The Bridger National Forest (of the Bridger-Teton National
Forest) is located in western Wyoming and is comprised of
1,733,628 acres. Seventeen campgrounds meet the selection
Much of the adventure, splendor and grandeur associated with the American west is found in Wyoming's Bridger National Forest. The Forest is named for the mountain man, trapper, and guide named Jim Bridger. There have been changes since the Bridger was first explored. Mr. Bridger might be upset by the number of people who now call this part of Wyoming home, but not by what has happened to the land.
Managed by the Forest Service, the fabulous Bridge Wilderness was one of the first areas in the United States to be set aside in 1931 as a Primitive Area. Later pieces, such as portions of the magnificent Wind River Range, were added and by 1984 the Wilderness contained over400,000 acres of pristine land. This is were Bridger would probably recognize and feel most at home. It is also were the "best" dispersed, or underdeveloped, camping can be found. Unfortunately, this mode of camping is not include in this campground directory. Contact the Bridger National Forest directly for more information about dispersed camping.
Part of the "Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem," the Bridger National Forest shares much of the geology, flora and fauna with both the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. However, one thing found in the Parks that won't be found on the Forest are the crowds. Except for holidays campers have the Bridger to themselves.
Located at the northern edge and providing access to this area of the Bridger Wilderness, is Green River Lake campground. A nicely designed campground above the pristine Green River Lake (most of this lake is located within the Wilderness), campers might be tempted never to leave the campground. This would be a huge mistake. The Green River is an anglers' heaven. Canoeists will have a difficult time deciding which to paddle first, the Green River or Green River Lake. Walkers will enjoy the Lakeside Trail and hikers the Highline Trail. The Upper Green River Lake is the reward at the end of both trails. Or, hikers and horseback riders can continue on further into the Wilderness. And, photographers will quickly run out of "film" capturing the magnificent beauty of the area.
Besides the varied recreation opportunities found in the Bridger National Forest, there is a rich human history. Artifacts have been found dating back some 10,000 years. Near the towns of Pinedale and Daniel, between 1824 to 1840, the mountain men, trappers, and Native people gather periodically along the banks of the Green River and Horse Creek to exchange pelts with traders for the provisions in what was called a "Rendezvous." Every year, during the second weekend in July, mountain men, trappers, and Native people return for yet another Rendezvous and re-live the days of Rendezvous.
South of the Bridger National Forest, the Oregon Trail, established in the 1840s, passes This portion of the Trail crosses an alkaline desert with little water and feed for liverstock. In 1857, Frederick Lander was sent to find an easier and safer route for the emigrants. The resulting Lander Cut-off of the Oregon Trail was the first federally funded road project west of the Mississippi River and is located within the boundaries of the Forest. More than 13,000 emigrants traveled down Lander Cut-off in its first year of use. As covered wagon use dropped off, the Cut-off became a route for moving livestock west to east. Today, visitors to the Bridger National Forest can follow the historic route on their way to Big Sandy campground or as a daytrip from Sacajawea campground. There are some 77 grave sites documented along the Lander Cut-off. The Forest Service maintains these final resting places and requests all visitors enjoy and respect the heritage they represent.
Volcanoes may have formed most of the Bridger National Forest's mountains but glaciers craved its landscape. Within the Wilderness's boundaries are seven of the largest glaciers in the lower 48 states, as well as more than 1,300 lakes, and Gannett Peak, Wyoming's highest at 13,804-feet. The awesome power of moving ice is apparent in the glacier made lakes found in the Forest, particularly around the Pinedale area. A magnificent example is the Fremont Lake. Considered the seventh cleanest natural lake in the country, Fremont Lake's nearly 5,000 surface acres and 600 foot depth make it ideal for a wide variety of watersports. The fishing isn't bad there either. Nestled in one of the few clusters of trees found on the Lake's shore is the Fremont Lake campground. Located about midpoint on the Lake, this campground features a variety of camping locations well-suited for both tent and RV camping and has a large boatramp. In late July, the resident ospreys can be seen from many of the sites fishing for their newly hatched chicks while in some of the protected bays duck teach their off-springs how to survive.
Flowing between the Salt River Range and the often overlooked Wyoming Range is Greys River. Although a number of dispersed camping locations can be found besides Greys River, the developed Moose
Flat and Forest Park campgrounds provide the basics for camping visitors in pleasantly wooded valley settings. Access to hiking and fishing from either campground is considered good but it's the tranquil nature of this valley that is the real attraction. Plus campers can enjoy near-wilderness camping experience without the inconveniences.
Bridger National Forest contains some of the most spectacular scenery found in the country: clear mountain lakes, fast flowing streams, lush vegetation, snow-capped mountains, massive glaciers, and robust wildlife population. Developed camping locations provide access to great scenery and an assortment of recreation opportunities while keeping the Forest a place Jim Bridger would recognize. With so much to offer, the Bridger National Forest needs to be visited more than once.
Forest Service Building
340 North Cache
Jackson, Wyoming 83001
RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES
315 S. Front St.
Big Piney, Wyoming 83113
Afton, Wyoming 83110
308 Hwy. 189
Kemmerer, Wyoming 83101
29 East Fremont Lake Rd.
Pinedale, Wyoming 82941