The Wind River Range in Wyoming is full of hidden gems, majestic mountains, and amazing lakes. Green River Lakes falls into all of those categories. An hour and a half away from Pinedale, including about 20 miles of dirt road, sits a beautiful campground and a great lake.
Surrounded by snowcapped mountains on the sides and Tabletop Mountain in front, the views at Green River Lakes will create a sense of fulfillment inside. While it’s undoubtedly gaining more popularity, it’s not a tremendously popular place as it’s not easy to get to and there’s only camping available. However, this will create a genuinely outdoorsy feel and bring you closer to nature.
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Explore the beauty of Green River Lakes, Wyoming
How to get to Green River Lakes Wyoming
- Green River Lakes is 50 miles (1 hour 20 minutes estimate) from Pinedale, Wyoming. Thirty miles is on a two-lane road. Twenty miles on a dirt road that’s quite well maintained. We did it in a weighed-down Subaru Impreza, which already doesn’t have a lot of clearance.
- Be careful. The main road suddenly changes to a dirt road, especially if you’re driving in the dark.
- Save the area to offline maps. There’s no service.
- There are no utilities. Bring whatever you’ll need.
What to do in the Wind River Range
Let’s go hiking or backpacking! Or maybe some canoeing or kayaking too! Stargazing? If it’s outdoors, you can do it at Green River Lakes.
Hiking at Green River Lakes
For hiking specifically, there are two main trails to choose from. One, the Highline Trail (aka the Continental Divide Trail), is on the left-hand side, and on the right side is the Lakeside Trail. If you’re trying to get to the famous reflection shot, take the CDT. We accidentally went on the Lakeside Trail and never made it across the marsh at the back of the lake.
The Lakeside Trail was a mild six-mile hike with some ups and downs but nothing challenging. We quickly walked three mph on it. On the other side, while we never did it, it looks to have some ups at the beginning (just a couple hundred feet) and a steady downhill to the back of the lake.
There is a seven-mile loop that will take you around the lake and to the upper lake if that interests you.
There are also plenty of LONG backpacking opportunities from this starting point. These look to be for very experienced trekkers, but they look amazing!
Remember, you are hiking in grizzly and black bear country. Stay alert. Carry bear spray, and if you’re backpacking, bring your bear canister. This is not the place where you try to skimp out on weight.
Camping at Green River Lakes, Wyoming
Along the road (and river) as you drive in, plenty of dispersed camping opportunities exist for small or large groups. We saw tons of 5th wheelers parked along the road as we went out. Then, at the end of the dirt road is the official Green River Lake Campground.
I only stayed here one night, but it’s about as rustic as you can imagine the middle of nowhere Wyoming being. Single-unit sites don’t require a reservation, and there’s a $ 12-a-night fee which should be cash as I’m not sure how often a ranger is onsite. (Regardless, not sure if they’re doing credit cards anyways.)
The Green River Lakes campground is about a 5-minute drive from Green River Lakes and probably the same amount if you walk.
Gear to bring with you to the Green River Lakes Campground
- Puffy Blanket
- Reusable Propane Tank
- Five-gallon water container
- Four-person tent
- Double sleeping bag – 30 degrees
- Two-burner stove – A reliable two-burner stove is crucial to running an efficient camp kitchen. These will last you 5-10 years and give you no problems if you treat them right.
- Lightweight table – This will fold up nicely and allow for effortless transportation.
- Full cookset – Just like the stove, getting a good set means you won’t have to worry about replacing them for years and years.
- Egg holder – Honestly one of my favorite food accessories as I never have to worry about my eggs getting crushed or having the egg cardboard disintegrate.
- Yeti Cooler – Keep all your food and drinks cold the entire weekend. Made for those going into the wild without access to ice for a few days
Can you swim at Green River Lakes?
Yes, you can. It’s an alpine lake so it’ll be cold, but you’re more than welcome to go swimming there!
Wrapping up – Green River Lakes Adventure
Enjoy your trip to Green River Lakes in Wyoming! There’s so much outdoor adventure to be had, from hiking, paddling, fishing, swimming, and even backpacking. Have the best time!
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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