We have spent a lot of time at String Lake in Grand Teton National Park. This is a great place to play in the water, kayak or canoe, or just hike along the shore. We’ve spent a lot of time at this lake, but we’d never taken the trail all the way around the lake. We enjoy this area so much that we decided to hike the 3.7 mile String Lake Trail around String Lake.
There are a few parking areas for String Lake, and during peak hours, you may not find a place in any of them. There are three parkings areas: the lower lot for String Lake Trail, the parking area for those launching boats, and the upper parking lot for Leigh Lake. Take a drive through each and park in the first spot you find. They are all on the east side of String Lake. Once you have the car parked, start north at any of the access points from the parking lot. There are several signs pointing you north to Leigh Lake.
The trail runs right along the shore of String Lake, and the lake is really beautiful, so enjoy the stroll. Our boys love walking along the lake, and sometimes we just walk this short trail by the shore and then turn around. There are lots of great spots to take photos with the mountains reflected in the lake. It’s also fun to stop and throw a few rocks.
Once you get to the end of String Lake, the signage is a little confusing, but head left toward the portage and cross the bridge. This bridge crosses the outlet between String Lake and Leigh Lake. After crossing the bridge (we saw some huge fish under there), the trail starts to climb.
It is quite steep, so plan on taking plenty of breaks. The hike winds among the trees, so it is shady for this part of the trail. After a long uphill slog, you’ll find yourself high above the surface of the lake. The trail continues through the trees along the hillside. The views are spectacular! We also spotted a few deer right along the trail. You could probably see all types of wildlife in this area.
The trail is out in the open once you reach the top, so it will be sunny. It continues to walk along the brow of the hill as you head along the edge of the lake. Then it begins to drop back down. There is one junction to keep an eye out for. The String Lake Trail stays to the left and heads down the hill, and Paintbrush Canyon climbs up to the right. It’s easy to follow the trail as it continues down to the foot of the lake. Soon it merges with the Jenny Lake Trail for a just a short while, so it gets extra busy for this section.
Eventually you cross another footbridge that demarcates the bottom of String Lake and the top of the much larger Jenny Lake. Depending on where you parked, you continue across the bridge and head left to stay on the String Lake trail. Then hop off the trail once you get to your parking lot.