This trail starts from Spring Creek Park Trailhead. The road to the trailhead requires highish clearance and low clearance vehicles should park at Spring Creek/Willow Lake Junction. From there, hike the road to the TH, which is approximately an extra 1.5 miles.
The trail proper starts as an undulating singletrack that criss-crosses the road for ~1 mile. The trail then begins ascending through aspen groves and pine forest area. You'll hit the road again, but where the trail begins again is fairly obvious. You can ascend road instead of trail for the first mile if you only want; this cuts off a bit of distance. The climb to the wilderness boundary is relatively gradual but demanding. However, the reward is in the views and the descent. The trail traverses along beautiful grade reversal after grade reversal with relatively little switchbacking.
Climb out of the forest to an awesome ridge with views to Fremont Lake below, White Pine to the south and the Wind River Peaks to the East. You just can't beat the scenery. The trail continues down to the forest and heads back out onto ridge for approximately a mile then dives back into the woods to continue up and out to an exposed bench cut that leads to the wilderness boundary.
Here, at the wilderness boundary, the 3.6 mile mark, just turn around and enjoy the hike back. It's at times rocky, but overall it's a very lovely descent with a nice grade. Or continue on into the high country for another 10.5 miles to Summit Lake.
Continuing on past the wilderness boundary, the trail climbs gradually in the pine forest to overlook, and then descend to Glimpse Lake at the 5.9 mile mark. Then beginning to climb gradually again, almost immediately, still in the forest, the trail reaches a trail sign. Here, a very short side trip to the south (Elkhart Park direction on the sign) leads to Crows Nest Lookout
, a rocky bluff overlooking the Pine Creek drainage/valley, with awesome views. To continue on the trail to Summit Lake, return to the trail sign and go towards Trapper Lake.
Leaving Crows Nest Lookout
behind, climbing gradually, the trail goes through pine forest and rocky, grassy meadows for the next 8.1 miles to its end point at Summit Lake. Along the way it passes many beautiful lakes - Little Trapper Lake, Trapper Lake, Neil Lake, Gottfried Lake, Borum Lake, and more. As the trail climbs, the forested stretches give way to meadows, until the trail is completely in meadows by the time it ends at Summit Lake.
Grassy meadows with summer wildflowers, rocky ridges, and pine forests. Deer live here.