Added by Andrew Slaton
After a moderate workout of a hike, cool off in a beautiful alpine lake surrounded by some of the best scenery the Winds have to offer.
The Winds in Wyoming are incredibly beautiful and offer some of the most challenging, but rewarding hikes. And the popular northern trailhead, Green River Lakes, is one of the most spectacular entry points.
There are only two ways to get to the Green River Lakes trailhead. and one is over Union Pass from Dubois. I would not recommend this route unless you have high clearance and are ready to spend a half day to drive 50 miles. The easiest route is via Hwy 191 south from Jackson, or north from Pinedale. From 191 (approx 10 miles north of Pinedale), turn north on 352 toward Cora. You will follow this road for 20+ miles on pavement, then the pavement ends, and you keep driving. There are many dirt road spurs but just stay straight for another 18 or so miles. The road is graded, so it will be a bumpy ride. But it's also the beautiful Upper Green River Valley, so the scenery trumps the pain. You follow the Green River all the way in to the Green River Lakes trailhead parking on your left. There are tons of great National Forest dispersed campsites everywhere, or you can pay to stay at the campground just a little further down the road on the right.
THINGS TO KNOW:
- No permits or fees required. Just park and go.
- Dogs are permitted in Bridger National Forest.
- Mosquitoes are terrible in the Summer! Be prepared... or time your trip to mid-August or after.
- Snow can hit anytime, but is common after Labor Day.
- This area is abundant with wildlife. Black bears and moose are common, but you shouldn't have any problems as long as you respect their space. Practice leave no trace ethics, and bears should eave you alone. Grizzlies and wolves are in the area as well, so it is a very good idea to bring bear spray and/ or other protection.
The trail is level and easy out of the trailhead all the way until you cross Clear Creek about 3.5 miles in. There is a sign that splits to the right to cross Clear Creek on a wooden bridge, and start the ascent to Slide Lake. Turn here. You will enjoy the views as you hike across the valley floor over toward Flat Top Mountain. Around the 4 mile mark you will cross Slide Creek and enter the timber. The trail begins switchbacking up 1500 feet and the views are hindered. About midway up, the trail edges close to Slide Creek Falls. Continuing on to higher elevations, you can see the Tetons 60 miles in the distance behind you!
After climbing nearly 1000 feet in a little over 1.5 miles, the trail cuts through a gorgeous high meadow. After reentering the timber on the other side of the meadow, the trail ascends to Fish Bowl Spring, a 6 ft. deep spring fed pool, set in limestone. You'll notice lots of small trout, hence the name.
The trail then ascends steeply to Slide Lake... a large timberline lake, in a cirque at nearly 9,500 feet. Surrounded by Flat Top Mountain to the north and Lost Eagle Peak to the southeast, both towering more than 2,000 feet above. It is spectacular! And the waters on the east end of the lake are sandy and shallow, making for a perfect wading entry point for folks looking to cool off.
There are great campsites all around the lake, so take some time to enjoy the scenery!
- Rain jacket
- Bear Spray
- Sleeping pad and bag
- Water filter
- Rain jacket
- Bug spray
- Bear spray
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
Backpacking, Camping, Chillin, Fishing, Fitness, Hiking, Photography, Rock Climbing, Running, Swimming, Yoga
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