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Favorite Lakes in the West

Three destinations, Jenny Lake in Wyoming, Priest Lake in Idaho, and Silver Lake in California, offer peace, quiet, and fun.

Jenny Lake, Wyo.'s eastern shore
Photo caption
Cascade Canyon seen from Jenny Lake’s eastern shore


The Teton Range looks spectacular from every angle, but no view outshines the reflection in Jenny Lake. In late summer, the peaks of Grand Teton National Park connect with blue sky and gold aspen leaves. You can enjoy the lake by renting a canoe, fishing for trout, and hiking the 6.6-mile trail that skirts the shoreline. A shuttle boat whisks you from the dock to the Cascade Canyon Trail leading to Hidden Falls. You'll need luck to grab a site at the popular campground and money to stay at the lodge (from $495), but you need only a car to visit the centrally located lake on Teton Park Road (closes October 31). (307) 739-3300,

SILVER LAKE, California

A one-hour drive southwest from bustling Lake Tahoe, California's Silver Lake offers calm waters, thick forests, trout fishing, boat rentals, lakeside resorts, and plenty of quiet. (209) 223-0350,


A two-hour drive north from busy Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Priest Lake offers crystal blue waters, lush cedar forests, a handful of lakeside places to eat and stay, and plenty of peace and quiet. (888) 774-3785,

Photography by Sean Arbabi

This article was first published in September 2006. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.