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Grace and Summit Lakes

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Grace and Summit Lakes

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  • Departing from the parking lot on the cat track with the Mountaineers' winter cabin in view.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • A closer view of the Mountaineers' winter cabin.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • Passing another winter cabin.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • Hearty fir forest.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • A thick snow bank along the way.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • Some heavy spring snowfall.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • A large group of Mountaineers heading out after a weekend course in backcountry survival.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • A solo snowshoer.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • The Grace Lakes meadows.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • Looking out a small "window" in a shelter left by the Mountaineers.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • The Mountaineers' snow shelter.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • Summit Lake from the north shore.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • Summit Lake from the north shore.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • A sun break while heading out cross-country.- Grace and Summit Lakes
  • - Grace and Summit Lakes
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Old-growth forest. Frozen alpine Lakes.
Cons: 
Large crowds. Near busy ski area.
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Region:
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
No
Groomed trail: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,100.00 ft (1,249.68 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Contributor

Summit Lake sits nestled in a small basin directly below the popular Grace Lakes basin on the western edge of the Stevens Pass Ski Area. This area gets a lot of attention from outdoor recreation clubs who use the convenient location to teach and practice a plethora of winter backcountry skills. It can also be an excellent place for beginners to build their confidence with cross-country snow travel.

The route shoves off from the ski area's southern and upper parking lot, where a short path climbs the slope into the tree cover. Find the groomed cat track here and head west to begin snowshoeing past several maintenance buildings and winter cabins. As a general guideline in snowshoeing etiquette, it's best to always give skiers and snowboarders the right-of-way by sticking to the edges of groomed runs. Take extra care to watch for swift downhill traffic within this first half mile, as the track winds through a dense fir corridor with a few blind corners. At almost a mile in, the forest gives way to a clearing where you would see the first of the tiny Grace Lakes if it didn't happen to be buried beneath the snow. From here, you can ascend the fluffy banks to explore the meadows where the other ponds reside, or resume the path that drops down a few hundred feet to the inviting north shore of Summit Lake.

Always check weather and avalanche reports before traveling into the backcountry. There are posted avalanche warning signs in the area.

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(28 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(96 within a 30 mile radius)

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