Pathfinder Reservoir, Wyoming, USA

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Pathfinder Reservoir — things to do, where to stay, fun facts, history, stats and more. Let’s dive in!

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All About Pathfinder Reservoir

Lake Locations: USA - US West Region - Wyoming - Central Wyoming -

Pathfinder Reservoir is the oldest reservoir along the North Platte River. With over 21,000 acres of water it is a welcome destination for more than 170,000 annual visitors. Just 47 miles southwest of Casper, Wyoming, Pathfinder Reservoir more than satisfies the outdoor interests of many. The 117 miles of shoreline are open to the public for great boating, fishing, birding, wildlife viewing, hunting and rock climbing. Parts of Pathfinder Reservoir are in the Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge adding an interesting perspective for any visitor. A small historic museum is in the old dam tender’s house for added variety.

Pathfinder Reservoir was completed in 1909 as the beginning of water storage management on the North Platte River and was a major engineering feat at the time. It lies between two other, later built reservoirs (Seminoe and Alcova) and below the Platte’s junction with the Sweetwater River. Due to the extended drought in the area, the Reservoir level is low, but is available to the outdoors enthusiast. Water from Pathfinder Reservoir supplies the Fremont Canyon Powerplant for the generation of 48 megawatts of power.

Between Seminoe and Pathfinder Reservoirs is the so called ‘Miracle Mile’, a stretch of the North Platte renowned for its fishing. The reservoir itself is annually stocked with Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout. Fishing is permitted year round except where posted and ice fishing (up to six lines are allowed) is a favorite activity for anglers. Besides Rainbow and Cutthroat, there are Brown Trout, Ohrid Trout and Walleye for a nice variety. Rainbows average 1.4 pounds and Walleye, average 2.1. Cutthroat trout are the second most plentiful trout species.

Camping, hunting, wildlife viewing, and boating are all supported by three campgrounds and three boat launching sites. Wildlife to be seen in the Refuge include mule deer, rabbits, pronghorn antelope and sage grouse. Pathfinder National Wildlife Refuge is a feeding and resting area for many wildfowl (ducks, geese and the like) during their annual migratory flights with willets, American coots and Great Blue Herons using the wetland areas.

There are some reasonably challenging rock climbing routes in Fremont Canyon adjacent to Pathfinder Reservoir. These have tie bolts, most without top anchors. For the geocacher, there are at least two caches located nearby.

If you are planning to be around Casper, Pathfinder Reservoir is definitely worth visiting and enjoying more of the Wyoming outdoors.

Things to Do at Pathfinder Reservoir

  • Fishing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Boating
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Rock Climbing
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Wildlife Refuge
  • Museum

Fish Species Found at Pathfinder Reservoir

  • Brown Trout
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Ohrid Trout
  • Perch
  • Trout
  • Walleye

Find Places to Stay at Pathfinder Reservoir

If you’re considering a Pathfinder Reservoir lake house rental or hotel, we’ve made it super easy to find the best rates and compare vacation accommodations at a glance. Save time using this interactive map below.

Recommended Sites to Book a Pathfinder Reservoir Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Pathfinder Reservoir lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

Pathfinder Reservoir Statistics & Helpful Links


Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 22,012 acres

Shoreline Length: 117 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 5,850 feet

Maximum Depth: 192 feet

Water Volume: 1,016,000 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1909

Drainage Area: 14,600 sq. miles

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