With Crooks Mountain to the west and Whiskey Peak to the East, this mountainous region in Wyoming's Teton County is an area of diverse natural beauty. Aptly named due to the luscious green forest covering the mountains, this small mountain range offers endless scenery and solitude as well as a comprehensive array of recreational activities.
Hiking to the top of Green Mountain promises spectacular vistas of the Wyoming landscapes, including the surrounding rolling hills and luscious valleys, beautiful wildflowers and dense conifer forests. The prairies are some of the last remaining open spaces, with nothing to see for miles upon miles. Spot wildlife in their natural habitat, enjoy the wonders of the Green Mountain Falls, go fishing at one of the local lakes, or visit in the winter months for some quality backcountry skiing.
Dispersed camping is available throughout the site, with primitive backcountry camping at Green Mountain providing the opportunity to get away from everything. With wide-open spaces, dense forests and majestic mountains, this is the chance to see Mother Nature doing her best work. Alternatively, the Green Mountain area also includes the Cottonwood Campground, which is also managed and maintained by the US Bureau of Land Management. This is a back-to-basics campsite with minimal amenities. It runs on a first-come, first-served basis and it is open from June to December.
If you are planning on visiting Green Mountain during your adventure into the Cowboy state, the best way to get there is by car. The area is located approximately 10 miles south of the mining ghost-town Jeffrey City and 50 miles northwest of Rawlins. The best access is via Green Mountain Road (BLM Road 2411); a gravel road that intersects HWY 287 around six miles from Jeffrey City.
If you are heading to the Cottonwood Campground, take Highway 14A from Lovell. Then on the east shore of Big Horn Lake, turn onto John Blue Canyon Road (BLM Rd. 1122). Take the first right before traveling 5.5 miles to get to the campground. Alternately, from Jeffrey City travel 6.3 miles east on Green Mountain Road before turning right at the signpost for the campsite.
The driving conditions on these roads are often weather dependent and they are likely to be closed in the winter. If you have a four-wheel-drive or a high clearance vehicle, you may be able to drive farther into the area, with some dirt tracks for OHV vehicles. As always, we advise that you check the weather forecast when you are planning your trip.
There is limited parking within this area, but you should have space to park your vehicle at the campsite. There is also a paved parking area at the day-use area and several parking areas at some of the nearby lakes.
The Green Mountain area and the Cottonwood Campground are in a remote and secluded location. As a result, there is no public transportation directly to this site.
Cottonwood Campground is the only developed campground in the Green Mountain area. Offering remote primitive camping, there are eighteen campsites here, each of which has a picnic table and fire ring. There are also vault toilets and there is drinking water available. The site is maintained by the US Bureau of Land Management, sites are offered first-come, first-served, and the campground is open from June to December.
Pets are welcome at the campground but should be kept on a leash. It is important to remember that there are bears in this region, so you need to ensure that your food is properly stored and secure.
If you are heading to fish the waters of the Teton Reservoir, this BLM- managed site is over an hour’s drive from Green Mountain and well situated for water-related recreation. This is a free campground with five sites offered on a first-come-first-served basis.
There are vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings as well as a boat ramp and parking in the day-use area. This site is typically open from June to November, with access being significantly restricted in the winter months.
Bishops Point Campground is a public campground near to the Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge. This site offers lakeside camping for around $10 a night, and there is a fee station at the entrance of the campground. With sheltered and non-sheltered options available, each site is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring.
There are vault toilets on-site, drinking water is available and quiet hours are after 10 pm. There is a boat ramp for access to the reservoir, and this is a popular campground among those looking to fish the waters here.
Green Mountain is one of the most popular hiking destinations in this region. The Green Mountain Falls trail is certainly a favorite, as this is a relatively easy hike with rich rewards of these gradual but beautiful sets of cascades at the other end. The falls are stunning in spring when they are at their most powerful but it can get busy at this time.
The Green Mountain to Green Lake Trail is a moderate hike which is also a favorite. This has an elevation of 771 m and the loop is 1.8 km long. Alternately, check out the Skeleton Trail or the Cow Trail if you are looking for a hike with increased difficulty.
Wyoming is an excellent vacation destination for those who enjoy climbing, and mountaineering, with a variety of rock ranges across the state. The nearby Whiskey Peak is a favorite amongst climbers. With an elevation of 9,225 feet above sea level, this is one of Wyoming’s most prominent peaks.
There are fabulous views from the summit, as well as unique vistas from each of the sub-summits. Downs Mountain is also just a short drive away; this is the 15th highest peak in the state and one of the Wind River Range’s 12ers.
With so many species native to the region, the Green Mountain provides an ideal base for some excellent wildlife watching. With deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep and moose as well as bears, rattlesnakes and the occasional big cat, you will definitely want to take your camera and your binoculars.
The nearby 117, 000-acre Green Mountain Herd Management Area would be an excellent location for those looking to spot wildlife. A popular attraction amongst visitors is Wildhorse Point, a developed picnic area that offers the chance to spot the herd of mustangs that call the area home as well as providing spectacular vistas of the area.
If you are camping at the Cottonwood Campground, the east fork of Cottonwood Creek is a particularly popular sport for brook trout fishing. Alternately, the nearby Green Mountain Reservoir is teeming with lake trout, rainbow, cutthroat and brown trout as well as kokanee salmon.
There are fishing spots along the shore of the reservoir, as well as boat ramps if you prefer to get out onto the water. The blue river, which is just below the reservoir, is an excellent choice for fly fishing, but this can be difficult to fish if the water levels are high.
There is evidence of mining throughout the area and for centuries, people have been mineral collecting, gold prospecting and rocking hounding at Green Mountain. Jade and agate are found near the base of the mountain, and there is rumored to be gold in some of the nearby creeks.
For those with an interest in geology, you may also wish to visit the nearby Green Mountain arrow site. This assembly of stone is a unique example of a stone arrangement and one of the only assemblages in this region. If you are planning on collecting rocks and minerals during your trip, we advise that you check out local prospecting laws and never collect from private land.
In the wintertime, the Green Mountain area turns into a snowy paradise, with varied and unmatched terrain and some pretty scary slopes. A large exclusive skiing ranch in the area has 20 miles of cross country skiing or you can opt for back-country skiing, with several popular trails available. Snowboarding is also popular at this time of year, or you can explore the wilderness via snowmobile, with rentals available.
If you are planning on visiting the area in the winter months, always ensure that you plan your journey appropriately and check avalanche danger.