Canoeing in Grand Teton National Park

Canoeing Explorations on String Lake

A few weeks ago while enjoying a day off from work, my honey and I were fishing around for ideas on how to spend our precious summer afternoon. It was a nice day—sunny and warm, as is the norm for Jackson in the summer. After shooting down a few ideas, we decided to borrow our friends’ canoe and head into Grand Teton National Park.

Our first thought was to go to Jenny Lake, a common stop on the must-see list for the Park. But we decided to drive a little further on and go to String Lake instead.

This lake is much quieter and less populated than Jenny Lake. However, it is just as beautiful, if not more so. It’s a great lake to go canoeing on because there are a lot of twists, turns, inlets and bays to explore but the water is calm enough for beginners and the views are beautiful.

While we borrowed our canoe, there are ways to take a canoe trip if you don’t have one readily available. Dornan’s is right on the way to the lakes, and they rent canoes and kayaks right out of their convenient location in Moose, WY.

We put our canoe in right by the parking lot of String Lake and took off. We paddled out for about 20 minutes before we stopped and set our oars down. The views of the Tetons are just amazing from the water—they’re even more huge and majestic than the view you get when you first drive into the park.

After resting and enjoying the sights for a few minutes, we paddled a little further down the lake. We came to an overgrown marshy patch and decided to ground the canoe and do some exploring. That didn’t last long, though—too many mosquitoes. If you’re planning on doing any walking around once you’re into the lake, make sure you bring your bug spray or risk becoming lunch for a lot of bugs. Luckily they won’t bother you when you’re on the water.

We canoed the whole length of the lake. When we floated around the final bend, one last larger-than-life Teton view greeted us. A small stream of water was running down the side of the mountain, finally entering the lake near a little bridge that ran over the length of the water.

The whole trip around String Lake took us about two and a half hours. We didn’t stop and rest much, but we passed several people who had obviously made a day of their trip to the lake. Many of them were floating in inner tubes in the calm water and had coolers of food and drinks waiting for them on the bank.

We saw people of all ages on the lake, from one girl who looked about five years old with her fishing pole to a couple who were probably in their sixties canoeing just like us. Everyone we encountered looked happy and relaxed, and the whole environment was exactly what we needed on our day off.

If you’re looking for an activity that the whole family will enjoy without the hustle and bustle of some of the more popular locations, consider spending a day on String Lake. It’s relaxing and beautiful—what more can you ask for?

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