Summit Lake, Hatcher Pass, Alaska
Hatcher Pass (3886 ft./1148 m.) is a mountain pass through the southwest part of the Talkeetna Mountains, Alaska. It is named after Robert Hatcher, a prospector and miner. The nearest incorporated communities are Palmer and Wasilla, approximately 12 miles (19 km) to the south, and Willow, approximately 26 miles (42 km) to the west. The communities are at an elevation of approximately 250 feet (76 m) in the Mat-Su valley. Summit Lake State Recreation Site is located at mile 19 of 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. 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 with ground moisture and soil type.