Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Green River Lakes

By the time we arrived at the trailhead, I was saying things like "this had better be worth that miserable drive."  It was approximately 18 miles (but seemed like 40) miles of gravel/dirt washboard road.  Some places we could do 30 MPH, but mostly 12-20 MPH.  And dusty!  And...we had to drive it again on the way out. We were told that it wasn't that bad in early June, but the mosquitoes made up for it.  Our July trip had hardly any mosquitoes or flies, but I may have traded those for a smoother road.  We were prepared for "epic" views, but were disappointed because of the heavy smoke that obscured distant views.  All in all, it's worth doing once if you are in the area.  There are places to horse camp, but we did it as a day ride around the lake with a side spur to Upper Green River Lake (well worth it. Wish we had more time to ride up that area further).  We came back via the East side.  We had been warned that livestock is not recommended on that side because of the narrow trail and steep drop offs.  We did it anyway because our guide had been on the trail before.  Whew!  Good thing we didn't meet any livestock going the opposite way. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR BEGINNER HORSES on this East side. Thanks to Teisha Preece for many of the photos.
  (Click on any photo for an enlarged image.)

Dirt road in June when it wasn't so bad.
There are two parking lots...one for livestock and one for cars.

View of the livestock parking area.

Total mileage for ride=8 miles; Minimum altitude=7,900'; Maximum altitude=8,114'; Ascent/Descent=670'; trail conditions are varied.  Some places very rocky, but about 70% dirt.  Several water and bridge crossings.

We began on the West side of the lake going clockwise.

Photo taken in June without the smoke.

In June

Photo taken in June without the smoke and a little greener.

There were a couple of drop offs to the lake, but not too bad.

Crossing the Green River...there is a bridge for foot traffic.

This is where we took the "Three Forks Park" side trail, then came back and crossed the bridge to the East side of the lake.

Upper Green River Lake with a view of Square Top Mountain
Upper Green River Lake, Fall, 2016

Headed back to the East side

The forests on the east side are amazing.

Most of the forest trail was like this.

There was one really dicey place.  We got off and walked the horses.

Views are incredible.

This was taken from the West side of the lake.  You can see the rock cliffs dropping into the water.  The trail goes just on top of those in places.
This is the view FROM the East side trail.

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