Grand Teton National Park: String, Leigh, Bearpaw, and Trapper Lakes

This effortless out-and-back offers unparalleled views of rocky canyons and towering glacier-topped peaks, all from the shores of four gorgeous mountain lakes.
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This effortless out-and-back offers unparalleled views of rocky canyons and towering glacier-topped peaks, all from the shores of four gorgeous mountain lakes.

Allow extra time to enjoy the spectacular views on this relatively flat 9-mile dayhike. The out-and-back trail leads from String Lake to Trapper Lake, with great vantage points of Leigh Lake, Rockchuck Peak, and Teewinot Peak along the way.

Start out at the String Lake trailhead and pick up an illustrated map at the signboard. Descend about 100 yards to the shore of Lower String Lake for your first view of the lake and surrounding peaks.

Then, head north along the forested shores of Upper String Lake, keeping an eye out for deer, elk and moose. Along the path, enjoy glimpses of the lake through the trees, as well as several faint trails leading to the waters edge. About one mile out, stop to enjoy a spectacular view from a small, rocky peninsula.

Continue north, keeping an eye out for a series of three campsites from mile 2.5 to mile 3. Near them, the beach becomes narrow and sandy and the trail offers more views of Mt. Moran and Paintbrush and Leigh Canyons. In .25-mile, check out the view from the north shore, which offers a view of the entire length of Leigh Lake, with Mt. Owen and Teewinot Mountain in the background.

Continue on, meandering nearly one mile through grassy meadows toward Trapper Lake. After crossing the small inlet, be ready to drop your pack and relax with a picnic lunch while you enjoy views the mountains and their reflections on the lake.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/things2know.htm.

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season). nps.gov/grte/planyourvisit/back.htm

CONTACT Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300; nps.gov/grte/

-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 14.8

Waypoints

LKS001

Location: 43.788654, -110.73063

Leigh Lake trailhead.

LKS002

Location: 43.788848, -110.731781

Check out the view of String Lake, Mt. St. John and Rockchuck Peak. Also, pick up a trail map at the sign board for 50¢.

LKS003

Location: 43.792483, -110.72564

Wood bench offers a place to sit and view String Lake. Spur trail to Jenny Lake Lodge heads southeast.

LKS004

Location: 43.796763, -110.728285

At the Paintbrush Canyon junction, fork right to continue on Leigh Lake.

LKS005

Location: 43.797255, -110.728808

Cross the bridge over the rocky outlet between Leigh and String Lakes. Notice the cairn forest.

LKS006

Location: 43.797256, -110.727682

Spur trail to boat portage between String and Leigh Lakes. Head right to continue on trail.

LKS007

Location: 43.798637, -110.724163

From the south end of the lake, hikers get the first big views of Leigh Lake and Mt. Moran.

LKS008

Location: 43.800169, -110.722208

Look for a faint trail on the left to a small, rocky peninsula with incredible views over Leigh Lake.

LKS009

Location: 43.800513, -110.722674

From this rocky peninsula, enjoy stunning views of Leigh Lake and Mt. Moran.

LKS010

Location: 43.803128, -110.720472

Small, pebbly beach with lake and mountain views.

LKS011

Location: 43.811883, -110.7187

Another small, pebbly beach to enjoy the view from.

LKS012

Location: 43.812982, -110.717965

Here, at Leigh Lake Camp 12A, look for campsites on the lake and hill sides of the trail. There are bear boxes and bag poles available. A nice sandy beach connects the camp areas.

LKS013

Location: 43.814786, -110.717762

Leigh Lake Camp 12B.

LKS014

Location: 43.816272, -110.717804

Leigh Lake Camp 12C.

LKS015

Location: 43.822576, -110.720558

Open, rocky beach offers views of Leigh Lake, Mt. Moran, Rockchuck Peak, Mt. Woodring, and Leigh and Paintbrush Canyons.

LKS016

Location: 43.828106, -110.727306

At the four way junction, head left for Leigh Lake, right for a campsite on the east side of Bearpaw Lake, or continue straight to Trapper Lake.

LKS017

Location: 43.828824, -110.731716

Cross a small inlet to Bearpaw Lake.

LKS018

Location: 43.830194, -110.73162

Bearpaw Lake Camps. 17C is on the hillside, 17A is on the lakeside. Bear box and bag pole are on slope to left.

LKS019

Location: 43.834037, -110.73139

Trapper Lake Camp 18.

LKS020

Location: 43.833851, -110.732784

Trapper Lake. Drop your pack, have lunch, take a dip, and enjoy the scenery.

String Lake

Location: 43.788879, -110.731609

Mt. Moran

Location: 43.790692, -110.729699

Clouds drifting past Mt. Moran, from Upper String Lake.

Bull Moose

Location: 43.794409, -110.72588

Big bull moose lounging near the marshy shore of Upper String Lake.

Forest Youngster

Location: 43.797305, -110.726244

Leigh Lake

Location: 43.798606, -110.724313

Lake View

Location: 43.80062, -110.72279

Paintbrush Canyon

Location: 43.807139, -110.719957

Paintbrush Canyon, seen across Leigh Lake.

Lakeshore

Location: 43.81386, -110.717747

Sandy beach near Leigh Lake camps.

Leigh Lake

Location: 43.822406, -110.720365

Lake Trail

Location: 43.827979, -110.727446

Clouds

Location: 43.828861, -110.731823

Fly fishing on Trapper Lake

Location: 43.833675, -110.733175