Summit Lake Trail

MODERATE 131 reviews

Summit Lake Trail is a 5.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Buckley, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
5.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1417 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

beach

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

Road is completely undriveable at this point in the year. Extremely rocky terrain, as you approach 3 miles out from the trail, it starts to get really snowy. We had to turn around and never got to the trailhead. I would avoid until the spring.

hiking
2 months ago

My most favorite hike

hiking
4 months ago

Frustratingly, we never got to the lake. About a mile in, at Twin Lake, the trail forks. There is no sign and the trail that turned out to be the one to Summit Lake appears closed with the bridge down and red caution tape around the trees. We took the trail to the right and climbed about a mile or so before hikers coming down told us we were headed to Bear Head summit. By then the less experienced hikers in our group didn't feel they could make it back down the way we had come plus continue to the lake so we had to cut our hike short.

It's a nice trail and we'll probably try again in the future.

4 months ago

I weny backpacking in labor day weekend. we went early in the mirnin, not a lot of people going up the trail yet. it was fairly easy to do with our backpacks. i lost my breath on some switch back, but not too bad. there wasn't a lot of people camping so we had no trouble choosing out spot. the view is gorgeous. we woke up early in the morning to go see the sunrise from the top of the summit. definitely a must!

hiking
4 months ago

It was a great hike. Nothing to strenuous but you can still work up a sweat if that's your goal. It is a MUST to continue around the lake! There are a couple of side trails that lead to some excellent views. I will be doing this hike many more times in the future!

4 months ago

Beautiful hike! It's a long way up and a good workout, definitely will take this hike again.

hiking
4 months ago

Beautiful!! Like the other reviews, the last part of the route (road) getting there is tough). A very rough road. On Tuesday, the wildfire smoke was so bad we could not see Mt. Rainier which would have been largely present. Other than that, it was wonderful! We got there early around 8:30 and there were only 2-3 cars in the parking lot. We basically had the lake and trail to ourselves. We continued (right) around the lake up to the ledge for lunch. Be sure to do that! Amazing views! The wild blueberries and huckleberries are ripe and delicious. They were all over. The hike was not difficult and at a steady climb. Would do again!

backpacking
4 months ago

My boyfriend and I hiked this last weekend with our two dogs! not only were people on the trail extremely friendly, but the views were phenomenal! we stayed off of the trail the first night, and then stayed at the end one night. A direct view of Mt Rainier and some beautiful lakes, mountain ranges, sunrise/sunset & a city lit up at night. make the trip. do this hike.

backpacking
5 months ago

This was my first backpacking trip! The road up is quite rocky, but luckily my car handled it well. I would feel very uncomfortable taking a small car up this road, though!

The trail was beautiful that day, and well maintained.
At the top, Summit Lake is beautiful and was sooo warm!

Unfortunately our over night trip was not so fun when the rain and wind picked up big time and we were not so prepared for rain - our bad! But other than that everything was great. Would love to go back!

5 months ago

Beautiful hike, well maintained. The 6 mile gravel road is very rough but fine if you go slow. We did the loop around the lake and loved the views! Will do again.

hiking
5 months ago

the hike was pretty nice and so was the lake, unfortunately got two flat tires coming down the horrible road.

backpacking
5 months ago

We went over the weekend when there was still a lot of haze, and still found it incredibly beautiful. We drove up in our car despite all of the warnings of others. The road is as bad as they say, if not worse! We had to drive about 5 MPH the whole way (added 40 minutes to the estimated time of google maps), and even then were scared of popping a tire. We made it, however, but would not do it again in a car.

The lake isn't freezing cold, so wading in it on the hot day was rewarding. The mosquitos weren't bad at all- but the horseflies were awful!! Didn't know flies could bite until this trip..

Oh, and that camping spot that everyone raves about? There really is only one with that view, and be there early to get it. We got to the trailhead at 8:00 A.M. and were able to snag it, but others came up after us looking for it. The only downside is you have to trek down to the lake for water or play, but it's not bad. The upside? It's super close to the summit for sunset, and you do NOT want to miss sunset at the summit.

There were a lot of trout in the lake, and my husband was able to catch one! Lots to do at this lake.

Overall, this trip was incredible, despite it being busy and smoky from the B.C. fires!

backpacking
5 months ago

The road to the trailhead is rough & has large potholes & rocks. Besides clearance, owners of small cars should probably consider the fact that rocks could pierce tires on normal passenger vehicles. Regardless, I saw a couple of small low clearance cars make it to the trailhead. The trail itself is great. Tons of wildflowers! The lake was beautiful but the view was slightly affected by the smoke from the Canadian fires which made it hard to fully appreciate. Going to the lookout at the top is a must! It has gorgeous views of Mt. Rainier, Summit lake, Colplay Lake & the surroundings. By the way, don't forget the mosquito net! You will need it.

5 months ago

easy hike up the Forrest service road is real bad we drove up in a 4x4 truck would not advice driving up in a car big rocks.

hiking
5 months ago

Did this on the 4th of July (late with my review). LOVED it. The extra 1/2 mile past the lake is well worth the effort. The views of Rainier blew me away. Finding a hike that tops this one for me will be tough. The forest service road in was rough, but again, the hike is worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

The drive in was not as bad as I thought, we were in a Subaru Crosstrek and had no issues getting there. Jeeps and high suspension vehicles definitely had the right idea. However, low profile vehicles could easily bottom out and we saw them parked way before the trailhead parking area (they had given up). The trail itself is pretty easy, we carried a baby in a backpack so that added some extra weight, other than that great for all ages. It does get narrow and steep in some places. Bugs were an issue. We did not bring insect repellent, however, we did not get bit. Mostly flies and bees, and yes there are lots of them. The lake is gorgeous and water temps were refreshing. Completed in a little less than 4 hours with time spent at the lake. Great little day trip hike.

hiking
5 months ago

I am not sure I would rate this as easy. The first 2.5 miles is up. Very doable at a slower pace. Plenty of wild flowers to view. The lake was spectacular. The 5 mile gravel road was amazingly rough. This is the gravel road that leads to the trail head. I didn't travel more than 5 mph. Low profile vehicles beware. Lots of well behaved dogs on the trail. Thank you for keeping them leashed.

hiking
5 months ago

I am a beginner at this hiking stuff, and I would rate this trail as an easy-moderate. The beginning of the hike was relatively easy and quite enjoyable, with quite a few switchbacks but nothing too steep. The last 1/3 of the trail was a bit steeper and was a straight shot. This is where I would rate it as more moderate than easy. I do believe anyone at any age that is in relatively good health could do this hike. Just be sure to take breaks if needed! The drive in was a little rough, but I think the other reviews on this page are deterring people from going on this hike. The road is definitely in rough shape but as long as you go slow, any type of vehicle can make it up there. We were in an SUV and went about 5 mph - 15 mph the whole way. From the start of the gravel road, it took about 30-40 minutes to get up to the start of the trail. The views were WELL worth it. MAKE SURE to go all the way to the top and not just stop at the lake. The views of Mount Rainier are breathtaking.

6 months ago

Always fun to hike to Summit Lake.

6 months ago

This hike was incredible!!! But warning the drive in is not for the faint of heart or car...

Load More