Trails.com is merging with AllTrails! Please click here to read more.

Summit Lake Trail

EASY 166 reviews
#12 of 193 trails in

Summit Lake Trail is a 4.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Soda Springs, California that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, trail running, and nature trips and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 4.7 miles Elevation Gain: 442 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

running

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

Directions from Truckee: Travel west on Hwy. #80 and take the Castle Peak/Boreal Ridge Road exit, which is immediately west of the highway's Donner Summit Roadside Rest Area. On the south side of the highway there is a sign reading: Tahoe National Forest Trailhead Donner Summit Pacific Crest Trail. Follow the directions on the sign turning east for 0.4 miles to the trailhead.

hiking
2 days ago

Hiked. Some hwy noise. Continued onto the Donner lake trail. Note: Euer Valley Road has No Trespassing signs at both ends.

hiking
25 days ago

Great trail, too close to the freeway. I’m still a big fan though! My boys great great great grandfather carved a tree there in 1902.

hiking
26 days ago

Beautiful trail . Nice mix of shade and a little sun here and there. Great dog trail. Fairly easy hike with a little incline here and there. The lake is absolutely beautiful. We were almost by ourselves today. A little chilly here and there, but the sun warmed you up .

hiking
rocky
scramble
1 month ago

Pretty good trail with a nice fishing/swimming spot up top. If you happen to find a YNP Nalgene bottle on the trail, keep it. It fell out of my pack and we couldn't find it.

hiking
1 month ago

Over all not a bad trail. Has some good sceneries along the way. This was "easy" not moderate.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike! Nice day jaunt out of Donner Summit.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike! Very quiet lake to hike to. We did the loop around the lake, but the trail to the far side of the lake is hard to find... it’s in a slightly different place than where AllTrails tells you to go. You get some beautiful views!

hiking
off trail
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Great day for a hike and photo taking. Mild temps, incredible wildflowers, and zillions of butterflies!

hiking
2 months ago

Great late July hike. Pretty shady in the AM and full of wild flowers!

hiking
3 months ago

park off exit 175 for the trailhead. There are posted signs prohibiting parking at the rest area for the local hikes.

hiking
3 months ago

easy pretty trail

hiking
3 months ago

Park at the I80 West rest stop, the trail head is to the right. Allows you to bypass the rivers under the freeway.

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

still some snowy patches, easy to pass. the first culvert has about 2in of water and the second culvert is about knee deep, would recommend bringing water shoes if you don't like wet feet. a beautiful nature hike with views.

hiking
snow
3 months ago

Still some snow. You have to go through tunnels under the highway and they're like rivers right now. Wear your Chacos! I thought that part was fun but the lake wasn't anything special.

hiking
blowdown
snow
washed out
3 months ago

hiking
snow
4 months ago

Beautiful trail. I highly recommend taking the trail rather than the road. (The trail is off to the right as you pull in and there is a sign that directs you to the right location). For the first mile or so you can hear the highway, but as you make your way towards the lake you can enjoy nature and what it offers. I was lucky to see 4 deer and other wildlife. On a different note, there was snow in several areas, but it was not bad. I had difficulties finding the lake due to the end having a large amount of snow, but with the map/gps setting I was able to make it to the frozen/slushy lake and even take a polar dip in.

hiking
snow
6 months ago

9 months ago

Too much snow to shoe to the lake. There were no tracks going north from the intersection of Donner trail and PCT. we just went up to Azalea lake. Snow was up to 5’ deep and Donner is getting up to 3’ more next week.

11 months ago

Great trail!

hiking
Saturday, September 08, 2018

Unleashed Dogs... Nice Dogs... Barking Dogs... Growling Dogs... Attacking Dogs... Unleashed Dogs everywhere with ignorant owners in tow. "Oh don't worry... Spike won't bite you"... As he's charging me at full speed with his teeth bared, hackles up and gutteral growl going. Trail is beautiful. Lake is great. Views from the rims are wonderful. Hike is easy with a couple moderate tenth mile stretches. Did I mention the Unleashed Dogs!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

* peaceful if you ignore highway 80. * level. shady. * can go all around the lake trail, very nice.

hiking
Saturday, September 01, 2018

Awesome hike! Nice and shady and the views of the lake were great! Pretty easy, not much elevation gain. Will do it again in the future.

hiking
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A lovely hike, although I could hear the traffic from I80 most of the time. I missed the turn off at the intersection with Warren Lake Trail to go back down, so continued on Donner Lake Rim Trail until it connected with PCT. That made it an enjoyable 7.5 miles RT

hiking
Sunday, August 19, 2018

Beautiful hike! Went with my small dog in mid August, but wish we would have gone a month or two earlier so that we could have seen more wildflowers. It was still one of the best hikes we have ever done. Plenty of gorgeous trees, granite rocks, lakes and wildflowers to look at. Loved how the first part of the hike was part of the PCT and then went under Highway 80 and the second part of the hike was totally different. The lake at the end is perfect! Highly recommended.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Nice, well maintained, not too steep, and lots of shade. The lake is great for a cooling dip and there's water in streams along the way.

Load More

Featured Trails