String Lake Trail
The String Lake Trail is a beautiful footpath that circumnavigates a calm glacial lake. A popular destination for canoers and kayakers, the shoreline footpath has recently increased in popularity as a more tranquil alternative to the neighboring Jenny Lake Trail. Enjoy the scenes of the water mirroring the jagged Teton Mountains as you wander amid an abundance of flora and fauna.
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Route Description for String Lake Trail
Arguably one of the most photogenic locals in the area, the String Lake Trail provides countless photo opportunities. Hemmed by some of the tallest summits in the Teton Mountain Range and nestled amid two larger basins, String Lake is a spectacular natural sanctuary. Traveling through wetlands and dense woodlands, the possibility of a wildlife encounter is prevalent. To be safe, make sure one person in your group carries bear spray and knows how to properly use it.
This family-friendly trail has accessible portions for strollers and wheelchairs. The hard-packed surface stretches along the eastern shoreline to Leigh Lake—past this point, the terrain becomes increasingly technical and thus not wheelchair friendly. Offering a more secluded experience to Jenny Lake, this route sees the most traffic in the afternoons. Those seeking tranquility are encouraged to explore in the early morning—which is the most beautiful time of the day anyway. Note the Teton National Park charges an entrance fee; refer to the NPS website for additional information.
Used as an access route for Paintbrush Canyon, the String Lake Hike can be customized to your desires. Circumnavigate the shimmering lake, head out and back or extend your adventure up to Leigh Lake. Wander through lush communities of huckleberry bushes, golden aspen groves, and pristine conifer forests. Beckoning the exploration of families, mountaineers and sightseers alike, the scenery along this trek is unrivaled.
Your adventure along the String Lake Trail begins from the trailhead off String Lake Road. Setting out from here, track northwardly along the String Lake Trail, tracing the eastern shoreline of the shimmering pool. In the summer, you will enjoy the scenes of canoers and kayakers exploring the glacial lake and a few daring swimming in the chilly waters. The terrain along this section of the trail is hard; thus wheelchairs and strollers can easily navigate the trail. Passing a few beaches, the path will weave between tree shade and the lakeshore before reaching an intersection.
Here the accessible route ends, and there is the option to take a quick detour along the Leigh Lake Portage Trail to a scenic overlook—which we highly recommend. Hike up to the lookout and marvel at the views of Mount Moran in the northwest and Boulder Island that adorns the expansive swathe of glacial water that sits before you. Admire the scenery, then head back down the path, reconnecting with the String Lake Trail. You will be guided over the String Lake footbridge, which boasts views of the Teton Mountains that will render you speechless.
Snap a few photos, then venture west into the wilds. This segment of the route wanders away from the lake through wetlands and lush forests—be vigilant of wildlife as you trek. After navigating a steep ascent, you will reach an intersection where hikers heading to Paintbrush Canyon diverge. Follow the enchanting trail south, gradually descending back towards the shoreline. The path will eventually redirect you east, crossing over a charming creek and onto the shared path with the Jenny Lake Loop. Hike east over the bridge across the outflow, and revel in the sights of the Cathedral Group. Continue along this trail and back to the trailhead and parking lot.
String Lake is a small but mighty glacial lake in the Grand Teton National Park. Nestled between Leigh Lake in the north, which is the primary inflow, and Jenny Lake in the south, this lovely basin offers a beautiful adventure with a fraction of the crowds. Additionally, with a small wetland in the northwest corner, this area boasts the opportunity to spot moose along the way. After your hike—weather permitting, take a dip in the crystalline glacial pool.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the String Lake Trail?
The String Lake Trail is a 7.1 km circuit hike.
Where is the String Lake Trailhead?
The String Lake Trailhead is located off the Jenny Lake Scenic Loop. Find the trailhead in the first parking lot off String Lake Road.
Can you swim in String Lake, Grand Teton National Park?
Yes, String Lake boasts ideal, but chilly swimming and kayaking conditions—just be mindful of leeches.
Insider Hints for String Lake Trail
- Though an encounter with a bear or moose is unlikely, at least one person in your party should carry a canister of bear spray and know how to properly use it
- Pack a swimsuit and towel and take a refreshing dip in the lake following your hike
- Bring your camera, the scenery is picture-perfect
- If you do encounter wildlife, admire them from a safe distance
- This route is ideal for acclimatization
Getting to the String Lake Trail Trailhead
The String Lake Trailhead and Parking Lot are located off Jenny Lake Loop in the Grand Teton National Park.
String Lake Trail Elevation Graph
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String Lake Trail Reviews
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