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Pinedale Field Office

Green River: History - Access - Recreation

Introduction 

Upper Green River.

 

Upper Green River.

 

Rivers are one of the most powerful creations of nature, carving their way through the earth on their way to the oceans.  Rivers acted as the first highway system in this country and life as we know it could and would not exist without them. It is for these reasons that early settlements were located along the major rivers.

Southwestern Wyoming is rich in Native American, mountain man, and early pioneer history. The Native Americans settled down for the winter on the banks of the Green River, the mountain men held their rendezvous in the Green River Valley, and the pioneers had to cross it to get further west.

The Upper Green River - Land Ownership & Public Access

The Green River originates at Dale Lake, high in the Wind River Mountains. From there it flows into Green River Lakes, nestled in a picturesque glacial valley beneath magnificent Squaretop Mountain. The area serves as a beautiful and popular entry point into the Wind River Mountains and Bridger Wilderness, providing access to world class recreation in an alpine setting. 

From the lake’s outlet (Forest Service administered), the Upper Green River passes immediately through a small parcel of private land then flows through approximately 24 miles of Forest Service lands. The next 16 miles of river flow through privately owned lands and it is important to respect the rights of these private landowners by staying in your boat unless immediate hazards lie in your path. Under this condition only is it allowable to land your boat and portage it around the obstacle. 

At this point (approximately 37 miles from the outlet of Green River Lakes), BLM administered lands begin. The next 13 miles of river are referred to as the Warren Bridge River Access Area, which pass through a patchwork of BLM administered and privately owned lands. Please refer to the Warren Bridge River Access Area map for information on land ownership through this area. Once BLM lands are reached there exist easements along private lands providing a (50 foot) boundary adjacent to waters’ edge.

The distance from the lakes’ outlet to the beginning of the Warren Bridge River Access Area is approximately 47 miles. The Warren Bridge River Access Area encompasses approximately 13 miles of river, ending at Warren Bridge on US Highway 191. The BLM administers 12 public river access sites along this stretch which are accessed either from the river or from an 8-mile-long dirt access road beginning just north of Warren Bridge on Highway 191.  Amenities of the access sites include vault toilets and picnic tables. No potable water is available.

When camping at these sites please pack out all trash, utilize the toilets for disposal of human waste, and avoid parking vehicles too close to the river bank. 

The Warren Bridge River Access Area is located 21 miles northwest of Pinedale, WY, and is accessible from Highway 191 via an access road 200 yards north of Warren Bridge and the Warren Bridge Campground (BLM fee area). The Green River offers opportunities for fishing, rafting, camping, and picnicking. During dry conditions the road is passable for vehicles of all types. During wet conditions, vehicle travel is not recommended. A campground host is stationed at Warren Bridge Campground during the summer season.