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A beautiful switchback climb through fir forests to Summit Lake, a sub-alpine lake.


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Map Key

3.2

Miles

5.1

KM

Point to Point

6,434' 1,961 m

High

5,464' 1,665 m

Low

978' 298 m

Up

40' 12 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

32%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

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 hiking 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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  3.7 from 3 votes

#23715

Overall
  3.7 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#134

in Alberta

#23,715

Overall
6 Views Last Month
1,921 Since Dec 23, 2016
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Photos

Gorgeous views of Summit Lake, Chapman Peak (left), and Mount Custer (right) make the Carthew - Alderson Traverse a must-do.
Dec 20, 2016 near Pincher…, AB
On the Carthew - Alderson Traverse, Chapman Peak welcomes visitors through the trees.
Dec 20, 2016 near Pincher…, AB
Mount Custer offers a spectacular backdrop to any journey along Cameron Lake.
Dec 20, 2016 near Pincher…, AB
Cameron Lake is below the Carthew Alderson Traverse trail on a clear, late June morning, of a high snow pack year.
Jul 25, 2022 near Pincher…, AB
Glacier lilies abound as the snow finally melts here in late June.
Jul 25, 2022 near Pincher…, AB
Amid all the snow, is the still ice and snow covered Summit Lake, 4 days before Canada Day - July 1.
Jul 25, 2022 near Pincher…, AB

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Jul 28, 2016
Joan Pendleton
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