Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

High

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Old-growth forest. Frozen alpine Lakes.

Cons

Large crowds. Near busy ski area.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

4,100.00 ft (1,249.68 m)

Net Elevation Gain

500.00 ft (152.40 m)

Features

Old-growth forest
Cross-country skiing

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

Yes

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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