Home | Getting Started | Gift Center | Gear Store | Topo Maps | My Wildernet | Newsletter Signup

Camping: California > Tahoe National Forest > Truckee Ranger District

Quick Facts

Summit Lake Trail

Beginning Elevation: 7,200 Feet (2244.4 Meters)
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 200 Feet (62.3 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 7,400 Feet (2306.7 Meters)
Length, One-way: 2 Miles (3.33 Kilometers)
USGS Map: Norden

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

The Summit Lake Trail is an easy 2 mile trail at an elevation of 7,200 feet. For the first mile this hike follows the Pacific Crest Trail Access Trail (15E18) in an easterly direction and then follows the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for another mile in a northerly direction, passing through a tunnel under I-80. Shortly after the underpass the intersection with the Summit Lake Trail (15E-09) is clearly marked.

The trail climbs moderately and crosses two small creeks, which are separated by a low, glaciated, granitic ridge. Beyond this the trail arcs though a meadow which is full of many beautiful wildflowers from spring though late summer. The trail continues past the intersection with the Warren Lake Trail, veering to the right and out to the edge of a bald, descending ridge. From here, under a delightful forest cover, it is a brief hike to the south corner of the lake. Summit Lake is populated with eastern brook and rainbow trout. Camping is available at the lake.

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.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: June through October (NOTE: may be accessible year round.) .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

No trip reports filed to date. Please be the first one to do so!

Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Backpacking is available on this trail. The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) intersects with this trail.
ICON Camping Camping is available at Summit Lake.
ICON Fishing Fishing is available in Summit Lake.
ICON Hiking & Walking Summit Lake Trail
ICON Lakes & Reservoirs Summit Lake
ICON Specialized Landcraft (OHV's) This a designated OHV trail.

Related Activities
Glacier Meadow Loop Trail - The Glacier Meadow Loop Trail is an easy 0.5 mile loop at an elevation of 7,200 feet. This trail is very short, self-guided nature trail. The trail explains how glacial action carved and polished the surface landscape.

Sand Ridge Lake Trail - The Sand Ridge Lake Trail (14E11) is a moderately difficult 6 mile hike at an elevation of 7,200 feet. The lake offers nice campsites and an enjoyable place for a refreshing swim, but the fishing is not very promising.

Warren Lake Trail - The Warren Lake Trail is a very difficult 7 mile hike at an elevation of 7,200 feet. On the western side of the lake there are a number of inviting campsites with opportunities for fishing and rock climbing.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Truckee Ranger District, 10342 Hwy 89 north , Truckee, CA, 96161, Phone: 530-587-3558, TTY: 530-587-6907


About Wildernet |  Email to a Friend  |  Disclaimer |  Privacy |  Contact Us  | Comments & Suggestions
Advertisers & Sponsors |  Owners & Operators |  Tourism Promotors
©1995-2019 Interactive Outdoors Inc. All rights reserved.