Summit Lake State Recreation Site

Quick Facts

Summit Lake State Recreation Site


(907) 745-2827

Map Directions

Things To Do


Summit Lake is a small cirque lake, or tarn, reaching a depth of 20-feet. This cirque was the beginning of a long-gone, alpine glacier. The surrounding terrain is all glacially carved. North of the lake, the uneven ground is caused, not by boulders, but by frost action in combination ground moisture and soil type. There is a trail around Summit Lake, and along the bluff above, and west, of the lake. The views from the bluff viewpoint are outstanding, including the Willow Creek Drainage, the Susitna Valley, and the western arc of the Alaska Range. Best viewing is on a clear morning. The scenic viewpoint is a popular launch site for paragliders in the summer, who can ride the updrafts for several hours on a good day. Above, and east of, Summit Lake, is April Bowl. This very small valley also has a cirque lake and several small ponds. This area is popular in the winter. Winter recreation includes back country skiing, snow boarding, and snowshoeing. The park is open to snowmachines when snow depth allows. Avalanches occur regularly on the steep slopes in the area.

Map of Summit Lake State Rec. Site (AK)

Latitude, Longitude: 61.767358, -149.322395



  • Hiking

    There is a trail around Summit Lake, and along the bluff above, and west, of the lake. Backcountry hiking is also encouraged.

  • Historic Sites

    Independence Mine State Historic Park is nearby.

  • Off Highway Vehicles

    Snowmachines are allowed when the snow depth is ideal.

  • Winter Sports

    Winter recreation is very popular here, and includes beautiful scenery. Back country skiing, snow boarding, and snowshoeing as well as the use of snowmachines when snow depth allows are all possible here. Be wary of avalanches.


Open year-round. Sports vary in summer and winter so plan accordingly.



Northwest of Palmer, at milepost 19.2 on Hatcher Pass Road. Road access to the park is limited to the summer months, usually July thru late September.

Phone Numbers


(907) 745-2827