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Summit Lake Trail

MODERATE 483 reviews
#1 of 7 trails in

Summit Lake Trail is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Carbonado, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.7 miles Elevation Gain: 1,443 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

lake

views

wildlife

snow

Beautiful hike, not too difficult. Tons of camping spots, including one that overlooks the lake up top. The lake is strikingly blue, even on a cloudy day. The road leading to the trailhead is very rocky. 4WD and good ground clearance is recommended.

hiking
9 days ago

So worth it! Pretty easy hike that could be done with kids. Make sure you keep going up to the top once you get to the lake... that’s the best part.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
10 days ago

couldnt sleep so took off in the dark to watch the sunrise. so glad I did how beautiful !!

hiking
muddy
snow
14 days ago

Beautiful sunny hike. Muddy but so cool it was quite solid. Snow at the top. Discover pass not accepted at this trail. Incredible views. Go all the way to the top! You get a full panorama of the area. You’ll pass a couple lakes and cross a few streams.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
16 days ago

Great trail! Easy side of moderate for some truly spectacular views. Would be great to take out of town guests

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
17 days ago

The most difficult part of the hike was the drive. The last 6 miles to the hike was really bumpy and pretty scary for low clearance vehicles. It’s possible, but not recommended. The hike itself was on the easier side of moderate. The route was very scenic and there were multiple lakes along the way. The trail is very muddy and a bit icy, so I would recommend wearing yaks tracks or snowshoes especially on the way down. The lake is beautiful and not a lot of people were there when we went! Definitely worth the drive but bring a high clearance vehicle if possible!

icy
muddy
17 days ago

Beautiful hike on a sunny day. No equipment needed but muddy in places. We made it up the 6 mile service road is in a Chevy Malibu fine.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
17 days ago

Highly recommend this hike it’s great for everyone, not too harsh of an incline it has a pretty gradual incline and would recommend to anyone with kids 10 and up. We had lunch at the lake which is near the end of the trail, and really enjoyed the hike up to the top. View is really nice if it is a clear day.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
17 days ago

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
18 days ago

Great, relatively easy hike, with a stellar view of Mt. Rainier. We arrived at the trailhead later on Saturday (12pm or so), but we were still able to find a parking spot. I'm guessing in warmer months, this is a PACKED trail. NW Forest Pass required. No bathroom facilities at the trailhead, and I saw several places where people took care of business without following even minimal Leave No Trace principles. That being said, there are restroom facilities at the Carbon Glacier trailhead, which is right before you turn left on to NF-7810. There are patches of snow/ice on the trail, and while I didn't need microspikes or poles, if it continues to drop in temps or snows more, you'll definitely need some extra gear. Nice trail for taking dogs along and still enjoying views of Mt. Rainier, as there are no dog-friendly trails in the National Park itself. As for the forest service road up to the trailhead, we saw several FWD/sedans/small cars that had to pull over on the way up. I would definitely not take a regular car up this road unless you're desperate or go superrrrr slow (and avoid scraping your undercarriage) and feel comfortable with your tire changing abilities (in the event you pop something). Quite a few potholes, large rocks, and very bumpy areas. I appreciated taking my Jeep on this road so much. We stopped at the top for quite awhile to enjoy the view and some hot chocolate, but at a good pace, you could be up and back in around 2.5 hours or less. Overall, this is one of those high reward, low effort hikes. Very enjoyable.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
19 days ago

Trail was a bit icy especially towards the top, I recommend bringing a pair of shoe chains. That being said DON’T LET THAT DETER YOU. It was a beautiful hike with a great view of Mt Reiner. A great place to camp with the exception of “no campfire” signs posted everywhere. The lake has small brook trout that are really fun and easy to catch (use a rooster tail), and little Birds everywhere one even landed on my shoulder. (American bushtit I believe.) The dirt road to the trail head is really bumpy but nothing an suv or truck can’t handle.

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
22 days ago

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