Summit Lake Trail #926

Special Considerations: Motorized use is restricted during the northern spotted owl nesting season, from April 1 through September 30.

Trail Information: The Summit Lake Trail travels through a mixed-conifer forest with small water crossings along the way—look for various aquatic plants within these areas! The trail traverses along black schist soils, which create unique habitats for plants of all kinds. The thick, multi-canopied forest is home to many species of wildlife, including northern spotted owls, black bear, and deer. Please remember to tread lightly through their home!

Things to See and Do: Summit Lake is a small pond located on the summit of Elliott Creek Ridge. It was located along the early-20th Century ‘Penn Sled Trail,’ located between Squaw Creek and Elliott Creek, likely named so because the little lake, located on the summit of a very steep ridge, was a welcome landmark along the trail.  The lake is small and shallow, and is surrounded by old-growth ponderosa pines.  It lies just below Elliott Creek Ridge.  Paths lead up to the ridge for some great views of the surrounding area!


At a Glance

Open Season: Year Round
Usage: Medium
Closest Towns:
  • Ruch, OR
  • Medford, OR
  • Grants Pass, OR
Water: Not available. Surface water should be treated.
Information Center: Siskiyou Mountains Ranger District

General Information


From Ruch, OR, turn left onto Upper Applegate Road and continue approximately 14.8 miles to turn left onto French Gulch Road (Forest Road 490), crossing Applegate Lake Dam. Continue approximately 8.5 miles to the junction of Forest Road 1075 (Squaw Creek Road) and Forest Road 700, and bear right onto Forest Road 1075. Parking lot and Summit Lake Trailhead access is on the right, approximately 300 feet past this junction. (This is also the parking lot for Squaw Lake.)

General Notes:

Trail is not designed for: ATV, 4-wheel drive, barrier free


Mountain Biking

Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

Day Hiking

Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

Horse Riding

Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

OHV Trail Riding

  • Motorized bike use restricted April 1 to September 30
Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
3.0 miles

  Elevation : 
3,040 feet - 4,720 feet range