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Trails and hiking

Trails and Trailheads

  • Wind River Range
  • Bridger Wilderness
  • Wyoming Range
  • Gros Ventre Range
Camping Information

Hiking and Backpacking

2009 Bridger-Teton Campground Update (5/20/09)
Bridger-Teton National Forest website
Bridger-Teton National Forest Maps | Order Maps online (Grand Teton Natural History Assn)
Bridger-Teton National Forest Recreation

Sublette County has hundreds of miles of hiking and backpacking trails available. Backcountry trails offer access to the Wind River Mountain Range and Jim Bridger Wilderness, the Gros Ventre Wilderness Area, and in the Wyoming Range. Trailheads are often located near campgrounds; some are very remote. The major trailheads into the Jim Bridger Wilderness area of the Windn River Mountains have corrals and parking areas for horses and trailers

The high country typically opens up around mid-July and remains open through mid-September. Most trailheads start at about 9,000 feet and access each year depends on the weather conditions. Snow can occur at any time, so visitors should be prepared for the possibility of subfreezing temperatures even in the summer. Typical daytime summer temperatures in the high country reach the 70s-80s with nighttime lows averaging in the 30s. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer bringing lightning and rain showers, so hikers should be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions on any given day.

The Bridger Wilderness of the Wind River Range receives very high use, although most visitors don't realize it. In any given summer thousands of hikers venture into the wilderness area. On main access trails, hikers can expect to share the trail with other backpackers, stock and pack trains. The Gros Ventre and Wyoming Range receive much less use than the Winds. Visitors may enjoy long hikes, or even days, without seeing another hiker on the trail with them.

A wide variety of hiking opportunities are available. Inexperienced hikers can enjoy many short, easy day hikes. More experienced hikers have many miles of trails for extended backpacking trips into the remote backcountry. Local Outfitters & Guides provide guided hiking expeditions into the backcountry or horseback riding trips for those who prefer not to walk the trip themselves. Llama rentals are available or those who would prefer not to pack their own gear into the backcountry. Several local companies provide shuttle transportation to trailheads and pickup services by prior arrangement.

Major trailheads into the Wind River Mountains are located at Green River Lakes, New Fork Lakes, Elkhart Park and Big Sandy. Other trailheads include Spring Creek Park, Boulder Lake and Scab Creek. In addition, there are lower use trailheads at Burnt Lake, Meadow Lake, Half Moon Lake, Union Pass, Sweetwater Gap and Little Sandy. All roads to trailheads are on gravel or dirt roads. Only Elkhart Park road is paved. Passenger cars and sedans can make it to all except the most remote trailheads, although a higher-clearance truck is better suited for most areas

In many places trails may not well marked or may be unmaintained. Be sure to bring a good hiking map and a compass and a good guide book. Check in with the local Forest Service office before setting out to get the latest conditions, advisories and any fire danger or bear activity reports.

Names of licensed outfitters and guides who offer summer pack trips, hiking, backpacking, llama tours and full service hunting trips to remote areas can be obtained from the local Forest Service district offices.

1. Green River Lakes - High use
2. New Fork Lakes - Medium use
3. Willow Creek Guard Station - No public road access
4. Spring Creek Park - Low use
5. Elkhart Park - High use
6. Half Moon Lake - Low use
7. Burnt Lake - Low use
8. Boulder Lake - High use
9. Scab Creek - Medium use
10. Big Sandy - High use
11. Little Sandy - Low use
12. Sweetwater - Low use

Trailhead location map
Modified from a digital relief map by Chalk Butte

Bridger-Teton National Forest
Bridger Wilderness
Permit Info
Wilderness Regulations

Wyoming Range trails
Wyoming Range trails

Sheep Creek trail
Sheep Creek trail

Grizzly food storage
Bears & food storage

Fremont Lake trail
Fremont Lake trail

Hardin Creek trail
Hardin Creek trail

Businesses & Services

Bridger-Teton
National Forest

Pinedale Ranger District
29 E. Fremont Lake Road
P.O. Box 220
Pinedale, WY 82941
(307) 367-4326

Big Piney Ranger District
315 South Front Street
P.O. Box 218
Big Piney, WY, 83113
307-276-3375
276-5800/5200
Fax: 307-276-5835

Bureau of Land Management
Pinedale Field Office
1625 W Pine Street
PO Box 768
Pinedale, WY 82941
Phone: 307.367.5300
Fax: 307.367.5329
Hours:
7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
pinedale_wymail@blm.gov

Visitor Center
P.O. Box 176
Pinedale, WY 82941
307-367-2242
888-285-7282 (Toll Free)
www.MountainManCountry.com

Trailhead
Name
Miles
from
Pinedale
Elevation Level
of
Use
Potable
Water
Public
Corrals
1.
Green River Lakes
52 miles from Pinedale.
Good gravel road access.
8,000' High Use Water Available Corrals Available
Views of Green River Lakes and Square Top Mountain are outstandingThis trailhead is located approximately 52 miles north of Pinedale (31 miles paved road and 21 miles of good gravel). The Forest Service Green River Lakes Campground at the end of the road has 39 sites. Note that some maps still show a lodge here, but this facility has been closed for many years and is now just a work center for Forest Service employees. There are no food services or lodging other than the campground here. This is a High Use area that is at 8,000 feet elevation. The Highline Trail begins at the campground and follows most of the length of the Wind River Range, 80 miles to the south. This trail is also used for day hikes and fishing with scenic Square Top Mountain in the background. It is a level and gentle hike around both lakes and to Three Forks Park, then an uphill climb on main trails to other destinations. Clear Creek Natural Bridge and Slide Lake are accessed from this point. There is very limited camping for the first 16 miles along the Green River due to topography. Hiking use is heavy and stock use is light. There is a large parking area for wilderness travelers including log structure toilets, drinking water, corrals and hitch rails. Be aware that this is bear country, with black and grizzly bears inhabiting the northern portion of the Wind River Range. Wolves have also been seen in this area. Carry pepper spray, sun screen and insect repellent. Be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness if you are not climatized to high elevations and be sure to filter your water for consumption. Cell phone reception is sporadic to nonexistent in these high mountain areas. Be prepared for afternoon thunder & lightning storms with heavy rain at times and have a sleeping bag rated for 0 or below. The Campground Host at Green River Lakes campground can give you the latest information on the status of fires, bears, and trail conditions. Be sure to sign in at the registration sheets at the trailhead.
2.
New Fork
24 miles from Pinedale.
Good gravel road access.
7,800' Medium Use Water Available Corrals Available
New Fork TrailheadNew Fork Lakes is approximately 24 miles north of Pinedale (20 miles paved and 4 miles good gravel). This is a Medium Use area at 7,800 feet elevation. The New Fork Lake Forest Service Campground has 20 developed sites and the Narrows Campground has 19 sites. The New Fork Lakes Narrows Campgroundtrail begins on the left shore of the lake near the Narrows Campground. The first 2 miles is open sagebrush, then there is about another 6 miles before climbing up steep trail out of the canyon. There is a small parking area at the trailhead for wilderness travelers with drinking water, corrals and hitch rails. Be sure to sign in at the trailhead register before proceeding. This is bear country, with grizzly and black bears inhabiting the area. Carry pepper spray and be sure to keep a clean camp at all times. Cell phones work sporadically near the Boy Scout camp at the lower end of the lake, but not further up the drainage. Check with the Forest Service office in Pinedale, or the Campground Host at the Narrows Campground, for the latest advisories as to trail conditions or fire concerns in this area.
3.
Willow Creek Guard Station -
TRAILHEAD CLOSED
22 miles from Pinedale.
Gravel/dirt road access.
7,900' Low Use No Water No Corrals
The Willow Creek Trailhead may be shown on some guidebooks and maps, but this access is no longer available due to loss of the road right-of-way through private land that gave public access to the trailhead. The Forest Service is working on establishing new road access to the trails in the vicinity, but at present the road travel plan does not allow vehicle access to existing two track roads. If this is the area you wish to go, contact the Pinedale Ranger District for information on access routes to your desired destination.
4.
Spring Creek Park
12 miles from Pinedale.
Rough dirt road access.
8,480' Low Use No Water One Corral
Spring Creek Park trailheadSpring Creek Park is located approximately 12 miles north of Pinedale with rough gravel road access. Hiking and horse use here is light. The trail is mostly in timber and meadows up Pine Creek Canyon until you break out above timberline near Summit Lake. There is a large parking area with one corral, but no restrooms or water available at the trailhead. No campground nearby. You may see permitted cattle grazing for the first 2 miles along here. Filter your drinking water, keep a camp clean as this is bear country, and carry pepper spray.
5.
Elkhart Park
15 miles from Pinedale. Good
paved road access.
9,100' High Use Water Available Corrals Available

You'll have lots of company on these trails...Elkhart Park is located approximately 15 miles northeast of Pinedale with good paved road access to the Trails End Campground at the top. Elevation is 9,100 feet. This is a High Use campground and trailhead, and the parking lot is generally pretty full by the middle of the season. This trail offers short day hikes into the Winds to destinations like Photographer's Point and Miller Lake as well as longer overnight trips. You'll have plenty of company on the trail and will run into stock use. Two trails lead into the wilderness: Pole Creek Trail and Long Lake Trail. Pole Creek Trail is a gentle uphill hike that heads east into the Bridger Wilderness. It gets heavy hiking and stock use. The Long Lake Trail is a steep downhill for the first 2 miles and then steep uphill hike heading north into the Bridger Wilderness. This difficult trail is NOT RECOMMENDED FOR STOCK. HikingThe trail is rocky in places. Wear good hiking shoes. use on the Long Lake Trail is moderate and stock use is low. There are two large parking areas at Trails End Campground with toilets, water and corrals. A manned Forest Service visitor center is located at the entrance to Elkhart Park.

Be sure to sign in at the registry book at the trailhead entrance, bring pepper spray, filter your drinking water and bring sunscreen and insect repellent. This trailhead begins at 9,100 feet and the surrounding peaks climb to 13,000 feet. Be aware of the effects of altitude sickness. Cell phone reception is sporadic depending on your location. Trails in this area are within the Fremont Lake watershed. Fremont Lake is the water supply for the town of Pinedale so in order to protect the water supply special restrictions apply regarding dog use and camping distances from streams and lakes within the drainage.

6.
Half Moon Lake
11 miles from Pinedale. Good gravel/dirt road access. 7,600' Low Use No Water Available No Corrals
Half Moon Lake Trailhead is located approximately 11 miles from Pinedale and is a Low Use trail. The first portion of the This trail makes a nice day hike or longer backpacking trip. road is paved, then good gravel to the small parking area at the end of the road. The road passes by the Half Moon Lake campground, several miles from the trailhead, which is managed by Half Moon Lake Resort along the road. The campground is right on the edge of Half Moon Lake and there is a day use area at the end of the road with no overnight camping. The campground has 18 sites and is open Memorial Day to Labor Day with a campground host. No water is available at the campground. The trail is an easy hike around the northern portion of the lake, then climbs to access other areas such as Fayette Lake and beyond. The area has opportunities for easy day hikes around the lake and longer backpacking trips into the wilderness. An outhouse is located a few hundred feet up the trail entrance.
7.
Burnt Lake
24 miles from Pinedale. Bumpy & rocky gravel/dirt road access. 8,000' Low Use No Water Available No Corrals
Burnt Lake is located approximately 24 miles from Pinedale and is at 8,000 feet elevation. This is a low use area for hiking and stock. The road is rough gravel and a high clearance vehicle is recommended. RVs are not advised. There is no drinking water available or corrals at the campground.
8.
Boulder Lake
25 miles from Pinedale. Gravel and bumpy dirt road access. 7,300' High Use No Water Available Corrals Available
Boulder Lake is located approximately 25 miles southeast of Pinedale (15 miles paved road, 10 miles gravel and bumpy dirt road). The Boulder Lake Campground, with 28 sites, is located near the trailhead. Boulder Lake Lodge and summer homes are also nearby. This trailhead is located at 7,300 feet elevation and receives moderate hiking and stock use. The first 5 miles of the trail is a gradual incline, then 3 miles of steep uphill trail with switchbacks. There is very limited camping places for the first 8 miles due to the topography. This area was burned in 1988 by a wildfire, so expect to see charred trees on this route. There is a large parking area near the trailhead with toilets and corrals. No drinking water available.
9.
Scab Creek
24 miles from Pinedale. Good gravel road access. 7,800' Medium Use No Water Available Corrals Available
The Scab Creek Campground is managed by the Bureau of Land Management. It is located approximately 24 miles southeast of Pinedale (19 miles paved road, 5 miles good gravel) at 7,800 feet elevation. This campground and trailhead receive medium hiker and stock use. The trail is steep uphill with switchbacks for the first 5 miles and you may see permitted cattle along this portion. Domestic sheep also are permitted from the Raid Lake area north to the Continental Divide. This trail takes you into Bonneville Basin with its mountain panorama above timberline. There is a moderate parking area with corrals. Bring pepper spray, sunscreen, insect repellent, and water filtration system.
10.
Big Sandy
54 miles from Pinedale. Confusing to find. Gravel road access. Last 10 miles are rough. 9,100' High Use No Water Available Corrals Available

Big Sandy Campground is the farthest campground from a town and the most confusing to reach, still receives high visitor use. The road access is paved for about 27 miles then 27 miles of gravel and dirt. The last 10 miles of the road are very rough and not recommended for RV use, however people do take them up. You may want to scope it out with a high clearance vehicle before taking your RV along the last portion of the road. The Big Sandy Campground is located at the Beginning of last 10-mile section of road to Big Sandy. It's rough!end of the road and has 12 sites. Big Sandy Lodge is also located in the opening with lodging and meals by reservation. The campground and trailhead start at 9,100' elevation. The first 6 miles of the trail are gentle to Big Sandy Lake. Then it's a steep hike to Jackass Pass and the Continental Divide. Jackass Pass is NOT RECOMMENDED FOR STOCK. If traveling north, the trail has a slight uphill climb. Big Sandy RiverHiking use is high and stock use is moderate. You may see permitted domestic sheep grazing. There is moderate parking at the trailhead with toilets and corrals. No drinking water is available.

Be aware that this is bear country for both black bears and grizzlies. You can pretty much count on having a bear visitor into your camp if you do not keep it absolutely spotless of food and odor-causing items. Portable bear canisters are available for rent at the Pinedale Ranger District office and permanent ones are located at the Big Sandy Lake area. Use them. Also bring pepper spray, sun screen, insect repellent, and filter your water. Bring a sleeping bag rated for zero or below and be aware that mountain snow storms can occur any day of the year in the high country. If you are wanting a secluded hiking experience, you may want to choose other areas to visit in the Winds. You'll have plenty of company along the trail here since many folks use it to access to the Cirque of the Towers area and other destinations in the southern Wind River Mountains.

11.
Little Sandy
65 miles from Pinedale. Rough road access. 9,100' Low Use No Water Available No Corrals
Little Sandy is located approximately 65 miles from Pinedale and has low hiker use. Little Sandy Trailhead is accessible to about 3/4 mile before the Trailhead, then only by four wheel drive vehicles. There is no drinking water available and no corrals at the trailhead. Maps are available from the Pinedale Ranger District and local sporting goods stores showing the trails in this area.
12.
Sweetwater
70 miles from Pinedale. Good gravel road access. 8,880' Low Use No Water Available No Corrals

Sweetwater trailhead is located approximately 70 miles from Pinedale. Access is first by paved road then gravel. It receives low use and accesses the lower portion of the Wind River Mountains area. There is no drinking water and no corrals at the trailhead. Sweetwater Trailhead is easier to get to now that the BLM has a campground there.


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