I made another attempt at capturing the towering Mount Rainier over looking Summit Lake with an amazing reflection on water as smooth as glass. Unfortunately, this area has a lot of promise in terms of photography, but the weather always fails to deliver. Heavy winds in the evening created challenging shooting conditions. I am not sure if I want to try a long exposure with a neutral density filter...The morning was followed by still air, but surrounded in fog. Additionally, my airpaid had a slow leak, which left me sleeping on the ground and it was pretty cold. Despite adverse conditions and horrible luck, I still managed to squeeze off a few great photos. Sometimes, the journey is far better than the destination and in this case, I would agree. I saw some amazing wildlife and the trail has a lot of great vistas in which you can enjoy a few glimpses of Mount Rainier.
Going up to the trail to Summit Lake is about three miles on a well maintained trail. The trail is busy on weekends and there are plenty of dogs and their pet owners to keep things interesting.
Figure 1 -
Alpine trail backpacking
The trail does have a few rough spots, but they are fairly uncommon. Earlier in the year, there are sometimes fallen trees that obstruct the trail. Later in the summer the Forest Service manages to clear them out.
Figure 2 -
Summit Lake with Mount Rainier in the background. You can see the potential for a great photograph, if you could ever find a morning without any fog.
Figure 3 -
I have never managed to get a morning shot here with Mount Rainier in the background because of fog!
Figure 4 -
Summit Lake in Fog
Dont forget on your way out of Summit Lake to check out the water falls. There are several along the road on your drive to Bear Mountain Trailhead where the hike to Summit Lake starts. The falls are more impressive in the spring.
Figure 5 -
Water fall near Summit Lake
Keeping warm next to a small fire early in the morning. Sometimes in the Pacific Northwest, building a fire can be a real challenge.
Figure 6 -
There are not too many camping spots at Summit Lake so be prepared to get there early or miss out on the oppurtinity to be near the lake.
Figure 7 -
Camping at Summit Lake