South Washington Cascades

Summit Lake

Length: 2.5 one_way miles
Low Point: 4400'
High Point: 5439'
Season: Summer/Fall
Scenery: 0/5

Difficulty: 0/5

Submitted by: Forrest


Drive west on State Highway 410 from Enumclaw, 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

Trail Description

Essential Information:
Access Road: Passable by cars. A few potholes at the beginning of road 7810, but nothing too rough.
Water Crossings along trail: None

A lake this beautiful and views this good really should require more work, but the car does most of it on the drive up. I also would have expected more people, but we did visit during a weekday, which probably makes a pretty big difference.

From the trailhead, the path slowly switchbacks through the trees until it meets with Twin Lake, a shallow pond surrounded by trees, with Bearhead Mountain acting as a backdrop. A trail takes off to the south which travels to to the top of Bearhead Mountain and further to Hurricane Gap. Take the trail to the left as it climbs to a saddle above Twin Lake, and then switchbacks more steeply before leveling off more as it traverses a ridge of Beargrass, Lupine, and Indian Paintbrush.

One-and-a-half miles past Twin Lake, the trail dips down to Summit Lake, a pretty large lake sitting in a bowl on the top of the ridge, with a beautiful bluish-green color and Mt. Rainier rising to the south. Hikers can continue along the trail for a mile beyond the lake, to get even better views of both the lake and Rainier from the ridge directly to the West.