Summit Peak Trail is a popular day hike among locals that features continual and often significant elevation gain right in the heart of Stone Mountain Provincial Park. The trail starts at the information pull-off across the highway from Summit Lake Campground, where you will find a trailhead sign with a map of the route. After a creek crossing near the start, the trail begins a 1-kilometer ascent above the creek bed and through pine and spruce tree cover. Once through the forest section, the trail takes a turn to the right and begins to clamber up the stone-faced ridge of Mount St. Paul.
At this point the trail works its way through boulder fields and scree as it ascends up Mount St. Paul. Finding the trail is made easier by rock cairns built of piled stones for approximately 3 kilometers before reaching the first viewpoint near the summit. At this point hikers will be in view of their ultimate goal and the summit of Mount St. Paul, where a slight elevation loss will be required to complete the final approach to the last rock cairn atop of the Summit Peak Trail. The summit offers excellent panoramic views of Stone Mountain Provincial Park and the Rocky Mountain foothills. There is also a good chance to spot stone sheep, which often use this area as a breeding or rearing area.
Special notes: After the creek crossing near the start, the trail provides no readily available water source, so hikers should pack adequate amounts to avoid the chance of dehydration. This route is exposed to sun and weather, which can often change suddenly. Be prepared for all weather conditions.
Although most will turn around at the summit of Mount St. Paul, there is the option to continue westward on the ridge, which would extend the hiking distance to whatever one sees fit. More experience or preparation is recommended because this option would see more elevation loss and gain overall.