Summit Lake


Backpack - Summit Lake

Backpack an easy 2.5 miles with 1,100 feet gain to one of the prettiest lakes in Washington, where we will camp Saturday night, swim Saturday afternoon, watch the sunset from the summit viewpoint and watch a magnificent star show before bedtime (weather permitting).

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Sat, Aug 6, 2016 — Sun, Aug 7, 2016
  • Tacoma Hiking & Backpacking Committee
  • Backpacking
  • Singles, Families, Retired Rovers, Adults, 20-30 Somethings
  • Easy/Moderate
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft

Meet at 9 AM at the small gravel parking lot next to the Foothills Trail on the south side of SR 410, where it meets SR 165, in Buckley.  At this junction, SR 410 bends from eastbound to northbound. 

We can consolidate cars at the meeting place.  Cars driving to the trailhead need to have high clearance and four wheel drive (like a Subaru Forester) due to the roughness of the Forest Service road we drive on the last seven miles.  The drive from the meeting place to the trailhead will take less than an hour.  We will make a restroom stop  enroute at the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.  There is no restroom at the meeting place or the trailhead.  But restrooms are available near the meeting place at a park and at nearby restaurants.  There is an outhouse in the camping area of Summit Lake.

Summit Lake is a miniature version of Oregon's Crater Lake, because it sits near the summit of the mountain and has no visible inflow or outflow.  The hike in is mostly through a sheltering old growth forest, passing other lakes enroute.  From our campsite we will have easy access to the lake for swimming, and to the summit viewpoint to view Mt. Rainier and the sunset.  If the weather is clear, before bedtime we will have a much better view of the stars than in town, because we will be at a higher elevation and away from the light and smog pollution of the city.

Each car parked at the trailhead  will need to display a Northwest Forest Pass or equivalent.  No parking pass is required at the meeting point.




Summit Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports