Grace and Summit Lakes

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

Start Exploring
Grace and Summit Lakes


  • 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
Old-growth forest. Frozen alpine Lakes.
Large crowds. Near busy ski area.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Pets allowed: 
Groomed trail: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
500.00 ft (152.40 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Total Distance: 
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
4,100.00 ft (1,249.68 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


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.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Men's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Men's • $431-475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Standard Fit • $189.95-199.95 • Mammut | Amazon | Backcountry

Small Fit • $199.95 • Mammut | Amazon

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Men's and Women's • $179

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

$79.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Men's • $99.95-181.63 • The North Face | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $99.95-100.00 • The North Face | Backcountry

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Men's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Men's • $41.32-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $49.95-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

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.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(28 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(99 within a 30 mile radius)

Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
12 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
Submission by
58 Adventures Explored
56 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info