Sep 15, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Summit Lake
- Region: Mt. Rainier
- Agency: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Snoqualmie Ranger District
- Trails: Summit Lake (#1177)
- Avg Rating: 4.12
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Fall foliage
- Ripe berries
This was one of those weekends when everything falls perfectly into place and the universe conspires to remind me that I am one lucky woman.
We got a late start on the Summit Lake trail at 5PM saturday, and arrived at Summit Lake just in time to take in one epic sunset over Mt. Rainier from the meadow near the lake before setting up camp. Perfect weather and clear (if cold) skies made for ideal conditions for hours of star gazing and some star photography from that same meadow look-out. We saw only one other set of over-night campers, although we heard that there might have been one other group camped on the ridge.
The next day we hiked to the top of the cliffs and soaked up the late summer sunshine under the gaze of Rainier, lingered for a lazy afternoon, meandered through meadows and zen gardens, ate blueberries, and enjoyed every last minute of this wonderland.
Wildfires in the Cascades reduced the visibility and clarity, but made for some spectacular lighting as the distant mountains faded, especially in the late afternoon. We packed our gear and headed down the trail as the sun set, wildfire-tinted pastel skies making a watercolor canvas backdrop to the wooded trail, with more sunset views of Rainier and the surrounding hills peeking through occasionally. Made it back to the van just as we were losing light on the trail, where we were the last car in the parking lot.