Summer Lake is an oval, navy-blue lake hidden at the base of the impressive Rocky Mountains on a tributary of the Bull River. High above the lake to the east, towers of light-grey rock stretch upward for hundreds of metres on mountains with dominant names such as Empire State Peak and Chrysler Peak. Crags and fins of rocks rim the entire Summer Lake basin.
Summer Lake is not spectacular for scenery, but it is beautiful and peaceful and worth a scenic drive for a day hike, camping weekend or a picnic and short lakeside walks. Old roads ring halfway around the 2-km-long lake. Camping and picnic sites lie along the eastern lakeshore.
If you are at Summer Lake for a few relaxing days, visiting the tiny Ruault Lake is a good day trip to get your blood moving again. The hike involves mostly hiking on old roads, but has some bushwhacking and routefinding through scratchy subalpine bush. Ruault Lake is a tiny shallow figure-eight-shaped, blue-grey tarn about a half a kilometre long. The tarn has steep grassy and rocky slopes surrounding three sides.
Rock slides tumble from the cliffs high up on Mount Ruault, an impressive white rock peak of limestone, south of the lake. On the western slope a steep grassy avalanche slope rises to the ridge above Bear Lake.
The route from Summer Lake, via Ruault Lake to Bear Lake is not worth it for a crossover traverse, as the car shuttle is several hours long.