Summit Lake

Last month in an attempt to get away from some of the hot weather I headed up into Tahoe for a quick day hike with my mom and our assortment of dogs. We both have two kids each so it makes for interesting car trips. We try to car pool as often as possible seeing that gas at $4+ a gallon  in California. Ouch!

Anyway, I digress. Don’t you hate when that happens? So, we decided to check out Summit Lake. I had read good things about it and as it was near Donner Summit I figured it had to be cooler there then what we were facing that weekend. So off we went…

We took the trail towards Glacier Meadow.

There were still tons of wildflowers in bloom.

Tiger Lilies

This might have been Glacier Meadow…

Or maybe is was this part of the trail that was a little on the narrow side…\

The whole hike up we couldn’t stop talking about the wildflowers, the wonderful weather, and how if this portion of the hike was amazing then Summit Lake must be beautiful as well. Let’s just say…we were not disappointed.

Summit Lake

Summit Lake

So what happens when you get a Lexi, I mean a Lab, near water? You end up with a wet dog and occasionally if you’re not paying attention you might end up swimming yourself. Thankfully, I did not end up in the Lake. Burrr!!!


Abby on the other hand…she prefers sitting on rocks catching some sun and letting the wind blow through her ears.


This was our view for part of the trip down.

Donner Summit

If you’re interested in taking a few hours and hitting the trail you totally should. I would do this hike again in a heartbeat. It was BEAUTIFUL!!! It’s a moderate hike with plenty of places to stop for pictures along the way, i.e. catch your breath if needed. In total the hike is four miles long and can be finished in a couple of hours unless you decide to get a little carried away with the pictures, stop for a picnic, take a swim, or continue on and link into one of the other trails in the area.

You can get to the trailhead by exiting I-80 at Boreal. Drive about .4 miles east along the freeway on the Boreal side You start hiking at the Pacific Crest Trailhead (PCT) which reminds me I want to read Wild by Cheryl Strayed. My sister just picked up a copy and really likes it so far. She cried through the first chapter. Here’s what the NY Times had to say. I’m thinking I’ll do the audiobook version as I commute so much.

Feel free to tell me to get back on track and on with more info about the trail anytime folks, I don’t mind. So, head east paralleling the freeway, trust me its not as bad as it sounds and will be over quickly. After half a mile turn left and follow the sign towards Castle Peak and Peter Grubbs Hut. You’ll go through a I-80, imagine my surprise. Next there will be a fork in the trail. Go right for Summit Lake and Warren Lake. There will be another fork. Stay to your right for Summit Lake.

Parking is free and no permits are required. It is doggy and horse friendly.


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