There’s really no shortage of backcountry lakes in Jackson. From super mellow, family friendly lakes like Phelps to much, much more ambitious adventures- there’s an adventure for every fitness level. However, No Name Lake stands out for a couple reasons: pond skimming and cliff jumping. Two of my favorite activities.
Getting to No Name Lake isn’t tough, but there isn’t a trail either- so you kind of need to know where you’re going. No Name Lake is at the top of No Name Canyon- essentially the third drainage south of the resort. Being familiar with the Jackson Hole Backcountry helps a lot-essentially you take what is the double boot pack in the winter. Alternatively, hike down the bowl and then head south, hiking over two mellow ridges.
The great thing about No Name is that the north facing slope holds snow through August, and has a perfect transition for pond skimming. It’s easily the closest access to late summer pond skimming you’ll find anywhere around Jackson. It takes a little work to get the ramp dialed in (first picture), so bring a crew. Also, it’s a long way across, so plan on getting wet (i.e. bring old gear). If pond skimming isn’t your thing, it is a great place for a picnic lunch as well, but bring bug spray early season. Despite being an alpine lake (elevation is over 9k), the water is warm because of it’s generally shallow depth.
If pond skimming isn’t enough of a thrill for you, there are some cliffs to jump off. And I mean big cliffs. There’s really only one size to jump off of, and it’s large. The west side of the lake is deep, and has a cliff band that rises 70+ feet out of the water. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, and many experienced cliff jumpers have turned away. But send it and you’ll be a hero.
No Name Lake has the “off-the-beaten-path” feel, while not really being that far off the trail. So, if you have the slightest sense of adventure and moderate physical abilities, check out No Name Lake for the day.