Green River Lakes Campground is over an hour from Pinedale, Wyoming, on a dirt road, and features semi-improved camping locations both for reservation and for first-come, first serve. It has incredible views of Squaretop Mountain, and many people use the Green River trailhead to hike the Wind River Range. The only hike I recommend out of Green River, however, is Slide Lake.
For kayaking to Upper Green River Lake, see my review here.
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Yue and I had been friends for a long time, but this summer was our first time getting to really hang out while I actually had a plan for my future. Getting to know her was a bad thing in a way, because she’s an amazing person, so now, even though I have never dated her, I’m going to want someone in my life who has a lot of her qualities: cutting intellect, unstoppable work ethic, and a passion for God. Oh, and also a love for kids.
Anyway, she had asked about kayaking with me and my friend Dale, but Dale ended up being gone when we both had time off, so we looked into kayaking and camping at Green River Lakes, which is an area I’ve hiked and kayaked before. This was an opportunity to grow our friendship, so I was super excited for it! Our now-mutual friend Beatriz would also be joining. I don’t think that Beatriz likes me too much (well, I think that I might amuse her, but also really get on her nerves…which is probably how most people see me), but I like having the third wheel, especially since I had 3 total kayak seats, so that wheel was needed!
My Jeep had been acting up a bit, but nothing too bad, with the check engine light intermittently coming on for a reason that I was aware of. We decided to meet up at 40 Rod Road on the 13th of July, and head into camp from there. We’d camp one night and kayak and leave on the 14th, a Sunday.
Review: Green River Lakes Campground
My birthday was the night before, so the girls suggested that I buy us all steak to help me celebrate my birth. That’s the best way to celebrate someone else’s birthday!
I was on the road before 0800 with everything packed up, including out steaks. Yue said that they were running a little late, so I stopped to check out the Fremont Lake campground again, and made note of the campsites that I liked most. Really I only enjoyed 26, but it might be worth camping there in order to kayak across the lake to the old pier. I also went and collected a ton of firewood.
We met at 40-Rod Road and were to the Green River Lakes Campground by 1215. The sky was overcast and it was a little bit cool and windy near the lake, though the campground was shielded from this. We circled the grounds and were blessed by many available sites, so we nabbed one and I went and paid for the space, since it was in celebration of my birthday. 😉
After we had paid and parked our vehicles, the camp host, who lived a couple of spots down from us, came to check in. Her name was Jenna and she was marvelous! In fact, the even gave me a map with an outline of some hikes that she’d done which were relatively close by. Earlier the previous year, Yue and I had tried to hike one of these, but had taken the wrong turn, and then met a very talkative pilot, and ended up going back to our hotel and teaching Yue how to swim. 🙂 As a side note, the pilot had told Yue not to let someone like me get away, apparently assuming that we were dating. Very sadly, he didn’t tell me not to let her get away. Anyway, Jenna was incredible, and I’m now friends with her other half on facebook.
The campground has plenty of mature trees, so you won’t see other people, and our site was well-flattened out. We used some of the trees for hammocks, and I set up the very big Kelty tent that I have. I was going to set up a separate tent for myself, but the girls liked sleeping with me, so we just shared the tent. I’d brought a queen and a twin, so they took the queen and I took the twin.
I thought that we should just save the kayaking for Sunday, but the sheilas—mostly Beatriz—wanted to take the boats for a spin. We were using one good kayak and one garbage inflatable, so I figured that we might as well let them each try both.
We kayaked to the north side of the lake, with me towing them for a portion, and then kayaked to the south side, where Yue had to get out and go pee. I showed them some wild onions, which I had showed Yue during a different campground review and hike, and they really wanted to collect them, so we pulled our boats in close and nabbed a bunch. I also taught them about the lookalike of the plant, called Death Camas, and how to tell them apart.
We went back to camp and the girls set about to making dinner. Well, I made the fire and a little bit of dinner, but they were slicing up wild onions and making veggies and cooking up a storm! Man, I wish that it had lasted forever. We of course listened to EDM during this.
This campground had much better facilities (Jenna cleaned the restrooms well, and she is a volunteer, and her heart if made not of gold, but of platinum), with the fire ring being cleaned, a creek nearby, a clean table, and great water.
The night was nippy, but our fire was large.
- My scientific rating system. I really liked this campground. Squaretop is beautiful, everything was well maintained, and the camp host was the best.
- Beauty. Green River Lakes offers the prettiest campground views in Wyoming.
- Camping spots. There were plenty to be had when we were there, even without a reservation, and we had no neighbors. Jenna says that it is getting busy, though.
- Crowds. Not really!
- Fishing. All over!
Review: Kayaking Green River
We were up way too late, but Beatriz can’t sleep in, so we were also up way too early—0800! And Beatriz was outside and doing things well before that.
By 1000 we were on the water, having moved one vehicle downstream a bit so that we could ferry ourselves. Yue really, really liked my Kayak. Proverbs 11 mentions that, “a kindhearted woman gains honor,” and of interest to me is that “honor” is more often translated as “glory.” The woman with the kind heart gathers glory. She is the girl with all the gifts.
Despite liking it so much, her and Beatriz wanted to stick together, so they took the inflatable. We floated down the river and saw a couple other floaters on tubes, which we passed, and really liked going under the bridge and seeing some light rapids. The scenery, of course, it to die for.
We stopped by the vehicles and realized that we had plenty of time to do more, so we ferried again and resumed our journey downstream, stopping just before the big rapids, which would have killed us! At this time of year, the water is high enough to be fun, and not bottom out.
Once we got in, I packed up and let the girls get back to Jackson. It was a blessing of a time! I’d love to do it again. Sadly, something happened between Yue and Beatriz later on in the summer, and they don’t have a relationship anymore, I don’t think, and Yue has a committed man, so I missed a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
The hardest lessons leave a mark! But at least the memories, though bittersweet, and beautiful. Onwards to eternity.
- My scientific rating system. I really liked this little kayaking session. The views of the mountains were great, the water felt nice, and it was just beautiful. I wish that we’d have had more time, or that I’d get the opportunity to do this with them in the future. I learned a life lesson this summer. You must live life like an alligator: if a good girl lets you get close, snatch her up.
- Beauty. Did you SEE the video?
- Kayaking. Very gentle, pretty kayaking. You can fish but still have a little excitement with no real danger.
- Crowds. Not really!
- Fishing. All over!