MOOSE, Wyo. — As one of Grand Teton National Park’s most popular hangout spots, maintaining physical distancing at String Lake has proven to be a challenge.

Beginning this weekend, park staff will begin trying to limit crowds and encourage responsible behavior, including physical distancing and food storage practices.

During peak summer visitation, designated parking spots are filled between mid-morning and late afternoon, and overflow parking occurs along nearby roadsides. The lake shoreline also quickly fills with visitors and their picnic supplies and recreation equipment.

Social distancing to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 is more difficult at String Lake given its relatively narrow and limited shoreline, compared to other lakes in the park like Jenny Lake or Jackson Lake where there is more space for people to socially distance.

In an effort to follow local and national public health guidance related to large gatherings, parking will only be allowed in designated areas at String Lake over the holiday weekend. Limited parking will help manage the number of people in the area and allow opportunities for preventative measures related to COVID-19. When the designated parking areas at String Lake are full, no additional parking will be available.

The String Lake area is frequented by a variety of wildlife. There are several bear-resistant food storage lockers in the area for visitors to properly store food and scented items. Many visitors that picnic along String Lake bring large meals and associated items, regularly filling the food lockers beyond capacity. Visitors are encouraged to bring a smaller volume of food and drinks and store food items in a hard-sided vehicle when food lockers are full. Picnickers should only have immediate use items out so that if wildlife approaches, food items can be quickly gathered and the opportunity for an animal to receive a food reward is removed.

Park visitors are encouraged to arrive early or late in the day to avoid crowds. If an area is crowded, please consider an alternate area or activity. Follow Leave No Trace principles by packing out what you bring in, including all trash and left-over food, and inspecting the area you visited before you leave.