This trail provides an important link between Stein Butte Trail and Squaw Lakes.
If you're doing this as an up-and-back from Squaw Lake, expect a sturdy climb before the reward. Otherwise, this trail may be enjoyed as the crowning downhill portion of a longer loop involving Stein Butte Trail and the Applegate Lake shoreline. Steep pitches, tight switchbacks, and smooth surfaces are enjoyed as the forest changes from spruce and fir up on the ridge, down through pine, madrone, and oak.
Summit Lake itself may not be as memorable as the trail: out of sight off the main trail, it is a shallow frog-pond at best, or grassy meadow during dry periods.