Summit Lake


Day Hike - Summit Lake

Experience a beautiful alpine lake, alpine meadows, a nice view of Mt. Rainier, and an opportunity for a swim, weather permitting.

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  • Easy
  • Easy
  • Mileage: 5.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,100 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,400 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 8 AM at Wally's Drive-in, 282 WA-410, Buckley, located by the last traffic light at the north end of town.

Wally's Drive-in opens at 8 AM and has breakfast food and restrooms.  We can consolidate cars there and leave cars along a nearby street, without needing a parking pass.  Then we will caravan south on SR 165 to the end of the road at the former Carbon River Ranger station to use the restrooms there.  Then we continue seven miles on forest Road 7810 to the trailhead parking lot.  This road is not well maintained, so all cars driving on it will need to have high clearance.  Participation in the hike will, of necessity, be limited to the capacity of the high clearance vehicles  available for the drive to the trailhead.  Riders are encouraged to generously compensate their drivers to encourage them to drive.  A Northwest Forest Pass or National Park Pass must be displayed by each car at the trailhead parking lot.  There is no restroom facility at the trailhead, but there is a primitive outhouse near Summit Lake.

The trail has a fairly uniform grade all the way to Summit Lake.  At the beginning it is a little rocky and becomes smoother after that.  We will stop for a rest break and party separation bathroom break at Twin Lake, .8 mile from the trailhead, where there is a junction with trails heading four different directions.  The hike is mostly under a forest canopy, but as we near Summit Lake, we will pass through some alpine meadows.  We'll have our lunch by the lake and during that break allow time for a swim, if the weather permits.  The return hike will be by the same route. 





Summit Lake

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