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Friends of Mount Evans and Lost Creek Wilderness
Summit Flats - Trail # 82

(Click Map for PDF)

Beginning Elevation: 12850
High Point: 12850
End Elevation: 10500
Difficulty: Moderate
Length, One Way: 4 miles
Seasons: Summer
USGS Quads: Mount Evans, Harris Park
Other Maps: Arapaho National Forest, Trails Illustrated #104
Usage Level: Low


Trail Heads

Summit Lake

Connecting Trails

Chicago Lakes


This seldom used trail offers spectacular views as descends into the upper Bear Creek basin.

Hiking down from Summit Lake to Resthouse Meadows, the Summit Flats Trail presents outstanding views down the Bear Creek Basin to the plains beyond. From the parking lot at Summit Lake, cross the Mount Evans road and follow it easterly to the point where the trail takes off southeasterly across Summit Flats. The trail can be vague, so watch for cairns leading the way across the tundra. The trail becomes more clearly defined as you begin to descend the ridge between Bear Creek and Tumbling Creek and enter the timber.

Trail's History

The Summit Flats trail generally follows what was known in the early 1900’s as the Mt. Evans trail. The Mt. Evans trail began around the Bear Creek Ranger Station and followed Bear Creek west past Camp Rock and followed today’s Beaver Meadows to the Resthouse at the foot of Resthouse Meadows. There it crossed to the south side of Bear Creek and followed the south edge of Resthouse Meadows to its west end, where it joined present day Summit Flats trail and climbed the ridge between Bear Creek and Tumbling Creek. Upon reaching Summit Flats, southeast of Summit Lake, it continued to climb upward to the summit of Mt. Evans. The Mt. Evans trail was abandoned sometime in the 1940s, but later the Summit Lake trail was built using much of the old trail between Resthouse Meadows and Summit Flats. In 2010, the trail was renamed Summit Flats to avoid confusion with the Denver Mountain Parks trail at Summit Lake.