Hiking Around String Lake
String Lake is another popular hike and a place to picnic and hang out in the water. There’s lots of little sandy beaches everywhere.
It’s not very deep in most places, so it’s the warmest lake in the Park. A lot of people paddle board and kayak on it. The hike around the lake is about 2.5 miles. There is some elevation gain along the way but it’s not too bad.
On the east side if you keep heading north along the trail instead of going over the bridge you go to Leigh Lake. And from there you can head to Bearpaw and Trapper Lake, so you get four lakes in one hike. That hike is about 9.5 miles round trip and is flat and easy. Be sure to look for the beavers at Trapper Lake! Some people refer to this as the Four Lakes Trail.
Hiking Around Holly Lake
To head to another beautiful alpine lake, Holly Lake, you start at the String Lake trailhead. When you get to the intersection to go around String Lake, stay to the right and that will take you into Paintbrush Canyon. Be aware, it’s about 2 miles from this point through the woods until you actually get into the canyon. It’s 6.2 miles up to Holly Lake. From the lake, and you’re well prepared and ambitious you can continue on, go over Paintbrush Divide, and end up at Solitude Lake and come back through Cascade Canyon. That’s called the Paintbrush-Cascade Canyon Loop, and it’s about 20 miles round trip. It is doable very long day. Takes about 10 to 12 hours depending on how many stops and how fast you hike. I know trail runners who can do the whole loop in five hours. Hate them!
In late summer the entire Paintbrush Canyon trail is filled with huckleberries! You are allowed to pick a quart per day but leave some for the bears! They need the berries to fatten up for hibernation!