Post Summary: String Lake Trail and What To Expect On This Amazing Teton Hike
Found yourself in the Grand Tetons? Lucky you!
One of the best ways to experience Wyoming is on foot, weaving through and exploring the many forest trails and hidden alpine lakes.
In this post, we’re sharing one of the most easy-to-reach trails in the Grand Tetons – String Lake Trail.
The String Lake hike is a popular trail in the Grand Tetons because it’s relatively short and has a lot of picturesque features along the way.
Keep reading for all the details! We’re showing amazing views along the way, what you can expect, and how to make the most of this amazing spot near Jackson, Wyoming.
Let’s get hiking!
Your Guide To String Lake Trail In The Grand Tetons, Wyoming
Where is String Lake Trail?
String Lake Trail is a hiking trail in the Grand Teton National Park, located at the very foot of the Teton mountain range.
It’s a 30-minute drive away from Jackson, Wyoming and just a short drive north of the popular Jenny Lake.
String Lake is connected with the larger Leigh Lake to its north, and both lakes are popular for personal watercraft recreation like canoeing, kayaking or SUP boarding.
This is because the waters in these two lakes are generally calm, and it’s a peaceful setting surrounding by lush forest and mountain views.
The northwestern part of the lake consists of mountain wetlands, which is a very popular location for spotting moose – keep your eyes out for those giant creatures (and make sure to stay at least 25 yards away!).
Quick Facts About String Lake Loop In The Grand Tetons
- Hike Distance: 3.8-mile loop trail
- Elevation Gain: 275 Feet
- Starting Elevation: 6875 Feet
- Trail Difficulty: Easy
Beginning Your String Lake Hike (The Many Trailhead Options)
Because it’s your hike, you can start wherever you please! The most common route to follow is clockwise around the lake starting at the Paintbrush Canyon Trailhead.
However, we started at this parking lot and opted to hike around the lake counter-clockwise.
You can also begin your hike at the Leigh Lake Trailhead and begin hiking counter-clockwise. Just remember to follow signs around String Lake and cross the bridge to cut around the lake.
Regardless of where you begin, some of the best views of the Tetons are on east side of the lake, looking west. On a clear day, you can see Mount Moran, framed by the many gorgeous surrounding trees.
National Park Hopping? Try Hidden Lake Trail in Glacier National Park, Montana
Along the way you’ll also have a spectacular view of the “Cathedral Group.”
This is a mountain top cluster consisting 12,325-foot Teewinot Mountain, 13,770-foot Grand Teton and 12,928-foot Mt. Owen. (Pictured below)
Like we said earlier, String Lake is very popular for recreational boat use because of the calm waters.
If you’re hiking in the summertime, there’s a chance you’ll spot some people enjoying life on the water! Grab a spot on one of the many benches lining the lake’s shoreline and enjoy the view for a bit.
Boater’s Note: If you decided you want to bring your watercraft, make sure you pick up the proper boating permit at a nearby Visitors Center! A motorized boat is $40/day and a human-powered one is $12.
After the collection of benches along the shoreline of String Lake, you’ll encounter your first bridge.
If you choose to continue straight, you’ll take the much longer trail around Leigh Lake (7 miles) so make sure to follow sign directions for the String Lake Loop.
This bridge takes you closer to the foothills of the Grand Tetons, into a more dense part of the forest on the west side of the lake.
Along The String Lake Hike
On this side of the lake, you’ll wander through many kinds of trails – types that look like stairs, curved paths, and some that are straight with tall trees that line the way.
On some parts of the trail, the sun was shining through the trees and we were reminded of how fortunate we are to experience the world like this!
Hiking brings a special kind of joy and we are so thankful to breathe this fresh mountain air.
One cool thing about hiking in the Grand Teton National Park is the large network of trails at the foot of the mountain range.
On String Lake trail, there are options to extend your hike deeper into the foothills and possibly into the mountains!
Just make sure you have a map on hand (online or paper), and you have planned properly for your day with adequate food and water supply. Altitude can climb fast and temperatures can drop pretty quickly as you go up.
Hiker’s Note: This is absolutely bear territory. Always hike with bear spray and know how to use it!
After a little over 2 miles into the trail, you’ll start to enter an area affected by a fire and a snow path.
However, the meadow floor has since grown incredibly lush, so the aftermath of fire damage is only seen from the bare tree trunks that are left standing.
Here, the new trees are shorter and younger, and they lean in the direction of snowpack and melt. This is probably because of heavy snowfall in the winter, and rapid melting in the spring.
Halfway On The String Lake Loop
Continuing on the counter-clockwise loop around String Lake, you will enter a part of the trail that opens up into a wide, beautiful meadow.
Here, you can see Mount Moran and other peaks over the foothills.
This was probably one of our favorite spots because the sun was beginning to set behind the mountains, giving the meadow and String Lake trail a rich green tone.
Completing The String Lake Trail
In completion, the String Lake Hike in the Grand Teton National Park is 3.8-miles in a loop.
This hike in the Grand Teton National Park is pretty easy, has incredible views, and even an opportunity to jump in the lake at the end (if it’s warm enough, that is!). We definitely recommend this hike if you want to experience the Tetons in a fun, accessible way.
It’s also a great trail to prep you for longer hikes in the Grand Tetons in the future!
Trip Tip: You can also take this trail backwards! Because it’s a loop and you start and end in the same spot, choose your favorite way to go and have fun!
Tips For Hiking In Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is Bear Country
It’s very important to pack bear spray with you during your time hiking in the Grand Teton National Park. Buying it is the first step, but BRINGING it is the most important part.
Make sure it’s looped on your belt strap, hooked to your backpack, or anywhere within arm’s reach. You’ll want to make sure you can easily grab it when/if necessary.
Hiking in the Grand Tetons during summer can be quite the weather event. Mornings can be very very chilly but by afternoon it can be roasting!
Packing in lightweight layers will allow you to add or subtract pieces depending on the weather and how you’re feeling on your trail.
Bring Bug Spray and Sunscreen
Mosquitoes breed in still water, and you’ll be hiking around a lot of it on the String Lake Trail. Pack some in the side pocket of your backpack for easy access mid-trail if you need a refresh.
Pack Lots of Water
While this hike around String Lake is high in altitude with lower temperatures, dehydration can still happen!
Taking plenty of water breaks along the way will help keep you hydrated and give you an opportunity to soak up those beautiful lake views!
Maybe Even Pack A Bathing Suit!
Going for a post-hike dip is always welcome! Make sure you also pack a quick-dry towel! We use these ones by Nomadix that come in tons of National Park prints. They dry super fast and are super lightweight!
Don’t Forget To Bring Your Camera!
Other Epic Rocky Mountain Adventures
Your Essential Yellowstone Packing List (Everything You Need For a Visit To Yellowstone)
Want to find the best places in the PNW?
Stop searching through internet noise and download our curated list just for you.
Enter your email below and we'll send you your PNW Bucket List!