I did a nice little mid week hike up to Summit Lake and Summit Lake Peak north of Mount Rainier with my daughter. The last 6+ miles of the road in are a little rough and the going was slow, but standard passenger vehicles should do fine up it. We got to the trailhead around noon and promptly headed up the trail!
My hiking partner
Summit Lake trail
After a couple hundred feet we came across a solo hiker who informed us views were great and bugs weren't too bad. I had brought bug spray but we didn't need it. The trail is in decent shape. There are a few blowdowns but there was a crew of four gentlemen clearing some of the downed trees. Thanks guys! I had read a report on WTA suggesting the wildflowers were out in full force, but the bear grass looked to be just starting to bloom. After a half a mile and half an hour of hiking, I packed my daughter in her carrier to quicken the pace. She is getting heavy! She's probably a touch over 40 pounds and with the pack and gear there was probably 50+ pounds on my back, much more than I'd ever carry backpacking. I was feeling it. After a quick mile we reached Twin Lake but didn't linger much and continued on.
After another mile or two we reached Summit Lake! It was pretty impressive. There were many many "closed for restoration" signs and meadows blocked off, but there were several inviting camp sites, particularly on the north side of the lake. I let my daughter out of the carrier and she hiked the rest of the way up to the summit on her own. After circling the lake and reaching the ridge views started to open up! The forecast was supposed to be warm and sunny but we got clouds and wind. Still had some good views though, Summit Lake is beautiful! Such deep blue water! By the time we got to the summit views were pretty cloudy, but we snacked on some Raspberries and watched the clouds swirl around in front of Rainier.
Summit Lake selfie
North of Summit Lake
Interesting tree shell
Hiking through wildflowers
Views open up
Summit Lake with Bearhead and Rainier
Summit Lake Peak summit view
Raspberries at the summit
After a short stay we headed back. My daughter had a fun time running down through the meadows. Soon she tuckered out and I packed her in the backpack the rest of the way down. I was plesantly surprised with this trip. Short and relatively easy, unless you are carrying a toddler on your back, but a great area. This would be prefect for a beginner backpacking trip, which I may take my family on at some point. I was also surprised at how many people were up there on a Thursday. We passed maybe 40 people and probably 75% were female which was also a surprise. All in all a great trip! I'll probably be back!
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