Summit Lake Loop

Donner, California

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The hike to Summit Lake is an easy 2-mile-plus, mostly forested stroll to a quiet lake quite suitable for an afternoon swim on a hot summer day, or for plunking a line in search of the resident trout. Camping around the lake is permissible, but the area is accessible to the four-wheel-drive crowd via a dirt road to the east. With recent completion of a section of the Donner Lake Rim Trail, you can now extend the trip beyond a simple out-and-back to the lake by traveling west through serene forest to a connection with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT ) in Castle Valley and then back to the Donner Summit trailhead.

Summit Lake Loop Professional Review and Guide

"The hike to Summit Lake is an easy 2-mile-plus, mostly forested stroll to a quiet lake quite suitable for an afternoon swim on a hot summer day, or for plunking a line in search of the resident trout.

Camping around the lake is permissible, but the area is accessible to the four-wheel-drive crowd via a dirt road to the east. With recent completion of a section of the Donner Lake Rim Trail, you can now extend the trip beyond a simple out-and-back to the lake by traveling west through serene forest to a connection with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT ) in Castle Valley and then back to the Donner Summit trailhead."

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Donner
Distance: 7
Elevation Gain: 550 feet
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 3 hours
Season: Best July through mid-October
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Tahoe National Forest at 530-587-3558, www.fs.usda.gov/tahoe
Local Maps: USGS 7.5-minute Norden (trail not shown)

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Jun 2018