Best Day Hikes in the Wind River Range

Customers looking to spend a day acclimating, often ask:

“What’s a good day hike”?

The Wind River Range is massive, remote, and mostly known to backpackers doing multi-day trips or long distance hikes. However,  the south side of the Wind River Range accessed from Pinedale has amazing public access! The Wilderness area is bordered completely by Forest Service and BLM lands with 10 major trailheads and 3 lodges located almost directly adjacent to trailheads, with several more lodges just down the road. Pinedale is a great place to base out of and day hike the south side of the Winds.    Several of the trailheads are not too far from Town making for quick access.

Interactive GOTCO Map of Trailheads, Lodges, and Services

#1 Halfmoon Lake Inlet or #2 Fayette Lake

Trailhead: Halfmoon Lake, ~ 3 miles RT to inlet, 6 miles RT to Fayette

Elevation: 7600ft to 7956 ft (Fayette) +- 356 ft

Hands down my favorite after work hike. It’s close to town, short, flat, and there’s a lake to jump into if you get too hot!  From Pine Street, turn north onto Fremont Lake Road by Ridley’s Grocery store, follow this road for about 7 miles, turn right onto FR 743, there’s a big  Half Moon Lake Lodge sign, follow this dirt road all the way to the lodge about 2 miles and park. The trailhead is about a 1/4 mile past the lodge, but the road washed out last year, during run-off. The USFS has not fixed it yet, and it is not passable by vehicle, but you can walk past it to the trail (about 30 minutes from Pinedale).

The trail starts out winding through large conifer trees and up a small hill, then opens up into sagebrush and rocky hillside and parallels the lakeshore which is steep and rocky. Follow it around and you will end up at the inlet to the lake after about 1.5 miles, where you can turn around and head back. When you are almost back to the trailhead turn towards the lake before you go up the hill through the conifers, there is small 5-6 foot cliff band you can jump into the refreshing water!!

If you want more, you can cross the narrowest part of the inlet in lower water and continue following the trail another 1.5 miles to Fayette Lake. Sometime ago, someone carried a canoe up there, which they left for the benefit of the public to use and take care of.

Bonus BEERS available at Halfmoon Lake Lodge when open (New owners in 2019! Hurray, we are excited to see what they have in store!)


Beach at Halfmoon Trailhead

#3 Sacred Rim or #4 Photographers Point

Trailhead: Elkhart Park ~ 3 miles RT to Sacred, 10 miles RT to Photographer’s

Elevation: 9300ft to 10,095 feet (Photographers) +- 795ft

From Pine Street, turn north onto Fremont Lake Road by Ridley’s Grocery store, follow this road for about 15 miles, past the Halfmoon turn, past White Pine Ski Area, all the way to the end Park at Pole Creek Trail (about 30 minutes from Pinedale).

Pinedale’s most popular day hike! It is close to town, short, flat, and spectacular! Take the Pole Creek Trail next to the large parking lot and restrooms. The trail is well worn and winds through somewhat thick forest, hike for about a 1/2 mile, there is no sign (bonus points!), but you will see a trail that heads north take and hike another 1/2 miles through a lot of downfall. You will come to 1000ft drop looking down at Long Lake and Fremont Peak, SPECTACULAR! If you want more hike back to the main trail and head east for another 4 miles until you see Eklund and Barbara Lakes, another SPECTACULAR view, and the trail heads north to Titcomb basin, you’ve made it to Photographer’s Point!

Bonus BEERS available at Lakeside Lodge


sacred rim

Sacred Rim looking down at Long Lake

#5 Long Lake Loop

Trailhead: Elkhart Park ~ 5 miles RT to Long Lake 8 miles RT to Loop

Elevation: 9300ft to 8475 ft (Long Lake) +- 825 ft

From Pine Street, turn north onto Fremont Lake Road by Ridley’s Grocery store, follow this road for about 15 miles, past the Halfmoon turn, past White Pine Ski Area, all the way to the end Park at Trail’s End Trailhead (about 30 minutes from Pinedale).

For those looking to get a work-out look no further. Long Lake is close to town, short, STEEP, and spectacular. Once at Elkhart Park, continue past the main parking area, past the campground towards the stock pens, park at this parking lot to access Trails End. The trail heads straight downhill from the parking lot through the forest with switchbacks for about 2.5 miles to the bottom of Pine Creek Canyon. You can go off-piste and check out the lake, turn around and head back up or continue towards Glimpse Lake (FYI wicked steep) around the loop to the back of Fremont Lake then back up!

Bonus BEERS available at Lakeside Lodge

#9 Blueberry Lake

Trailhead: Boulder Lake, 4 miles RT

Elevation: 7300 ft to 8476 ft (Blueberry) +- 1,175 ft

From Pinedale head south on Highway 191 to Boulder 11 miles turn left at the Store onto Highway 353 proceed for 2 miles to the Boulder Lake turnoff, turn left onto County Road 125 follow dirt road for 10 miles to Boulder Lake Campground and Trailhead (about 1 hour from Pinedale).

Take the Ruff Lake trail which you access from the back of the campground, after 1/2 mile or so you will begin a steep uphill ascent the trail will fork turn right and proceed towards Blueberry another 1.5 miles or so.

Bonus BEERS available at Boulder Lake Lodge  or head back to the Boulder Store for beers (Boulder Lake Lodge is between managers, not sure it’s open for 2019?)


Boulder Lake Road

#6 Clear Creek Natural Bridge or #7 Fish Bowl Spring or#8 Green River Lake Loop

Trailhead: Green River Lakes, 8 miles RT Clear Creek, 10.5 miles RT to Fish Bowl, 6 miles RT Lake Loop (by itself)

Elevation: 8000 ft to 8400 ft (Clear)  9490 feet (Fish) +- 1,490 ft

From Pinedale head west on Highway 191 6 miles to the Cora Y, turn north onto Highway 352 for ~27 miles the pavement will end at the National Forest Boundary, proceed on the dirt road for ~18 miles to the trailhead (about 1.5 hours from Pinedale).

natural brudge

Natural Bridge

A well worn, flat trail with OUTSTANDING views of the lake and Square top mountain. Proceed from the trailhead on the north side of the lake for 2 miles turn north towards Clear Creek, which you parallel for another 2 miles to the bridge.  For Fish Bowl head up the Clear Creek trail for a bout 3/4 of mile turn right on the Slide Lake Trail proceed about 2.5 miles to Fish Bowl Springs. Hikers choice; backtrack to the trailhead or if you want more proceed up trail at the Clear Creek intersection head east towards  the inlet lake to Green River Lakes. You will come to an intersection  cross the Green River and head down the south side of Green River Lake back to the Trailhead.

Bonus BEERS available at Kendall Valley Lodge or The Place (Open in 2019!)

Wind River Range

Fall time Green River Lakes looking at Square Top Mountain

Fontanelle – Seedskadee Shuttles

The Seedskadee – Fontanelle area is the Green River below Fontanelle Reservoir. It is located in the high desert about 25 miles from Labarge and about 25 miles from Kemmerer, Wyoming. It flows out of the dam, and has the feel of an oasis, as it is surrounded by sagebrush steppe for miles around. The area has 2 BLM campgrounds, Weeping Rock and Slate Creek. Seedskadee National Wildlife refuge is home to many bird species, desert elk, moose, and wild horses.

River Shuttles are available! You can drop your boat at the put-in, drive to the takeout, Dennis will pick you up and drive you back to the put-in.

Dennis is based out of Labarge,  you can contact him to set-up a date, time, boatramp for pick-up. He does not text.


Below Fontanelle Dam

Dam to Slate Creek                      $40

Weeping Rock to Slate Creek    $40

Weeping Rock/Slate/Dam to Dodge Bottom $50

Dodge Bottom to Hay Bottom    $55

Hay Bottom to Highway 28        $65

Highway 28 to Six Mile               $70

Add $10 for each additional rider after 1

For example 3 people want a ride from Slate to Dam $40 for 1 rider, $50 for 2 riders, $60 for 3 riders. ($60/3 people = $20/each for the shuttle)

Here’s an interactive GOTCO map of boat ramps etc. to help you out!

Above Fontanelle Reservoir

Labarge to Name’s Hill    $20

Fear #2 to Name’s Hill     $35

Fear #2 to Labarge           $25

Fear #1 to Fear #2            $35




Welcome to the Wyoming Range

While most visitors come to Pinedale to check the Wind River Range off the bucket list, Sublette County boasts another lesser known mountain range. The Wyoming Range falls on the western side of Sublette County and is a National Forest with great accessibility. The area is actually 2 mountain ranges. The Wyoming Range lies on the east side of the road, and the Salt River Range on the west. A dirt road splits the ranges and parallels the Greys River which flows north. Wyoming Peak, is the highest peak at 11, 383 feet with several other peaks including Mount Mcdougal.

It slopes are less rugged and rocky than the Winds.  The range does have much less surface water than the winds, although there are several small lakes and mountain streams, like Middle Piney Lake.

The closest towns to the range are Big Piney and Marbleton. The range while accessible is isolated.

The range is popular regionally for a variety of recreation pursuits, the most popular are listed below.


Red Castles

Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail

The Range boasts the 70 mile long Wyoming Range National Recreation Trail which begins at the Bryan Flats Trailhead just south of Jackson Hole and terminates at South Piney Creek just west of Big Piney. The condition of the full length of the trail can be spotty. Popular sections that are well used by hunters and day hikers are in the best condition. More isolated sections maybe grown over from lack of use. Given the topography and trail length it lends itself especially well to hikers, mountain bikers, and horsepackers looking for multi-day trips.

GOTCO will provide shuttle service to these trailheads! Contact us for a quote!


Bridger-Teton National Forest, Big Piney, Greys River, and Kemmerer Ranger Districts (2014 USDA)



Visitor Guide to the Wyoming Range, by Susan Marsh (day hike information)

Beyond the Tetons, by Susan Marsh (Wyoming Recreation Trail details)



Soda Lake


The entire range is very accessible. The range also lends itself to other modes of travel as it is not a designated Wilderness Area. It is intersected by numerous roads and trails accessed by off-road vehicles. It also boasts some of the only single-track mountain dirt biking in Wyoming.

Maps available here:


The Wyoming Range is also known for it’s outstanding backcountry snowmobiling. A groomed snowmobile trail runs between Horsecreek and Alpine (east-west) and (north-south) down to Big Piney.

I have always thought the backcountry skiing in the range looked absolutely amazing, but *full disclosure* I also was always having so much fun sledding (snowmobiling) I never brought my skis and actually skied, someday soon!

Not into backcountry? Go to Pine Creek Ski Resort just outside of Cokeville, Wyoming and located at the very southern tip. A small family friendly ski area boasting 1400 feet of vertical and 30 runs!

More info and maps here:


The range has an outstanding network of cabins most built by the CCC in the 1930’s these cabins are available for rent during the entire year. It is almost like a built in yurt system, but  unfortunately most of the cabins are at least 10 miles in from a plowed road in the winter, and 10-20 miles apart. So they don’t lend themselves well for the average skier. They can however be easily accessed by snowmobile, so if you want to take a snowmobile trip or have a snowmobile supported ski trip it is awesome. During the summer they are accessible by vehicle.  It is important to note the cabins are primarily along roads and not the Rec Trail.

Cabins can be reserved via this link:


Energy Development is no stranger to the Southern part of the Wyoming Range. Companies having been drilling near Labarge as far back as the late 1800’s. There are numerous well pads in the southeast foothills of the range between Big Piney and Kemmerer.

The Wyoming Range made headlines several years back, when several energy companies owned leases in the northern part of the range and intended to drill. A major grassroots campaign was launched and the leases were successfully terminated. Thanks to the Citizens for the Wyoming Range.


Hunting is extremely popular in the Range for many species including elk, moose, mule deer, bears, and mountain lion.

Box Y Lodge

CK Outfitters

Timberline Lodge

General Overview Map (trailheads, lodges, cabins)

Keep checking back for more updates!