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.
- Bathing suit
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