Explore the most popular camping trails near Buckley with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Several small creeks to cross, and beautiful vistas as you climb to the top. The frozen lakes are amazing. The view at the top was incredible! This time of year, a lifted vehicle with chains highly recommended.

hiking
blowdown
scramble
snow
10 days ago

A good day hike, clear skies.

Several large trees cover the trail, some are tricky to get by.

As you go up the valley towards the glacier, there is snow on the ground, not enough to need spikes or snowshoes. Poles are needed as you get closer to the glacier.

off road driving
14 days ago

this is more of a road rating went up there just to drive more snow on the ground than expected but still had loads of fun highly recomend a lifted vehicle to get through all the way and dont go alone

hiking
2 months ago

This is a great hike. I went yesterday with my husband, our 7 year old and 3 year old and a couple friends. The drive up is pretty rough for about 5-6 miles. You will need a vehicle with good ground clearance or take the drive up very slow. The trail was very Icey in some parts. We ended up busting our butts on the trail a couple times. If you are taking a little one this time of year, I recommend putting them in a hiking carrier. Beautiful views from the trail and definitely an incline on the way up. We were feeling the burn. Snow and ice on parts of the trail and at the top. The view of Summit Lake was beautiful. The lake is so clear. The hike was worth it just to see the scenic view from the overlook and to see the lake. It was breathtaking. This wasn't a very busy trail. We saw only a couple people during our hike an this was during the morning to afternoon.

hiking
2 months ago

High clearance and decent tires are your safest bet getting to the TH, I made it in my Chevy Cruze though, so make good judgment calls before heading to this trail. Beautiful day on the trail and amazing views at the lake and above! Compact snow is very icy!

hiking
2 months ago

Stunning hike! Highly recommend. The drive up is pretty rough but it’s worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

So amazing! Lake was clear and gorgeous! View of mountain was breathtaking! Already thinking about going again.

Hiked Summit Lake on 10/6/18. Saw about 20-25 people the whole day. Lots of dogs on leash including ours. The trail is very well maintained. This is one of my absolute favorite hikes! We started up later in the day, hitting the trailhead around 12:30pm. We met people coming down who didn't have the opportunity to see Mt. Rainier earlier in the day. Our late start meant we were able to get some gorgeous peek-a-boo views of the Mountain when we reached the trail summit. Perfect day!! Yes, the road up is rough, but the parking lot was full so it is definitely not deterring anyone. Please remember to pack your trash out.

A nice moderate uphill grade. With an Alpine lake and early fall colors. It was an awesome hike

hiking
3 months ago

easy hike. Knats are harmless, but if you stand in one spot for more than 10sec the large deer flies will bite you!

hiking
3 months ago

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. Will have to return for a cloudless day to see Mt. Rainier from the lookout.

No toilet at the trailhead (people made their own toilet pits in the dirt), but there is a primitive toilet when you reach the lake. The trail is in excellent condition, but the road is not. Very rocky with potholes. I wouldn't say 4x4 or AWD is absolutely necessary, but clearance is. Even if you drive very carefully in a low clearance vehicle, you may damage the underside.

great trail! beautiful views at the lakes and definitely will be a repeat for us

Beautiful view, went to this hike during Labor Day weekend and there were 4 tents camping there. Get there early, our way back to the parking lot was busy and the road can be challenging.

backpacking
4 months ago

Amazing trail. Took 9 days to do this. challenging but worth it.

very nice day hike, trail is well maintained and tons of berries and no bugs to speak of! lake is beautiful my dog just loved it. road up is tough and slow but the hike is worth it.

camping
5 months ago

Had a great weekend camping trip. Relatively easy hike and the lake was gorgeous. Stayed for a couple nights. Saturday was pretty busy with 50-60 day hikers and a dozen or so groups camping. Still a few spots open though. Way more camp opportunities than listed on site. Most campers left out Sunday with only us and 1 other group overnight. About 40 or so day hikers Sunday. As with most easily accessible trails, if you want more peace and quiet, go during the week.

We got caught up in the smoke blowing in from Canada on Sunday so the distant views weren’t there. But the lake and nearby area had plenty of spectacular views. Will definitely have to go again to get the full experience. Lake was warmer (at least the top layer) than expected. Was able to swim out to the middle without any chill. Drop down about 5-6 feet and it does get a bit cooler.

Yes, the road up was a little rough and for some it may not be with the drive for a short day hike. But there were plenty of folk venturing up on the weekend. Just drive like a normal person and it will be fine. Bugs really weren’t as bad as previously reported. Only used spray a couple times over the 3 days. Most bugs were bees and small flies that weren’t biting. Mosquitoes only seemed to be out certain parts of the day. If there was one drawback for campers it would be the fact that fires aren’t allowed within 1/4 mile of the lake. So have to venture a little ways out if having a fire is important to you. I like a good camp fire, but weather was quite comfortable this time of year without one.

I would definitely recommend this hike and do plan on making another trip back next year.

We hiked this trail because we got up to Tolmie Peak and the thick fog prevented any sort of view and we wanted to experience more of what the area had to offer. We backtracked from Tolmie Peak to the fork that leads to the falls and made our way down. Narrow switchbacks from the fork (trail is not well maintained here and your legs will get scratched if you're wearing shorts) and after that just the standard trail in the woods with no scenery. We had no information on this trail and based our decision off of the fact that if the campsite is named after waterfalls, it must be pretty substantial. The falls were a sad little thing and was covered with debris and downed trees. Was definitely not worth the extra 8 miles round trip from the fork. "Under appreciated" for a reason!

hiking
5 months ago

Hiked to Mystic lake via Carbon glacier via Moraine park from the Carbon river trail head.
This hike is about 31 miles. Only about 5k ft of elevation climbing, but mostly on the 2nd half of the outward hike.

Some amazing views, even with all the clouds. You get to see a lot of marmots on the meadows, tiny toads no bigger than your thumb nail, frogs, bats, birds. A lot of different types of wildlife.

Crossing the Carbon river on the log bridge, with the fast moving water flowing beneath you is amazing I feel. Crossing it coming back in the pitch black darkness just with a head light, I felt slightly different, I was sure to keep a steady footing.

A very long day for me, I'm not the fastest hiker but I can go for a long time.

What a day. The best.

hiking
5 months ago

This is a fabulous easy hike, the last little bit before the peak was a bit burley but still a blast. This is one of my favorite hikes so far.

The bugs everyone complaining about? they are everywhere in Washington so wear bug repellent.

PLEASE keep dogs on leash, it's upsetting to get charged by unruly dogs, it concerns me for the wildlife nearby.

The road up is long and crappy but I've seen worse, go slow and use caution the rocks are sharp and I could see a tire getting popped easily.

hiking
5 months ago

I read the reviews before we went and knew ahead of time about the road up. Having an anxious dog who needs to see everything, the ride up was pretty brutal. But, as soon as we got on the trail itself, it was pretty easy going and the views were awesome. I cannot express enough how important it is to leash your dogs though. Even if they are well behaved, you never know what can happen with other approaching dogs/people. It is definitely better to be safe, rather than sorry.

hiking
5 months ago

The road is very rocky and there's a lot of huge potholes. It is not advisable if your car is not fit for off-road driving. The view of the cascades and the lakes are amazing. And the fields of wildflowers were beautiful. However, the bugs were insanely ANNOYING! The bugs will constantly swirm around you and the horse fly bites stung.

hiking
5 months ago

If I had a favorite shade of blue, Summit Lake would be it. A nice gentle hike through the woods with lots of shade, leading up to a gorgeous (and freezing!) alpine lake. Take the loop around the lake for an amazing view at the summit overlooking Mt. Rainier and the water below.

We went to the right on the loop, which was a very gradual ascent. We took the other way down, and that was much rockier and steeper, but still doable at a slower pace. The bugs are NO JOKE!

We only saw a handful of other people along the trail and had the lake to ourselves once we made it down to the beach. The trail that leads to the lake will provide an access point to the water, albeit rocky. If you're looking for more of a beach feel, about a quarter of the way to the right on the lake loop, some side trails wind down towards the water. Again, it's a steep climb, so walk carefully!

And for the road: Yikes. It's exceptionally rocky and filled with giant potholes the entire length. We did pop a tire on our Jeep Wrangler, and had a spare, but no jack. Luckily, we were able to drive up onto a rock and balance the weight to change the tire. If you do venture to the trailhead in a vehicle, make sure you had both of those things so you're not stranded! We didn't get cell phone reception until we hit pavement again, so arranging a tow truck is highly unlikely.

Not worth the drive up

beautiful lake and views from peak above lake. Not worth the access road drive for a 1 hour hike.

The road is just as bad as advertised. Most of it is spent deciding whether to go over the large rocks on one side of the road or through the washed out ruts on the other side. I thought that it probably wouldn't be much worse than the road to Mowich Lake but I was wrong.

The hike itself is fairly enjoyable and the view from the peak overlooking the lake and Mt Rainier is fantastic.

Overall, I probably wouldn't do it again as there are other hikes with just as good of a payoff without the awful road to get to them.

hiking
6 months ago

Sunny 51 degrees at 8:45a
Trip start: 8:58a
Reached Lake: 10:00a
Arrived ridge peak via east trail: 10:30a
Duration at peak: 25-30 min
Return via west trail (did loop) to Trailhead by: 12:00p

Drive from Carbon river bridge: Its true, the road is really rough and rocky (all 6.6 miles of it). I don't feel you need a high clearance vehicle (potholes are wide/shallow, and any washout can be driven around.) Though I do recommend a sturdy reliable vehicle. Go slow and maneuver carefully and you'll be fine. Plan about 30-45 min (I took 25 min in my Audi Q5) I even saw the benchmark Prius at the trailhead. lol

Trailhead parking: The main lot area can easily accommodate about 20 cars (if people park respectfully). But many don't and do a double wide park job. Rude. As usual the road to the TH turns then into a single lane for a bit. As was the case at 12:10p.

Trail condition: Really good. No problems.

Looping the Lake: If you plan to loop the lake, take note. Once you reach the perimeter of the lake, you can go left (towards the open field) or go right via the slightly longer scenic route. Going left you will encounter a lot of side trails...just skirt along the lake. Eventually they all converge and form a single rough, rocky, bushy, steep, trail up the west side of the rocky ridge peak. Its definitely quick. Take the Right scenic route and enjoy less of an incline but see a lot more beauty all around. Either way, its a loop.

Toilets: None at Trailhead. Though, before you cross the Carbon river bridge, go a few hundred yards further (there are two toilets there) as it hosts several other trails there. Park Ranger station you would have passed has no public restrooms.

Overall a great morning hike and no bugs. Mt Rainier looked happy.

trail washout, adds about 1.5 mile detor

backpacking
6 months ago

Absolutely beautiful!! There is a 5 mile rocky road with pot holes just be ware of that. If you take a car it will take you much longer to get to. It took us about 35 minutes in a truck.

The hike itself is not too hard at all. Yes incline but it's fairly quick to the lake. Also millions of Glacier Lilly's to see. We packed in on Sunday which was perfect because others who packed in that weekend were on their way out. We found the best spot thats on a ridge to the right of the lake with a perfect view of the mountain and lake down bellow. The lake is cold and refreshing. Lots of day hikers enjoying the lake too. We convinced a couple that has never been up there to go to the look out at the top, as they were just going to head home after the lake. It may look steep from the lake but it's not super hard and only about 15 minutes to the top at the most. Little snow ridge that is passable up top and the view is incredible!! You won't regret going all the way up!

Bugs. Horse flies at the lake. I had skin so soft that helped keep them at bay but still got bit. Also if you're staying I recommend going to the top to watch the sunset/sunrise but the mosquitoes come out in full force. At least at our camp site we had repellent that had a 15 ft. Radius witch worked well. We had just picked it up from Cabellas.

We did hear some music base while at the lake for about 10 minutes sounded like it was coming from behind the lake. EDM or something like that idk. I love music (at a bar, club or while w/o) but please be mindful that most of us go up there to enjoy the peace and quiet. Use your headphones or at least turn off the base on your player because sound travels easily up there. We also packed out some trash that we saw including a pair of fairly used woman's sandals. Please pack out everything you bring including food scraps. There was a full water bottle in the lake and banana peels, pistachios. Understandably things get over looked or fall out of bags. Do your best and if you can pick stuff up when you see it to help preserve these beautiful places and give the next visitors their best experience!

We will definitely go back. Maybe next time we plan on hiking up bear-mountain trail before heading to the lake. Enjoy!!

hiking
6 months ago

Amazing hike! Beautiful views of Rainier on a clear day. Plenty of spots to camp along the way up and at the top. The bumpy road to the trailhead is definitely worth it.

Had a great time! Didn't know there were so many things to do... will be heading back!

Load More