Using the access road for Alta ski lift maintenance you are swept to high elevation without having to do much work. Starting in high alpine meadows, this short climb goes to a stunning alpine lake. A great reward for relatively little effort!
Go up Little Cottonwood Canyon Road (UT-210) towards Alta Ski Resort until the pavement ends. Continue up the obvious dirt road (Albion Basin Road, passable by sedans) till it ends at the Albion Basin Campground. Right before the gates of the campground is the small parking area, which fills very quickly. If you cannot park here, drive back the way you came for half of a mile; park at the Catherine Pass trailhead. The trail begins just to the right of the gate of the Albion Basin Campground parking area.
|When to do|
Late Spring through fall
In National Forest Wilderness
Out and back
Start along the trail and cross a small creek. The first small section of the trail is a narrow single track, however the path soon gets much wider. Soon you will merge onto a wide jeep road, which you will follow for most of the trail. There are a few spots along the road where it looks like a trail diverges, but continue along the jeep track until you reach a signed junction. You will pass over several streams as you traverse the stunning alpine meadows.
As you hike, you will pass several signs explaining the geology and biology of the region. In addition, wildflowers will permeate the lush meadows if you go in the spring. You will soon come across a junction where you will follow signs left toward Cecret Lake.
After this junction, you will switchback up the steepest part of the trail before finally cresting the ridge. The lake is located right below Sugarloaf Mountain to the south, and the subsidiary peaks of Mount Baldy to the southwest. The view up here is nothing short of stunning.
Swimming is not allowed in the lake since it is part of the Salt Lake watershed. After resting on the smooth rocks lining the lake, return the way you came.
A perfect alpine picnic spot!
In the spring, the streams that cross the path tend to run quite high. Bring poles to help with the crossings if you are unsure on your feet.
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