Gros Ventre River Trail


Difficulty:  Intermediate    Trail Use:   Light

Length:     17.9 miles from Horn Ranch and at of Gros Ventre Road to upper junction with Crystal Cr Trail #4021, ~ 6 miles from jct with  Dry Fork Trail to jct with Grizzly Basin Trail, ~10 miles from jct with Dry Fork Trail to jct with Shoal Fals Trail

Elevation:  8220 ft at jct with Dry Fork Trail, 7220 ft at jct with Horn Ranch, 8647 ft at jct with Jagg Cr Trail, 8780 ft at jct with Grizzly Basin Trail, 10,550 ft at jct with Crystal Cr Trail  

Open to:  Hikers, Equestrian

Trail Highlights:

  • This trail description does not include the section from Horn Ranch at the end of the Gros Ventre Road to Darwin Ranch.  This section of trail is not maintained and has experienced several landslides making it difficult to navigate. 
  • At the Dry Fork Trail junction, the Gros Ventre River Trail begins by skirting the edge of the meadow, making its way through pine forest over to the Gros Ventre River where it crosses.
  • Past the crossing you’ll reach a junction with the trail that goes to Darwin Ranch.  This is private property and should not be used without permission from the ranch.  The Gros Ventre River Trail heads up the river through pine forest for many miles until reaching Ouzel Falls.  
  • Past the falls the trail continues to climb slightly alongside the river until reaching a series of large open meadows.  Here the trail continues between the forest edge and the willows, fairly gentle grade with awesome views of Blacks Peak and Darwin Peak.  At the end of this large meadow is Upper Falls, a large waterfall with excellent camping spots nearby.  The junction to head up the Jagg Cr Trail towards Cowboy Camp is also here.
  • The trail climbs above the falls to another large open meadow, where you’ll see a large outfitter camp in the summer months and you’ll also reach the junction for the Grizzly Basin Trail by Chateau Lakes.
  • Past Chateau Lakes, the trail continues to climb through open meadows alongside the river, eventually climbing into the alpine and up to a high saddle underneath Blacks Peak. The trail can be faint up in these areas but there is a signed junction at the saddle so just keep climbing up the drainage and you can’t miss it. 


  • From this trail, you can connect to the Jagg Cr Trail, Big Cow Cr Trail, and Goosewing Cr Trail from Cowboy Camp.  Take the junction just below Upper Falls to climb up to Cowboy Camp.
  • Above the falls you can connect to the Grizzly Basin trail which starts over by Chateau Lakes.  This trail will take you up and over to Brewster Lake.  
  • From the headwaters you can head down Crystal Cr Trail back to the Gros Ventre Road, or head down Swift Cr Trail or Shoal Falls Trail to the Granite Cr Road.

Important Information

  • This trail is located within the Gros Ventre Wilderness.  See restrictions link below for more info.
  • This trail is on the USGS quad map for Ouzel Falls and Darwin Peak.
  • Always check the posted information at the kiosks for maps, updated material on forest regulations and closures.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: Call Tim Farris, Trail Supervisor @ 307-739-5414 for current trail conditions.
Restrictions: Trail is located within the Gros Ventre Wilderness.  For more information click here.

General Information



From Jackson, head south on US 189/191 towards Pinedale.  Take a left on the Forty Rod Road which will cutoff over to WY 352 towards Green River Lakes.  Follow this road till it turns to dirt and turns into the Green River Lakes Road.  Follow the dirt road past the Forest Service Guard Station, past the Whiskey Grove Campground, and turn left onto the Union Pass Road.  Bear left at the junction with the Roaring Fork Road and stay on the Union Pass Road.  Stay on the main road until it climbs up a small hill and reaches another junction.  Take a hard left at this junction.  The road will go through large open meadows with several small spurs leading different directions.  Stay on the main dirt road as it winds through the meadows.  The road eventually heads into the forest and turns into an excellent gravel road that leads to the Kinky Cr Trailhead.  There is a gate across the road and a large parking area.  The trail takes off from the large information kiosk.  Follow the trail down until reaching the junction for Dry Fork Trail and Clear Cr Trail.  The Gros Ventre River Trail is the farthest to the right and heads towards the river.

This trail can also be reached from the Crystal Cr Trail, Swift Cr Trail, Shoal Falls Trail, Jagg Creek Trail, or Dry Fork Trail.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Horse Camping

Big Game Hunting