On Sept 2nd, Terah and I wanted to hike in a new place with great views. Terah found Summit lake just crackin' out. It is beautiful on a clear day with 360 degree view from where there was once a fire tower. The lake is clear, clean, filled with fish jumping and COLD. The hike up to the lake is really easy--no too steep--through lots of wildflowers. Should you wish to go up to the site of the old fire tower, we suggest following the trail to the right. We went all the way around the lake, even though the review we read said that the way down on the Rainer side of the lake would be difficult and hard to follow. I can't say it wasn't entirely easy, but going down the slightly rocky trail wasn't as bad as we expected--and not the worse we have hike this year.
To get to Summit, head out the way you would if you were to go to Mowich entrance of Mt. Rainer. Instead of taking the fork to the right towards Mowich, take the left fork. About 3 miles on the left you will find a bridge across a wide river bed--if you get to the Carbon River entrance to Mt. Rainer, you just passed the bridge. (It's not far--and a good place to for a bathroom break if you need one before/after your hike as there is none at Summit.) Follow the dirt road (dusty and drive slow...it's a bit bumpy but not unpassable.) it will fork a ways up--take the left fork up to the trail head. So no pass for Mt. Rainer needed--you will need the NW forest pass. Make sure it is ON your dashboard/mirror and that it hasn't fallen onto your seat/floor of the vehicle. The forest rangers go up there daily. We got a ticket as the pass fell. I always put up every pass just in case I make a mistake....so the ranger didn't bother to look around--$55 ticket later...that Terah found a way to get us out of the ticket.....here's how we did that. I called the Spokane's district attorney's office--petty offense intern--faxed her a copy of my ticket and my pass. She said she'll take it from there. Let's hope it works!
But here are our pics...hope you enjoy! It was a good day, even with the ticket!