mountain lakes, 2 wilderness areas, 80% public land,
1.2 people/square mile
The Wind River Range offers many lakes for boating enthusiasts. Just a short distance from Pinedale you'll find Fremont Lake, Half Moon Lake, Willow Lake, Boulder Lake and Green River Lakes. The Pinedale Boat Club sponsors several events at Fremont Lake throughout the year, including a colorful Sailing Regatta in August. Lodges are located at the edge of several of the larger lakes where water enthusiasts can rent canoes, motor boats, water skis and party barges. Other lakes are secluded and remote, offering privacy and solitude for those who want to get away from it all. The Pinedale Ranger District office of the Bridger-Teton National Forest has maps showing the location of area lakes. Other maps can be purchased at local stores or online.
Twenty developed public campgrounds are available throughout Sublette County. These are managed by either the Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Fremont Lake, Half Moon Lake and Elkhart Park each have established campgrounds and are close to Pinedale. Campgrounds are developed sites with camp spots, picnic tables and fire rings. Restroom facilities, water and garbage services are nearby. Campgrounds do not have showers or public telephones. Some larger campgrounds have on-site hosts during the busy summer months. Campgrounds with services charge a small fee for overnight stays. Green River Lakes and New Fork campgrounds have group areas that can be reserved for group functions. Contact the managing entity for details on current conditions, reservations and fees. (Camping)
You don't have to hike into the wilderness to see fantastic scenery. The Pinedale area offers many scenic views that can be seen right from your vehicle.
Skyline Drive: (34 miles round trip) Starting in Pinedale, head up the hill on the road marked Skyline Drive. You'll pass the Museum of the Mountain Man and begin climbing the rolling glacial moraine at the base of the Wind River Mountains. The large boulders and mounds were left by glaciers several thousand years ago. After cresting a hill, you'll see Fremont Lake. Several more miles along Skyline Drive you'll come to an overlook of Half Moon Lake. The remaining 15 miles of windy and narrow road up to Elkhart Park, and the entrance to the Bridger Wilderness, are filled with scenic vistas of the Wind River Mountain Range. Several turnouts and overlooks offer beautiful views of Fremont Lake along the way. If you take a moment to pull over and walk around, you'll find wildflowers galore. Look for Indian Paintbrush (Wyoming's state flower), Columbine, Rocky Mountain Iris, Shooting Starts, Elephant Heads, and Lupine, among others. Wildlife can often be seen along this drive. Picnic and restroom facilities are available at Elkhart Park. If you're looking for a fantastic day drive where you can see the skyline of the Wind River Mountains, don't miss this one.
Green River Lakes and Square Top Mountain: (84 miles round trip) Take Hwy 191 west from Pinedale about 6 miles to the Cora Junction. Turn right and take Hwy 353 north. This drive will take you past the small town of Cora and give you a beautiful view of the Wind River Mountains on your right. Along this road, you can take side trips to New Fork Lakes where you'll find campgrounds, restrooms, boat facilities, and a wilderness entrance. You'll pass the Kendall Warm Springs and home of the endangered fish, the Kendall Dace, that can be found only in this small steam and nowhere else in the world. You can try your hand at fishing along any of the many access points along the Green River or at Dollar Lake. If you take the entire 42 mile drive, part of which is on dirt road, you'll end up at the Green River Campground and a spectacular view of Square Top Mountain and Green River Lakes. Here you'll find picnic and restroom facilities, hiking trails, and a wilderness entrance. This is a beautiful trip to take if you want to spend the day enjoying the scenery of the area either as a relaxed country drive or stopping along the way to fish, hike, or watch the wildlife.
Elkhart Park to Photographers Point: Mileage on various maps disagree, but hiking the trail from the trailhead to Photographers Point is about 5 miles, which translates to about 2 1/2 - 3 hours EACH WAY. Miller Park and Miller Lake are on the same trail about 3 miles in.
Green River Lakes: This area offers many day hike adventures. The trail around the lower lake is a very nice hike. Spend some time on the sand at the upper end of the lake. A longer hike up Clear Creek on the east side of the lake will take you to a natural bridge. The trail is not maintained past this natural bridge-expect lots of downfall. This is 4-1/2 miles one way. Taking the west side of the lake, you can hike past Porcupine Falls (at 3 miles) and continue up the trail to the alpine Twin Lakes (at 6 miles), Shirley Lake and Valaite Lake.
New Fork Lakes: Here you can hike up the trail along the scenic New Fork River and explore the rocky canyon as it closes in. The trail crosses the river many times before reaching New Fork Park at about 6 1/2 miles. In the early summer, when the runoff water is high, the first river crossing is at about 5 1/2 miles. That is a good place to stop and turn back. When the water goes down, you can continue up the trail where fallen logs may provide a better crossing.
Half Moon Lake: The dirt road ends about half way along Half Moon Lake at the Day Use Area. You'll pass a boat ramp and campground facilities along the way. The trail begins at the end of the road. The short hike to the end of the lake makes a popular day hike, or you can continue on to Fayette Lake 3 miles from the parking area. Look for cactus blooming along the trail and osprey flying overhead.
Lander Cutoff of the Oregon Trail: Here you can follow the Lander Cutoff of the Oregon Trail and walk where wagons once rolled. This trip is not recommended for sedans. We suggest high-clearance, 4-wheel drive vehicles, ATVs or mountain bikes. The ruts are now filled with grass. The trail can be impassable when wet, so is best traveled in the summer and when dry. Begin at the LaBarge Meadows Guard Station and follow the double-track Lander Cutoff Trail. The Commissary Ridge Trail forks south at about 1 mile. Stay on the double track. At about 2 1/2 miles there is a gravestone marked "ESTELLA BROWN LAYED TO REST JULY 29, 1891". You can continue on to Buckskin Knoll at about 7 miles or turn back at any point.
The Pinedale area is a fisherman's delight. Fish deep glacial lakes and crystal clear mountain streams and rivers, all while enjoying the majestic Rocky Mountain scenery. Fremont, Boulder, Burnt, Green River, Half Moon, New Fork and Willow lakes are full of Mackinaw and rainbow trout. Land-locked salmon and kokanee can also be found in the deep water of Fremont, New Fork, Boulder and Willow Lakes. Grayling can be found in Meadow Lake. Cutthroat trout, the only fish species native to Wyoming, are found in Green River Lakes, Big Sandy River, Gypsum Creek and Tosi Creek. If you're up for a hike into the back country, you can fish for Golden trout which are stocked in alpine lakes such as Clear Lake, Joe's Lake, Sweeney Lake of Hobbs Lake.
Remember to obtain a Wyoming fishing license before heading out to catch the big one. Licenses are available at local sporting goods stores and the Game and Fish Department in Pinedale (307) 367-4353.
Trappers Point National Historic Site: Located six miles west of Pinedale at the Cora Junction on Hwy 191. From the top of the bluff you'll see a panoramic view of the Green River Valley. This is the site of the Upper Green River Rendezvous, where trappers, traders and Indians came to trade for furs, barter, gamble, drink, scheme and have fun in the early 1800s. This "Rendezvous" is reenacted each year the second weekend in July in Pinedale during the Green River Rendezvous.
Father Desmet Monument: Located one mile east of Daniel, this monument was dedicated in July 5, 11925 in memory of Father Pierre J. DeSmet. This is where Wyoming's first holymass, "La Prairie de la Messe," was held o July 5, 1840.
Fort Bonneville: The site of old Fort Bonneville is located one mile west of Daniel on Hwy 354-Horse Creek Road, next to the Green River. The modest site is marked with a historical sign near a small parking pull out. Nothing remains of the original Fort built in 1832. Half of the site is on public land, and half is on private ranch land. While nothing now remains of the original structure, the site is extremely significant to the Upper Green River Valley history and in relation to the fur trade era of the early 1800s. The fort site is near the site of six of the mountain men rendezvous during the fur trade era. Archaeological excavations have been done at this location, and more are hoped for the future.
Sommers Homestead Historical Site: The newly opened in 2011, the Sommers Homestead is a living history historical site jointly managed by the Sublette County Historical Society, Green River Valley Museum and siblings Jonita and Albert Sommers. It is located 7 miles south of US 191 on the East Green River Road (south of Trappers Point). Its purpose is to interpret and display historical buildings and artifacts of a homestead and working cattle ranch history of the Upper Green River Valley. The 1.5 acre site is open during the summer season, June/July/August, on Friday and Saturdays from 10AM to 3PM. It is staffed by volunteers and admission is by donation. Visitors can see the restored 2-story log homestead house, garage/shop, root cellar, barn, ice house, bunkhouse, and more. Group tours are welcome by special arrangement during off-days and in the spring and fall. Children's activities for group tours include churning butter, operating a spinning wheel, sewing on a treadle sewing machine, kitchen cooking and food preparation activities, ironing clothes, using a crank telephone, washing clothes on a washboard, learning to rope, leather craft activities, collecting eggs from the barn, playing on the homestead playground, craft activities, and more. The homestead facility is also available by special arrangement for special functions. Contact the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale for details, maps and arrangements, 307-367-4101.
Lander Trail-New Fork River Crossing Historic Site: This new park opened to the public in the summer of 2013. It is owned and managed by the non-profit organization the Sublette County Historical Society, the parent organization of the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale. The 100-acre park is located where the Lander Trail crosses the New Fork River, approximately 35 miles south of Pinedale and east of Big Piney. It is accessed by Hwy 351 and on the southern end of Paradise Road. The park was acquired as part of cooperative agreements between the Bureau of Land Management and operators for oil and gas activity impacts to this National Historic Trail in the Pinedale Anticline natural gas field. The site interprets a location where emigrants on the Oregon/California Trail had to make a hazardous river crossing and then camped. The time period being interpreted is late in the western migration period, from 1859-1869 when emigrants travele across the country in covered wagons. After 1869, when the transcontinental railroad was built, use of the Lander Cut-off road by wagons diminished and it became a settlement road. The Grand Opening for the Park is on June 21, 2014. The park is by walk-in access only. It has a loop walking trail, interpretive signs, bank fishing access along the New Fork River. The park is for day-use only, no camping or hunting, or biking. A rustic administrative area and cabin can be reserved for group functions. Mototized vehicle access is by special permission to get to the cabin for special functions. Currently there are no restroom facilities at the park with the exception of a very rustic outhouse in the administrative area. Bring your own water and food. Pack it in-pack it out for garbage. Drinking water available for dogs from the river. Restrooms are available in the BLM campground just south of the park property. Admission is free. For information about the park, contact the Sublette County Historical Society at the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, 307-367-4101.
For more in-depth information about Pinedale area and Sublette County history, please visit the History page at our sister site, www.Sublette.com.
For more area history, see www.wyohistory.org.
The Pinedale area has a wide variety of activities to offer younger children. Little ones always enjoy a trip to the Town Park where they can fish in the Kid's Fishing Pond, play on the playground equipment, or skip rocks in the creek. Often, deer and moose that live in the park can be seen from the Harmony Bridge. (Please remember to caution youngsters that wildlife can be unpredictable and dangerous and should not be approached.) The trails following the creek, along with numerous exercise activity sites, are fun for kids to explore.
Be sure to take the kids to the Museum of the Mountain Man to see the wonderful exhibits on the fur trade, western exploration, Plains Indians and early settlement history of western Wyoming. The Museum also sponsors many special fun and educational events throughout the season. Check the local newspaper for announcements of upcoming events while you're here.
Looking for a great place for a picnic? Try the Sandy Beach on the lower end of Fremont Lake. there you'll find picnicing (and restroom) facilities, a wonderful beach for building sand castles, and miles of shoreline to explore. If you want a place that is more secluded, take either the lower or upper Fremont Lake roads and you can pretty much pick your spot. You'll find many places with great views of the lake or just quiet spots nestled among the sagebrush and aspens.
If the kids want a little more action, they can go swimming in the indoor public swimming pool, or soak in the hot tub (pool schedule). Many of the area lakes have great swimming spots, if you don't mind the water being a bit brisk. There are outside tennis courts and a running track on the school grounds.
During the winter, kids can ice skate at either the town rink near the courthouse or the Sublette County Indoor Ice Arena near the golf course (public skating hours are posted at the rink). Hockey games are scheduled throughout the winter months. There are also lots of places to go sledding around town, but one of the favorites with the kids are the hills along off the Fremont Lake Road before you reach the Museum of the Mountain Man and behind the schools.
The Public Library offers weekly story time for the younger set. Check the Library for details.
The Pinedale area offers 1.5 million acres for mountain biking enthusidasts. Back country roads are usually free of snow by mid-May and clear through October. Topography ranges from flat and gentle rolling open sagebrush prairie to steep mountain slopes dotted with aspens and conifers. Elevations of lands open to mountain biking range from 7,000 to well over 10,000 feet. Mountain biking is allowed on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, but not in the Bridger Wilderness area. More information about areas open to mountain biking can be obtained from the Pinedale Ranger District of the Bridger-Teton National Forest at (307) 367-4326. (Mountain Biking)
The rodeo schedule for the Sublette County Sporting Association runs from mid-June through early September. You'll find everything from little buckaroos, drawpot events to PRCA rodeos here. The high schools also hold rodeos. The Lil' Buckaroo Rodeo competition, held the first part of July in conjunction with the Sublette County Fair, is the best kids' rodeo you'll ever see, with competitions in mutton bustin', calf riding, calf roping, pony bareback and walk about roping.
If you like shopping, you'll love the stores here. The nearest K-Mart and Wal-Mart are about 100 miles away, so what you will find here are small unique gift shops that carry western theme and hand-made items, hand-crafted jewelry, pottery, cards by area artists, Wyoming & Pinedale t-shirts & souvenirs and more. Local clothing stores carry authentic western wear including cowboy boots and hats for the working cowboy to high fashion styles.
Shopping for furniture with a western flavor? We have several stores that carry one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted lodgepole log beds and tables, antler chandeliers, wildlife design furniture, antiques, old chests, hutches, grandfather clocks, metalwork wildlife design pieces, couches and chairs with western flavors and contemporary designs.
Local sporting goods stores are well-equipped to outfit your expedition into the nearby wilderness or your fishing trip on the Green River. They are staffed with friendly and knowledgeable people who can help you chose the right equipment for your outdoor activity, provide you with topographic maps or a fishing license, and tell you about the best places to go where the fish are biting.! If you are interested in a float trip or guided expedition, you can make arrangements for these here too with local outfitters and guides. The local visitor center/Chamber of Commerce has maps and additional literature available, and staff can answer specific questions about the local area.
ALPINE SKIING: White Pine Ski Resprt offers alpine skiing and snowboarding during the winter season. They are located ten miles east of Pinedale in the Bridger-Teton National Forest. The ski area is accessed off of the paved Skyline Drive which is plowed during the winter season. There is plenty of parking at the resort. The White Pine lodge offers a warm place to rest with a view of the lifts and runs, food services and restrooms. See www.whitepineski.com or call 307-367-6606 for their schedule and activities. Cabin lodging for large groups is available adjacent to the ski hill (contact White Pine for reservation information.) AdditionROal lodging and food services are available in Pinedale.
CROSS-COUNTRY/NORDIC SKIING: Groomed Nordic cross-country ski trails are available near White Pine ski area and that vicinity. Cross-country ski trails are also available at the CCC Ponds walking path and at the Pinedale Golf Course, as weather/snow conditions allow. Grooming is done by the Sublette County Recreation Board. Road plowing is done by Sublette County Maintenance.
Sled dog races - IPSSSDR
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