20 miles from the campground and lakes, on private land before the National Forest boundary.

Businesses & Services

Bridger-Teton National Forest
Pinedale Ranger District
29 E. Fremont Lake Road
PO Box 220
Pinedale, WY 82941
(307) 367-4326

Sublette County Visitor Center
Sublette County Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 176
Pinedale, WY 82941
307-367-2242
888-285-7282 (Toll Free)
Email: info@mountainmancountry.com
www.MountainManCountry.com