Summit Lake (Willow, Alaska)

Summit Lake is a very small tarn (cirque lake) located above the tree line within the Hatcher Pass of the Talkeetna Mountains in Willow, Alaska, United States.

Summit Lake
A mid-summer view of Summit Lake
Summit Lake
Location of Summit Lake within the
State of Alaska
LocationWillow, Alaska
United States
Coordinates61°45′58″N 149°19′16″W
TypeNatural lake
Part ofSusitna River Basin
Primary inflowsSnow fields & springs
Primary outflowsWillow Creek[Note 1]
Basin countriesUnited States
Managing agencyAlaska Department of Natural Resources: Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation
DesignationState recreational site
Max. depth20 feet (6.1 m)[1]
Surface elevation3,600 feet (1,100 m)[1]


The lake is located about 2,000 feet (610 m) southwest of the summit of Hatcher Pass, about 2 miles (3.2 km) southwest of the Independence Mine State Historic Park, and about 2,500 feet (760 m) northwest of Hatch Peak. It is also about 26 miles (42 km) west of main area of Willow and about 12 miles (19 km) north of both Palmer and Wasilla. The lake is situated within (and is the namesake of) the Summit Lake Recreation Site[1] The lake is fed directly by springs and snow fields and flows via a waterfall into beginning of Willow Creek.[Note 1] Willow Creek feeds into the Susitna River, which empties into the Cook Inlet of the Gulf of Alaska.

While lake is very small, it is still a very popular site for photography.[2][3][4][5] In addition to the lake's very scenic views in the summer, the area is also a destination for hiking and paragliding. In winter, the area is also popular for backcountry winter sports and access to the area is maintained year-round. However, complete access through the pass (including access from Willow) is usually not possible until early July.[6] The lake itself is accessed from the gravel road by a wide, but short and fairly rocky trail.[7]

See also


  1. The Willow Creek (into which the Summit Lake drains) should not be confused with Willow Creek, Alaska, a census-designated place about 133 miles (214 km) east of Summit Lake.


  1. "Summit Lake State Recreation Site". Alaska Department of Natural Resources: Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation. Retrieved 26 Dec 2015.
  2. Day, Ron. "Alaska at Sunrise: The April Bowl Trail". Retrieved 30 Dec 2015.
  3. "Sunhusky's Alaska: Hatcher Pass - Summit Lake". 9 Sep 2011. Retrieved 30 Dec 2015.
  4. "Hatcher Pass & Alpenglow Wedding: Julia & Adam". Erica Rose Photography. 22 Sep 2013. Retrieved 30 Dec 2015.
  5. Ylitalo, Emily (3 Aug 2013). "Summit Lake, Hatcher Pass". Retrieved 30 Dec 2015.
  6. "Summit Lake State Recreation Area". Alaska Channel. Retrieved 26 Dec 2015.
  7. "Summit Lake". Alaska Department of Administration. Retrieved 30 Dec 2015.

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.