Short hike or paddle to beautiful white sand beaches at the foot of Paintbrush Canyon and Mt. Moran in Grand Teton National Park. You'll be rewarded with a warm, clear lake with wildlife abounding.

Leigh Lake is absolutely stunning with about as many recreational activities as you can imagine for a lake. It is a short flat one mile hike from the trailhead at String Lake to Leigh. Once you get there can go as far along as you wish along the 2 mile lakeshore. You can also Kayak, Canoe, or SUP with a small well marked portage from String Lake if you wish. Once you get there, the lake has numerous white sand beaches for you to lay out on when you aren't enjoying the relatively warm water or as you fish.

If you are paddling, you may wish to explore the western side of the lake which is much more unexplored and less crowded than the eastern shore. There are also several islands within the lake which are definitely worth exploring.

If backpacking and camping is your deal, there are many backcountry sites along the lake for you to utilize, just make sure you get a permit from a park visitor center.

One thing to be aware of is that this is absolutely bear country. I have never done this hike and not seen a bear. Please be extra careful about your food storage and definitely travel in groups and carry bear spray. Grand Teton National Park usually ends up having to euthanize at least one bear from this area a year, because it has gotten too many food rewards from people who are not careful. Don't be that person and enjoy Leigh safely for both you and the wildife.

Pack List

  • Bear Spray
  • Bathing Suit
  • Towel
  • Camera
  • Snacks
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RT Distance 2 Miles
Activities Stand Up Paddle, Chillin, Camping, Fishing, Photography, Kayaking, Swimming, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Family Friendly
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Wildlife
Swimming Hole

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Leigh lake's mystic isle

Camped on the shore of leigh lake in 2014. Amazing place! Any word on if mystic isle is off-limits? I have a falcon guide from 1999 saying it is but I can't find confirmation anywhere including nps. Just made my reservations for this summer and can't wait!

Gorgeous, Serene Lakes

Christina and the other reviewers aren't joking about the bear spray-I was hiking in a group of three and saw a grizzly cub about 20 feet off the trail even though there were many other hikers around. These two lakes are a peaceful, fairly flat short hike with great views. For nice reflection photos, go in the early morning for good lighting and still waters. Don't forget to check out the small side trail to the portage between these two lakes-it is quite interesting to see.

almost 2 years ago

Love It In The Fall

I especially love this hike in the fall. Vivid colors! Take a rain coat and bear spray. I have counted hundreds of people that walk these trails without bear spray, just because theres people constantly hiking the trail doesn't mean the bears are not around. Even more so of a possibility, the scents of food or just curiosity can draw out a black bear. Be bear aware and trail smart. Respect the park and other hikers, take with you what you bring. It sucks to see wrappers or bottles, this trail and Jenny lake are prone to dirty humans. Please don't be a dirty human.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

Nearby Adventures

More Nearby Adventures

Camp on Leigh Lake

Because it's only accessible by canoe, kayak, or foot, the 8 Leigh Lake campsites have a solitary backcountry feel to them while providing all the necessities for an enjoyable night under Mt.

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Hike the String Lake Loop, Grand Teton NP

String Lake is a great place to spend time in Grand Teton National Park. There are many options for fun here including kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and picnicking.

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Hike Paintbrush Canyon to Holly Lake

This day-long adventure takes off from the Paintbrush Canyon Trailhead. The trailhead is located north of the very popular Jenny Lake along String Lake Rd.

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