“A beautiful switchback climb through fir forests to Summit Lake, a sub-alpine lake.
— Joan Pendleton
Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The trailhead for Summit Lake Trail is Cameron Lake, on the Akamina Parkway, about 11 miles from Waterton Townsite. Shuttle service from Waterton Townsite, stops at many points along the Akamina Parkway, including Cameron Lake.
Summit Lake Trail starts in a thick fir forest, along the north end of Cameron Lake. Beautiful views of Cameron Lake with Mt. Custer at its other (south) end, can be seen through the trees. Leaving Cameron Lake behind, the trail climbs a series of switchbacks. The trees thin as altitude is gained, and the vegetation becomes a mix of meadows with wildflowers and shorter trees. Summit Lake is reached shortly after the switchbacks end.
Summit Lake is a small, sub-alpine lake. Looking across Summit Lake, one can see Chapman Peak and Mt Custer. When running the Carthew - Alderson Traverse
, one turns left at Summit Lake, onto the Carthew - Alderson Trail
Continuing straight on the trail from Summit Lake, takes one to the North Boundary Trail
in Montana. Forty-five years ago, the trail that goes straight out of Summit Lake, was part of the Mother Duck Trail, that also included today's Summit Lake Trail and Northern Boundary Trail. Today, the name of this trail that goes straight out from Summit Lake, is unknown. Summit Lake is the summit of the old Mother Duck Trail.
This is a segment of the GDT (Great Divide Trail): greatdividetrail.com
Flora & Fauna
Fir forests, sub-alpine meadows.