Groomed trail
No
Elevation Gain
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Distance
3.75 mi (6.04 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

At 607 feet deep, the naturally-formed Fremont Lake is the deepest lake in Wyoming and the seventh deepest in the United States. Historically, it was a key stop along the Oregon Trail and actually gets its name from Oregon Trail surveyor John C. Fremont who mapped the area in 1842.

Nestled between the small town of Pinedale, Wyoming and the western side of the Wind River Mountains, Fremont Lake is a hub for year-round outdoor activity. In the summer, one can enjoy boating, kayaking, fishing, jet skiing, swimming, paddle boarding, and more. In the winter, the lake also stays quite busy, playing host to ice fisherman, ice skaters, snowmobilers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers alike.

What you do on the lake on any given day in the winter largely depends on the conditions. Of course, presupposing the temperatures have been cold enough to form a thick enough layer of ice to safely recreate on. On average, Fremont Lake forms a 17-inch-thick sheet of ice, but with climate change evidence all around, it doesn’t hurt to call the rangers to check on the conditions before making the trip out. DO NOT do this adventure early or late in the season, or if the winter has been too mild. Adventures on frozen water (particularly water as deep as this) can have deadly consequences if one does not accurately assess the risks.  

If the ice is thick enough, time to choose your adventure! In the absence of snow, Fremont Lake is a pleasure to ice skate on, though a little dusting of snow shouldn’t discourage experienced skaters. If you are not comfortable ice skating, strap on your cross country skis and explore the surface that way.

Because Fremont Lake is 11 miles long but only half a mile wide, it makes for ideal terrain for those who want to just put on a bunch of easy miles. Start at the boat launch on the southwest corner of the lake (right where Pine Creek begins), pick a direction, and loosely follow the shore as long as you like.  Once you've had enough, circle across the lake and back down the opposite shore. Or forgo the loop altogether and free ski as you will!

Once you get away from the shore, the ice is remarkably smooth, even when covered in snow. The largest hazard is a rock break spanning the entire width of the lake about one mile north of the south shore.  Here, the ice heaves up in jagged convergence. Terrain aside, always be careful around these natural flaws in the ice. Try not to ski or skate near them for too long. Hopefully this is obvious, but if you hear cracking ice, haul for the shore as fast as possible.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

None

Pros

Low traffic. Ice skating opportunity. Ice fishing opportunity.

Cons

Unpredictable conditions. Potentially unsafe in warm winter conditions.

Pets allowed

Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

7,428.00 ft (2,264.05 m)

Highest point

7,428.00 ft (2,264.05 m)

Features

Near lake or river
Vault toilet
Family friendly
Geologically significant

Trail type

Loop

Typically multi-day

No

Snowmobiles allowed

Yes

Location

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