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Pinedale Online > News > May 2006 > New Fork and Green River Lakes Roads-current conditions

New Fork Lake. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
New Fork Lake
New Fork Lakes still has a thin layer of ice in the center. Ice has melted away from the shoreline.

Immature Bald Eagle. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
Immature Bald Eagle
A young bald eagle watches a marshy area along the Green River. Its coloring is transitioning to the distinct white head and tail of a mature eagle.

Fishing New Fork Lake. Photo by Pinedale Online.
Fishing New Fork Lake
"The fishing is still slow," was the report for New Fork Lake on Saturday, May 6.
New Fork and Green River Lakes Roads
Current conditions
May 7, 2006

We took a drive on Saturday to check out conditions on the New Fork and Green River Lakes roads. Here is the current condition report as of May 6, 2006:

NEW FORK LAKES ROAD:
The New Fork Lake road is open and dry all the way to the Narrows Campground. The wildlife gate opened May 1st to lift the big game winter restrictions. The road is a bit wash-boarded in places making for a bumpy ride in stretches if you donít have decent shocks. There still is a thin layer of ice on New Fork Lake, but it wonít last long with the warm weather weíre getting. The side roads are a bit muddy in places, so be careful where you go with a vehicle or 4-wheeler so as not to tear these soft roads before they dry out completely and firm up. The Forest Service is not charging fees at the Narrows campground until they turn the water on and have full services.

The fishermen we spoke to reported that the fishing in New Fork Lake was still "slow", and the lake still needs to warm up a bit before the fish start biting better.

GREEN RIVER LAKES ROAD:
The Green River Lakes Road is mostly dry and solid up to the Union Pass junction. Beyond that, the road gets fairly muddy in places and we donít recommend traveling it further than the junction because of the soft roadbed conditions. More traffic will just make the ruts worse. It will be another couple of weeks for the road to dry up to get all the way in clear to the end.

Fishermen can get to the Green River bridge access on the Union Pass Road by crossing a small snowdrift. The parking area on the west side of the river is open. The road into Whiskey Grove Campground is partly open until you get to the turn with the northern exposure that goes into the campground. The big snowbank blocking the road still hasn't melted yet. The road into Kendall Guard Station road is wet, soft and muddy. The main road is smoother than the Green River Lakes road, but still a bit washboarded in places.

We saw moose, deer, antelope, an immature bald eagle, osprey, a blue bird and fresh beaver sign. Trees and shrubs are still bare, but beginning to bud out. Very early spring flowers (phlox and buttercups) are blooming. Arrowleaf balsamroot plants have started to come up.

People were already out camping, fishing and 4-wheeling. Summer is almost here!

Photos by Clint Gilchrist and Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online!



Related Links
  • Dave Bell's early spring tour & photo gallery - Green River Lakes Road, Sunday, May 7, 2006
  • Green River Lakes
  • New Fork Lakes

  • New Fork Gate Open. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    New Fork Gate Open
    The elk winter wildlife closure gate opened May 1 on the Green River Lakes Road.

    Welding the headgate. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Welding the headgate
    These ranchers spent part of their Saturday making welding repairs on the headgate for the New Fork Lake irrigation diversion.

    New Fork Spillway. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    New Fork Spillway
    Water flows out of New Fork Lake into the New Fork River, ultimately flowing past Pinedale and into the Green River.

    Busy Beavers. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Busy Beavers
    Beavers have been busy at work also at New Fork Lakes.

    Watching from the forest. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
    Watching from the forest
    A mule deer stops to watch from the safety of the forest brush.

    Baby Balsamroots. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Baby Balsamroots
    Arrowleaf Balsamroot plants are beginning to come up on the forest floor at Green River Lakes. In another month, they will dot the forest with vibrant yellow flowers.

    Blue Bird. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Blue Bird
    A bluebird stands out as a brilliant dash of color against the bare aspens near New Fork Lake.

    Pregnant Antelope. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
    Pregnant Antelope
    This female antelope looks too pregnant to want to move as we drove past along the New Fork Lakes road.

    Green River Lakes Road. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Green River Lakes Road
    The road into Green River Lakes is clear and dry for several miles, but not all the way to the end.

    Historic pull out. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Historic pull out
    This historical marker turn-out on the Green River Lakes Road describes an early tie-hack camp at this location along the Green River.

    Tie Hack Sign. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Tie Hack Sign
    Tie Hack Sign along the Green River Lakes road.

    Green River Tie Jam. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Green River Tie Jam
    Historic photo showing a log jam of railroad ties on the Upper Green River in the 1860s. These ties were cut in the winter, then floated downstream in the spring with high water.

    Soft road with ruts. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Soft road with ruts
    The road bed is still wet and soft, rutted in places where people have driven it too early.

    Green River Bend. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Green River Bend
    The Green River makes a big bend at this scenic road pull out, making it a favorite place to grab a snapshot.

    Eagle on rock perch. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
    Eagle on rock perch
    An immagure bald eagle perches on a rock on a sagebrush-covered hill overlooking the Green River Lakes Road.

    Eagle in flight. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
    Eagle in flight
    This immature bald eagle takes off from his rock perch.

    Road at Whiskey Grove. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Road at Whiskey Grove
    The Green River Lakes Road is in good shape to the Whiskey Grove Campground junction.

    Into Whiskey Grove. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Into Whiskey Grove
    Small patches of snow still are left on the Whiskey Grove Campground road.

    Whiskey Grove Snowbank. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Whiskey Grove Snowbank
    The road into Whiskey Grove Campround is still blocked by a big snowbank.

    Hidden Moose. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
    Hidden Moose
    The mother moose is barely visible in the willows along the Green River Lakes road.

    Green Spring Meadow. Photo by Clint Gilchrist, Pinedale Online.
    Green Spring Meadow
    This green meadow on the far hillside must be fed by a warm thermal underground spring. The grass is always green here in the spring while snow covers the surrounding hillside. This is not far from Kendall Warm Springs, more evidence of underground thermal activity in the valley.

    Wet side roads. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Wet side roads
    Side roads are still wet and soft off the main Green River Lakes road.

    Stay on designated roads. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Stay on designated roads
    Vehicles and ATVs are required to stay on designated roads and trails in this area.

    Green River Bridge. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Green River Bridge
    Green River bridge crossing of the Union Pass Road. The water levels are still relatively low with fell spring melt runoff yet to come.

    Just past Union Pass Road. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Just past Union Pass Road
    The road is very soft and wet just past the Union Pass junction. We recommend not going further beyond this point until the road has had a chance to dry out more.

    Wet and rutted. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Wet and rutted
    Driving on these roads when they are still wet and soft creates deep ruts when they dry out. It is best to stay off the roads until they dry out.

    Rodent tunnels. Photo by Dawn Ballou, Pinedale Online.
    Rodent tunnels
    Rodents used these now bare tunnels to get back and forth under the deep winter snow. These can be found along the side of the Green River Lakes road.
    Pinedale Online > News > May 2006 > New Fork and Green River Lakes Roads-current conditions

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