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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.) .



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



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

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