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Alaska Department of Natural Resources

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Denali Overlook - Courtesy of Thomas Bol Photography

Mat-Su Region

Summit Lake State Recreation Site

Summit Lake State Recreation Site


★ ADA Facility - No
★ 360 Acres
★ Limited parking
★ Dirt road access (Summer only)


★ Hiking
★ Trails
★ Skiing
★ Snowmobiling
★ Paragliding
★ Berry Picking
★ Photography

Summit Lake State Recreation Site is located at mile 19.6 Hatcher Pass Road, approximately 2 miles past the Independence Mine State Historic Park turnoff. Hatcher Pass Summit is in the park at an elevation of 3,886 feet. Road access to the park is limited to the summer months, usually July thru late September. The Hatcher Pass Road is maintained by the Alaska Department of Transportation in cooperation with Alaska State Parks.

Summit Lake is a small cirque lake, or tarn, reaching a depth of 20 feet. This cirque was the beginning of a long-gone, alpine glacier. The surrounding terrain is all glacially carved. North of the lake, the uneven ground is caused, not by boulders, but by frost action in combination ground moisture and soil type

. The area is popular during summer months with beautiful vistas. Paragliders can be watched on most summer weekends soaring around the nearby peaks. Blueberries can be found throughout the area in August. The popular April Bowl Trail starts here and climbs to a smaller alpine lake. Adventurous hikers can continue climbing to summit Hatch Peak to the south. Snowball fights can break out unexpectedly during any summer month as the deep snowpack often lingers into late summer on northern slopes. Snow can fall any month of the year at this elevation. In the winter, the area is mainly used by skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers as the gateway to the west side of the Hatcher Pass Management Area.

Hatcher Pass Road Conditions: Please note that the Hatcher Pass Road from Mile 17.5 to Mile 32.5 is a rough, gravel, narrow and steep road. Expect slow passage. The use of RV's or large vehicles is not recommended.

Mile 19.2 Hatcher Pass Road. Road Access only in Summer Months, usually July thru late September.

Driving Directions:
From Palmer - Take the Glenn Hwy., exit Hatcher Pass Road. Approximately 2 miles past the Independence Mine State Historic Park turnoff.

From Willow - Take the George Parks Hwy. to Hatcher Pass Road. Located at milepost 19.2 Hatcher Pass Road.

Mission Statement

"The Division of Parks and Outdoor Recreation provides outdoor recreation opportunities and conserves and interprets natural, cultural, and historic resources for the use, enjoyment, and welfare of the people."

Accessibility Notice

Division of Parks & Outdoor Recreation

Atwood Building
550 West 7th Avenue
Suite 1380
Anchorage, AK 99501
DNR Public Information Center:
(907) 269-8400
DPOR Director's Office:
(907) 269-8700