Summit Lake Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Buckley, WA that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Enumclaw, drive west on State Highway 410 for 5.0 miles to the junction with State Highway 165 just west of Buckley. Continue for 10.5 miles to the junction of Carbon River Highway and Mowich Lake Highway. Turn left onto the Carbon River Highway and follow it 7.7 miles to Cayada Creek Road #7810. Cross the bridge over the river and continue 6.7 miles to end of road. The trailhead is at end of road #7810.
I went on a Sunday afternoon in October. I saw a few folks, but I was alone for 95% of the time and had the lake and summit all to myself for at least an hour. It was gorgeous. It was completely silent at the lake, except for the fish surfacing to hunt. Lovely and serene. The trail was not marked, but it was so well maintained that it didn't need to be. You will reach the lake before the trail ends. I recommend that you keep going to get some amazing views. Beware - the drive to the trailhead is dicey. I did it in a little hatchback, but if you are a timid driver, or the prospect of 7 miles on a rough road with many rocks and potholes sounds like too much, then you should avoid this trail.
Mid-October. The hike in had a tough incline. We reached the lake first and then you go up past the lake towards the summit. It's absolute stunning up there. Try to plan the trip on a clear and calm day, so that Mt. Rainier would be visible and the lake still.
Easy to find. The road up has some bumps but is easily driven. There is no bathroom at the TH, but down the hill a short side trip to Lake Coplay there is a clean bathroom. The trail is easy to follow and well maintained. The hardest part is maneuvering through the tree roots just before the top. Makes a nice easy morning walk.
Before you do this hike, just be prepared that you'll spend about 5/6 miles driving uphill on a rocky dirt road at the end to get to the trailhead. I was surprised when we came to a clearing and there were a ton of cars at the top. Hike was awesome...not too steep so pretty enjoyable. It levels off at the top and on a clear day you will get unbeatable views of Rainier. The lake is gorgeous and surrounded by moss covered trees. Head right on the shore to see Rainier hovering over the lake.
Great hike, amazing views on a clear day! Beware the road driving up is a little sketchy with major pot holes and steep cliffs, be sure to account for some extra time driving up and down.
good views of rainier! beautiful Lake and nice trails
Very well maintained trail, in fact we saw the WTA workers maintaining it while we were there! Easy hike with amazing view of Rainier from the lake.
This hike has became my annual birthday hike/ camp site (2 years strong Wooo!). It a bit roughy getting to the trailhead via car but the hike is fairly easily and the payoff is fantastic. Don't only do you get an amazing view of the lake but an even better one of Rainer.
As a beginner, it was a little hard going up but well worth it in the end. Me and my best friend went today when it was really foggy. Will go back on a clearer day
Pretty easy and short trail, absolutely stunning views of both Summit Lake and Mt. Rainier! Took a swim in the lake and lots of pictures. The only downside is the gravel road up to the trail head. It is washed out with large rocks, huge pot holes, and it is only suited for trucks and jeeps. We took a Mazda 6 up it and it took us over 45 min for a couple miles of gravel road!
So incredibly beautiful. It's hard work to get there and the bugs are killer but absolutely amazing views when the sun is out.
Uphill was alright but the view is so worth it. Water is crystal clear. So worth doing it again.
Incredibly beautiful and crowded.
What a wonderful hike, the road to the trailhead is somewhat bumpy with several pot holes but the hike is very nice and the lake is very clear. There are many great views at the top peak.
such a good hike. the road to get to it is very bumpy and is full of rocks and uneven spots. the trail towards the lake has many broken trees. But the lake is as pure blue as you can get in this state. the view is extravagant from the top peak and well worth any trouble along the way.
Great views from the top. Well worth the effort.