Summit Lake


Day Hike - Summit Lake

This is a pleasant hike on a good trail through old growth forest, passing picturesque Twin Lake, enroute to sparkling Summit Lake, Washington's miniature version of Oregon's Crater Lake, unique by having no visible inflow or outflow, and nestled in a beautiful alpine meadow.

  • Easy/Moderate
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,200 ft
  • Pace: 2.5

Meet at 9 AM at Wally's Drive-In at the north end of Buckley on SR 410, reached by exiting from SR 167 onto SR 410 eastbound and continuing through Sumner and Bonney Lake to Buckley, where you find Wally's at the last traffic light on the right side of the road.  Arrive early if you want to eat breakfast before we drive to the trailhead.

From Wally's Restaurant we will caravan to the trailhead via SR 165, stopping enroute to use the restrooms at the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park.  Then we will drive seven miles up a rough Forest Service Road to reach the trailhead parking lot.  Because of the condition of that road, cars driving to the trailhead will need to have high clearance, such as a Subaru Forester.  For this hike it will be best if carpooling can be done before arriving at Wally's Restaurant, although they let us  leave cars there before during a hike.   If there are insufficient cars to carry everyone to the trailhead, riders will have priority for the available rider spots in the order in which they signed up for the hike.  So if you have a high clearance vehicle, your fellow hikers will much appreciate it if you volunteer to drive.  Each car at the trailhead parking lot must display the Northwest Forest Pass or the equivalent.  There are restrooms at Wally's Restaurant and  the Carbon River Entrance to MRNP and there's an outhouse at Summit Lake.  There is no restroom facility at the trailhead parking lot.  We'll have party separation bathroom breaks during the hike in as needed.

At Summit Lake we'll have our lunch and allow time for a swim if the weather permits.  We'll hike out by the same route we hiked in.  We'll have an optional refreshment stop on the drive home at Wally's Drive-In, which gets good reviews for its food, service and atmosphere.  



Summit Lake

  • Red Marker
    47.031470, -121.827178
    47.0314699727 -121.827178001
  • Red Marker
    47.041487, -121.830225
    47.0414874831 -121.830224991
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools, including knife
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
Trip Reports