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Backpacking: Wyoming > Yellowstone National Park

Quick Facts

Summit Lake Trail

Difficulty: Difficult
Elevation: 7,300 Feet (2275.6 Meters) Approximately
Elevation Gain: 1,266 Feet (394.6 Meters)
Length: 15 Miles (25.0 Kilometers) Out and Back
Recommended Season: Summer
TI Topo Maps: Old Faithful
USGS Maps: Old Faithful and Summit Lake

Outfitters and Guides

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This trail, which begins as a boardwalk, crosses the trail to Mystic Falls at 1/2 mile. A left turn here will lead to a short walk to the falls. Continue on, past the junction, to cross a large meadow. Beyond the meadow the trail becomes more faint, crosses a burned forest, and begins climbing. The trail climbs 900 feet in two miles. You will reach a plateau where you follow an unnamed stream to the lake.

Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, and a Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight stays. Each designated campsite has a maximum limit for the number of people and stock allowed per night. The maximum stay per campsite varies from 1 to 3 nights per trip. Campfires are permitted only in established fire pits. Wood fires are not allowed in some backcountry campsites. A food storage pole is provided at most designated campsites so that food and attractants may be secured from bears. Neither hunting nor firearms are allowed in Yellowstone's backcountry.

Permits may be obtained only in person and no more than 48 hours in advance of your trip.Permits are available from most ranger stations and visitor centers. In order to obtain the best information on trail conditions, permits should be obtained from the ranger station or visitor center nearest to the area where your trip is to begin. The Backcountry Use Permit is valid
only for the itinerary and dates specified. Backcountry travelers must have their permits in possession while in the backcountry.

Directions from Madison Junction: Drive 14 miles south (or 2 miles north from Old Faithful Village) and turn into the Biscuit Basin parking area on the west side of the trail.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: June through September .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Yellowstone has a designated backcountry campsite system, and a Backcountry Use Permit is required for all overnight stays.
ICON Hiking & Walking Summit Lake Trail

Related Activities
Mystic Falls Trail - Mystic Falls Trail, located near Old Faithful, offers a moderate 2.4 mile roundtrip hike.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Yellowstone National Park, P.O. Box 168 , Yellowstone, WY, 82190, Phone: 307-344-7381


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