Green River Lakes Loop Hike

Difficulty
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Easy
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
2.5-4h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
12.4 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
193 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Green River Lakes Loop Hike is a beautiful trail hidden amongst the towering Wind River Mountains. The entire family can enjoy this beautiful trek that circumnavigates the shoreline of Lower Green River Lake, boasting breathtaking views of the bounding, majestic monoliths.

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Route Description

The Green River Lakes Loop Hike is a staple adventure in the Wind River Range. Boasting one of the most iconic views in Wyoming, this route sees plenty of traffic no matter the time of day or the season. Come prepared to share the route with like-minded explorers. Head out in the early morning for more seclusion and the increased probability of wildlife viewing. While unlikely, with all sorts of exploration in the area, we encourage hikers to carry a can of bear spray. Note the mosquitos are relentless here, so be sure to bring some bug spray. Additionally, the route sees muddy conditions after rainfall, so don’t wear your new white runners if this is the case!

Though there are some awesome family-friendly adventures in the Wind River Range, the Green River Lakes Loop is by far our favorite. Traveling through the glacially carved valley, hikers will be granted breathtaking views of the encompassing granite Wind River Mountains as they wander through a diversity of blossoming wildflowers and lush vegetation. Let us not fail to mention trekkers will also enjoy the famous scene of the Squaretop Mountain looming above the Green River Lakes while getting a wonderful workout in. While this route can be completed in either direction, we encourage you to hike clockwise for the best views. Don’t forget to charge your camera; the scenery is quite photogenic.

Setting out from the Lakeside Trailhead, the Green River Lakes Loop follows the leftmost branch of the trail, heading eastwardly. Trekking along the northern shoreline of the Lower Green River Lake, you will be granted impressive views of the long lake and the towering granite walls that bound the valley. Soon after your departure, you will reach an intersection with the Highline Trail; turn right here onto the Highline Trail. This scenic route meanders along the eastern border of the lake, boasting some of the best views of Squaretop Mountain.

This section of the route is almost entirely exposed, so make sure you are wearing SPF and keep an eye out for moose, deer, elk, and more grazing in the meadowlands. Eventually, the path will intersect with Cedar Creek, traveling into the wetlands between the two Green River Lakes. Continue along the Highline Trail all the way to the northern shore of the Upper Green River Lake. Marvel at the views of the Squaretop Mountain, then retrace your footing along the Highline Trail to the intersection with the Lakeshore Trail.

Merge left onto the Lakeside Trail, crossing a footbridge over the Green River before tracing the western lakeshore. After wandering through the wetlands, the path will escape beneath the tree canopy of mixed pines. Heading northwardly, the mildly undulating trail will grant sporadic views of the bounding Wind River Mountains. Follow the Lakeside Trail through the lush forestlands and into the Green River Lakes Campground. From here you will be delivered back to the trailhead, marking the end of your adventure. If time and weather permit, take a kayak in the stunning basin or have a picnic on the lakeshore overlooking the picturesque scene.

Trail Highlights

Squaretop Mountain

Squaretop Mountain is a dramatic summit in the Wind River Mountain Range that stands at an elevation of 11,695 ft. Looming above Green River, the uniquely shaped geological feature boasts an unrivaled scene—in fact, the iconic view has been on the Wyoming license plate since 2016. The craggy granite summit not only looks cool, but it's a renowned climbing destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Green River Lakes Loop Hike?

The Green River Lakes Loop Hike is a 7.7 mi circuit in the Wind River Mountains.

Are dogs permitted on the Green River Lakes Loop Hike?

Yes, dogs are welcomed on the Green River Lakes Loop Hike if they remain on leash.

Insider Hints

  • Charge your camera, the scenery is quite photogenic
  • Make sure at least one person in your party carries bear spray
  • Make a day of it: bring a picnic, hike, swim, or canoe in the waters
  • Explore in the early morning for a more tranquil experience
  • The mosquitos are relentless, bring some bug spray!
  • Don’t be surprised to see moose, pronghorn, deer, and elk
  • Dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions

Getting There

The Green River Lakes Loop Hike departs from the Lakeside Trailhead off Green River Lakes Road.

Route Details

  • Backcountry Campground

    Green River Lakes Campground

  • When to do

    April-October

  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Lollipop

Elevation Graph

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