Cycling through the Grand Tetons to Jenny Lake and String Lake

This bike ride was the highlight of my recent trip to Wyoming, and in my opinion the best way to see parts of the Grand Teton National Park. The views are unreal and the best part is the relatively new bike trail which is separated from the highway.

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Incredible views of the Tetons as you ride

 

Where to Rent Bikes

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The park entrance sign along the highway as you drive from Jackson to Moose

If you need to rent a bike, Dornan’s Adventure Sports in Moose (a small town in the park, 13 miles north of Jackson) seems to be THE place to rent bikes to ride through the park. There are other rental options in Jackson as well, but here you can start your ride right from Dornan’s so you won’t have to transport the bikes, which is convenient if you only have a small rental sedan like we did.

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Dornan’s Adventure Sports Bike Shop

We rented two “Good” bikes here for a half day to ride the paved bike path to South Jenny Lake, which is about 8 miles one way, 16 miles round trip. The “Good” bike is the basic hybrid bike and rented for $34 for a half day (up to 5 hours), $40 for 24 hours, or $15/hour. This bike was perfectly fine for me but if you need more, there are also road and mountain bikes, and trailers or bikes for kids. See the Dornan’s website for more details. Remember to ask the shop for a bike lock if you plan on checking out the lake or any other trail.

Park Entrance at Moose To Jenny Lake Route

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Plenty of signs pointing to Jenny Lake along the trail

It’s an absolutely beautiful ride and there is only one slight hill at the beginning, so I’d recommend it for all levels. There are also other ride suggestions posted at the bike shop, such as Antelope Flats for those interested in seeing wildlife, and more. The path to Jenny Lake starts right at Dornan’s and it’s impossible to get lost. There are also plenty of signs along the way.

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Station on the trail to pay park fee (It is monitored by a ranger across the path)

Note: You will still have to pay the park entrance fee ($15/person, $30/family) when entering on bike, same as if entering by car. On the way to Jenny Lake, you’ll pass by the entrance to Taggart and Bradley Lakes as well. If you have time to stop there, check those lakes out.

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Jenny Lake is super clear! It would be awesome to kayak or canoe here.

 

Once we reached the Jenny Lake parking lot at the end of the bike path, we locked our bikes at the racks and followed the crowds to the lake. There are restrooms here if you need them. Your first view of the lake will be the boat dock with scenic boat tours, kayaks, canoes, etc. Continue past and follow the sign towards the right to reach a nice view point.

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Jenny Lake Lookout

We hiked the trail around the lake for only about a quarter mile then turned back. Next time I visit, I’d like to hike around the entire lake, which is about 7.5 miles total. From here you can turn around and follow the same trail back to Dornan’s, or you can extend your ride by ~6 miles with the following loop.

A Secret Route Extension to String Lake

When we got back to our bikes, a nice woman told us of a secret route (shh… don’t tell anyone else) to continue on to String Lake and loop back around to the bike trail. We followed her directions and continued north along the highway (since the bike path ended) for about 3 miles and turned left at the next intersection onto Jenny Lake Road. About 2 more miles and you’ll reach String Lake, which is much smaller than Jenny Lake but just as scenic with fewer crowds.

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About 5 more miles along the highway (sans bike path) to String Lake

From String Lake, instead of going back out to the highway, follow the one way road back toward Jenny Lake. After about 2 miles, there will be an entrance to a paved trail on the right. Take that trail and follow it all the way back to the Jenny Lake parking lot, then take the original bike trail back to Dornan’s.

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String Lake views

Post-Ride Meal in Jackson

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The Nooner Burger from Liberty Burger in Jackson

After our 20+ mile ride, we went to Liberty Burger in Jackson and treated ourselves to burgers as well as a Kahlua and Baileys spiked Mudslide milkshake — delicious. Ask to sit upstairs on the patio and you can look over the streets of Jackson.

Tips:

  • Bring plenty of water, or refill your bottle at Dornan’s Adventure Sports
  • Make sure to ask the bike shop for a bike lock and if you need help adjusting the bike
  • Bring your park pass or money to pay for the park fee
  • Check the weather and dress appropriately. We barely made it out before a thunderstorm came rolling in. Just got hit by a few big raindrops.

Resources:

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