Paddle String Lake and Leigh Lake

Details

Added by Clare Healy

Although the Tetons can be enjoyed from every angle, paddling beneath the mountains provide a unique and unequivocal experience of the park.

Whether you have your own canoe, kayak, or stand up paddle board or you need to rent, paddling the String Lake and Leigh Lake circuit is a less beaten path through Grand Teton National Park. Upon entering the park (or whenever you're ready for this portion of your trip), head straight for Dornan's, located right near the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center. Here, you can rent your water vessel of choice. They will secure it to your car roof for you before you head north to the String Lake canoe launch parking lot.

From here, launching your boat into String Lake is simple and provides immediate, dramatic views (and vibrant reflections) of the Tetons. String Lake is very shallow and the crystal clear waters make for a relaxing paddle. After a little less than a mile, you will approach the Leigh Lake portage where you will take your boat out of the water and walk it approximately 75 yards to Leigh Lake and re-enter.

At Leigh Lake, you can enjoy the vastness and calmness offered as you paddle around an island and past some paddle-in campsites. As you continue heading north on the water, you will reach a curve that will reveal sweeping views of Mount Moran. However long you choose to spend on the water, views from this part of the park can't be beat. Additionally, you can pull off on many of the beaches to hang on shore for a bit. 

Bring food to enjoy or, if hungry after your paddle, head north to Leek's Pizzeria at Colter Bay for delicious pizza and a beer.

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Known for

Canoeing
Kayaking
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Nearby

Reviews

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Fun, Crowded

This is a nice place to paddle if you stay to the far north or south of String Lake. In the middle, there can be swarms of swimmers and people picnicking on the beach. The portage to Leigh Lake to continue your paddle on larger waters is definitely worth it. There are less people here.

If You Only Paddle One Place Paddle Here

These lakes are hands down my favorite lakes to paddle in the area. The water is usually calm and the scenery is unbeatable. I do recommend getting started before 9am in the summer as the parking lot tends to fill up.

247 total saves

4.5/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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