Monday, June 25, 2012


Saturday, June 23rd

Saturday morning presented itself as a bright and sunny day with beautiful blue skies and billowy white clouds. Perfect for our hike around the String and Leigh Lake area.

Jackson Lake is the northernmost lake in the Grand Teton National Park. Then, the next to the south is Leigh Lake which connects on its southern shore to String Lake. Further south still lies Jenny Lake.

There is much activity around all of these lakes, not the least of which is hiking.  Each lake has hikes designated as “Easy” to “Strenuous” and we were looking to do the “Easy” one to Leigh Lake and back as a round trip of 1.8 miles.

The day started out on a bit of a sour note as I lost a crown off of one of my teeth while flossing. Not to worry, though, because I found the crown and put it safely away until we can get down to Jackson on Monday and find a dentist!

We didn’t arrive at the lake until almost noon time as we stopped at the Jackson Lodge on the way to access their wifi to post our last blog, which we will be doing later for this one as well.

We hadn’t been to String Lake before and we were very surprised to see so many people in swimming, tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and canoeing. As we walked around the east side of the lake we found folks who had beached their canoes and were having lunch on shore and just really enjoying the warm weather.
String Lake

 We came to the spot where you would need to portage any boat from String Lake to Leigh Lake and walked over to Leigh Lake to investigate the distance and the put in area for the canoe there. We originally thought we might try doing that another day, but realized the portage was a little too long for us to do. It would mean that we would have to carry the canoe about 200 yards (length of 2 football fields) from one lake to the other and then back again later in the same day. We quickly nixed that idea! But, we did decide to extend our hike today to do the entire String Lake Loop Trail.
Leigh Lake Portage Stairs for Canoe or Kayak

Further on the walk we crossed the bridge over the upper part of String Lake where we saw huge fish hanging out around the rocks just waiting to be caught. Oh, to have had that fishing pole with us!

The hike, as I said, was labeled as an easy walk, but we did hike up about 400 feet on some pretty narrow and steep areas. The trail wound through the forest beneath Rockchuck Peak and Mount Saint John.

Hiking the Trail beneath the Peaks

We took our time and really enjoyed the views of the lake and the mountains all around us.
String Lake

At one point, a young man came hustling past us with his snowboard strapped to his backpack. He told us that he had just climbed up to one of the peaks and did some snowboarding. Can you believe that! End of June with mid 80s temperatures with him in shorts and a sleeveless T-shirt. He fairly ran down the trail ahead of us off to another of his adventures, I imagine.

He wasn’t the only young person who passed us by. There were at least four other young men who evidently were running the trail as an exercise. We got enough exercise just hiking it, thank you very much.

We had started hiking the trail at one end of String Lake and it ended at the opposite end. So the advertised 3.7 miles turned out to be 4.3 miles to get back to the parking lot where we had left our car. It was the perfect length, actually, to fill up a full afternoon. It took us a total of two and one half hours to complete the route.

On the way home, we stopped at The Chapel of the Sacred Heart on Signal Mountain for the 5 o’clock Mass. It was packed. This is a chapel that had been built in the 1920s, and rebuilt twice the latest time being in 2003, I believe, with a donation in memory of one of the World Trade Center victims who had lived in Jackson Hole. It’s a log cabin type of structure and is quite charming as was the priest who told us it had all the amenities of a city church including a choir.. and we were it.

Chapel of the Sacred Heart

1 comment:

  1. This was the lake trail that Ben and I took that I told you about. It's a lovely hike and so much fun to see everyone enjoying both lakes. Your photos are lovely and a great reminder of this beautiful part of the Tetons. Thanks. Barbara