The Bridger Teton National Forest
Page Summary: Information regarding the Bridger Teton National Forest, mountains, lakes, and rivers in Sublette County, Wyoming.
The Bridger-Teton National Forest boasts 3.4 million acres for outdoor recreation. More than 1.2 million acres are designated as wilderness offering primitive, backcountry experience in remote high county. The Gros Ventre Wilderness and the Bridger Wilderness have miles of trails, numerous trailhead access points, and many lakes and streams for fishing. Many parts of the Forest have road access and offer nice opportunities for scenic day drives or outings for those unable to hike into the more remote areas.
The Forest has many developed campgrounds as well as virtually unlimited dispersed recreation sites for day use or extended stays. Developed campground sites contain a fire grill and picnic table and place for a tent. Water and refuse containers are available in many, but not all, campgrounds. Camping fees range from free to $15.00, in accordance with the services provided. Electricity, sewage hook-ups, showers, and dump stations, are not available in Forest Service campgrounds. Campgrounds that require reservations can be reserved through the National Recreation Reservation Service, Recreation.gov. The operating season for campgrounds is the period water and/or garbage services are provided and fees charged. Outside the operating season, campgrounds are usable unless inaccessible due to snow. No fees are charged or services provided outside the operating season.
Many of the lakes on the Forest have public boat ramps and offer fishing and boating opportunities. Many recreation sites are adjacent to main highways and are easy to locate. Others are located on unpaved forest roads many miles from a town. Detailed Forest travel and recreation maps are available for a small fee from local Forest Service District offices in Pinedale and Big Piney. The Grand Teton Natural History Association sells books, publications, maps, gifts and other information about the Bridger-Teton National Forest available online.
Sublette County is located along the western slopes of the Continental Divide in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Three rugged mountain ranges: the Wind River Range, Gros Ventre Mountains, and the Wyoming Range border us on three sides. These mountain peaks reach to over 13,000 feet.
The Wind River Mountains, the "Winds", attract backpacking enthusiasts from around the world every year. These rugged mountains have been carved by glacial action creating glacial cirques, kettles, U-shaped river valleys, hanging valleys, and over 1,300 lakes. Seven of the ten largest glaciers remaining in the contiguous United States still work upon the Wind River Mountains. Gannet Peak, at 13,804 ft the highest point in Wyoming, is located in the Wind River Mountains. Cirque of the Towers on the southern end of the range is a nationally known rock climbing destination.
The Gros Ventre Mountains contain the 287,000 acre Gros Ventre Wilderness Area. It is roughly bounded by the Gros Ventre River to the North, the Green River to the east, the Hoback River to the south and the National Elk Refuge and Snake River to the west. It contains 20 peaks over 10,000 feet in elevation and several over 11,000 feet. Its forests and meadows are home to elk, moose, mule deer, bighorn sheep, and black bear. The Gros Ventre Wilderness is administered by the Jackson, Big Piney, and Pinedale Ranger Districts of the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
The Wyoming Range Mountains, located west of Big Piney/Marbleton, offer many square miles of remote, uncrowded country for outdoor recreation. Many areas are accessible by cars and RVs and are suitable for handicapped and elderly visitors. These mountains offer activities for fishermen, hunters, skiers, snowmobilers and backpackers. Solitude is one of the greatest assets and wildlife flourishes. There are numerous developed and dispersed camping sites in the Wyoming Range, as well as hiking trails and good fishing.
Sublette County boasts over over 1,300 lakes within its borders. The largest, Fremont Lake, is the second largest natural lake in Wyoming and contains fish up to the 40 pound range. Many of the larger lakes are accessible by road and have public boat ramps. Other lakes are in remote areas that are accessible only by foot or horseback via trails into the backcountry. Many area lakes are stocked by the Wyoming Game & Fish Department and offer excellent sport fishing for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, brook trout, brown trout, golden trout, mackinaw, and grayling. Many record fish (grayling, brook trout, cutthroat trout, golden trout) have been caught in lakes in Sublette County.
The Green River has its headwaters in the high mountains of the Bridger Wilderness in the Wind River Mountains and flows on to become the mighty Colorado River. The Green is a popular fishing stream for beginner and intermediate fisherman, but can also be a great challenge for the more advanced fisherman. It sports abundant populations of Rainbow trout in the 10-16 inch range, but the possibility of catching Rainbows over 20 inches is also very common. This stream also contains 14-18 inch Brown trout, and fish over 20 inches are not uncommon. The Green is also home for Cutthroat and Brook trout. There are many miles along the Green River with public fishing access, as well as numerous public access points for drift boat fishing.
The New Fork River flows out of the New Fork Lakes in the Upper Green River Valley, at the base of the Wind River Mountains. The New Fork is home to Brown trout in the 14 to 24 inch class as well as Rainbow trout. Fishing the New Fork is a challenge for the beginner as well as the more advanced fisherman. Many other major tributaries of the Green River also providing great fishing include Beaver Creek, Horse Creek, Cottonwood Creek, Piney Creeks, Labarge Creek, and Big Sandy.
Sublette County has 24 marked historical sites with interpretive signs that are accessible by vehicle. There are many other historical sites within the county including long stretches of the Oregon Trail, old tie hack cabins, and marked graves. Historical markers describe important events of the earliest explorers in this area, the mountain man era and the Green River Rendezvous, the pioneers who traveled the Oregon Trail, and early ranching history. Visitors can still hike or drive sections of the Oregon Trail and see many marked graves. The observant hiker can still find arrowheads and stone scraping tools, and evidence of Native American presence can be seen in old "tipi rings" and "arrows" on mountain sides. Fossils and petrified wood can also be found in many locations. It is illegal to pick up artifacts or disturb any archeological sites on public land.
There is currently a lot of information available on the web about the history of early Sublette County. We encourage to visit these many web sites to learn about our history so you will enjoy them even more when you come to visit us.
- Historic Buildings in Sublette County
- Photographic History of Sublette County
- Early Daniel History and Photos
- Daniel, the First 100 Years
- Early Pinedale History
- Early Pinedale Roundup Index
- CCC Camps in Sublette County
The entire county can be considered a historic site that contributed greatly to early American history by opening the west for settlement. The early explorers and mountain men found the routes through the formidable Rocky Mountains that later allowed thousands of people to pass through the area and travel on to Oregon, California and Washington. The valley of the Green River served as crossroads for the west, pivotal in allowing the United States to secure the westward land from competing countries. As each generation of explorers, pioneers, travelers and settlers made their mark on early American history, the upper Green River Valley, and what is now Sublette County, played an important role in that settling of the west.
Bridger-Teton National Forest
P.O. Box 1888
Jackson, WY 83001
Pinedale Ranger District
29 E Fremont Lake Road, P.O. Box 220, Pinedale, WY, 82941
Big Piney Ranger District
PO Box 218, Big Piney, WY, 83113
307-276-3375 or 276-5800/5200
Bureau of Land Management, Pinedale Management Area
432 E. Mill Street, PO Box 768, Pinedale, WY 82941-0768