Summit Lake


Backpack - Summit Lake

Experience a beautiful alpine lake, alpine meadows, a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier and an opportunity for a swim, 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.
  • Easy/Moderate
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 8 AM at Wally's Drive-in on SR 410 at the north end of Buckley at the last traffic light (address 282 WA-410, Buckley, WA . 98321). 

We can consolidate cars at Wally's Drive-In, leaving extra cars at a nearby school parking lot.  Then we will caravan to the trailhead via SR 165, stopping enroute at the end of the road to use the restrooms at the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.  The meeting time was set so that we arrive early enough to have a good choice of campsites.  The hike in will be almost entirely under a forest canopy on a good well-graded trail.  Campsites are mostly in forested areas.  After our trail lunch and setting up camp, we'll go for a swim in Summit Lake, weather permitting.  Either before or after our camp dinner we'll have an optional day hike to a viewpoint with a spectacular view of Mt. Rainier.   If we go there in the evening, we may be able to watch the sunset.

There is an outhouse at Summit Lake, but not at the trailhead.  A Northwest Forest Pass, or the equivalent, must be displayed by each car at the trailhead.  The gravel seven mile Forest Service Road from SR 165 to the trailhead will require high clearance vehicles, such as a Subaru Forester.  The rest of our driving route is paved.   


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