Albion Basin: Wildflowers and the Hike to Cecret Lake. Drive 11.3 miles up Little Cottonwood Road to the parking lot for the Cecret Lake trailhead at the end of the road. Enter your email address to subscribe to Carltonaut's Travel Tips and receive notifications of new posts by email. Great hike with kids. Thank you. Your email address will not be published. Cons: Very Crowded. If you are a resident of another country or region, please select the appropriate version of Tripadvisor for your country or region in the drop-down menu. . You can find the schedule on their Website for various hikes and activities. I think there would still be flowers at that time, based on what I’m seeing in photos of the area. The parking area fills up fast so another option in the Summer (on weekends and holidays) is to take the free shuttle from the town of Alta to the trailhead. That’s how you know you’re going the right way. Bear to the right off the exit ramp onto 6200 South and head east. Congestion: High Preferable Season(s): Summer, Fall Day-Use/Parking Pass Required: Not Required Dogs allowed: No Total Distance: 1.60 â¦ Typically, the wait between shuttles is around 10-20 minutes. Cecret Lake is an excellent beginner hike and very popular. Cecret Lake is also a protected watershed for Salt Lake City. The shuttle transports summer visitors from downtown Alta toward… Destinations: Cecret Lake is the primary attraction in Albion Basin, and the 1.5 mile round trip from the Cecret Lake parking lot is one of the most popular hikes in Utah. The colors of the flowers is quickly fading. Bring binocs and camera for the trip, especially bug spray at the lake ( stay out from the trees). We had to tell him to slow down so us old folks could catch up to him. So much so that the city of Alta provides a free shuttle bus on the weekends beginning mid July to transport hikers to the trailheads for both Lake Catherine and Cecret Lake. Sure, it's a longer hike but WOW, the wildflowers are amazing and vibrant in July! Your email address will not be published. All photos by Outdoor Project Contributor, Kyle Jenkins Pros: Short Hike. You’ll also come across many families or brides & grooms getting their photos taken. No dogs. My Fitbit said we walked 7.64 miles, round trip. The basin is truly breathtaking and the air is so cool up here. It is a great hike in so many ways – wildlife, wildflowers and scenery. It is not known why the name is spelled with a Â«Â CÂ Â» instead of an Â«Â SÂ Â» but it is believed that it was named by a miner working in the area. (It'll turn south after a bit and merge with Wasatch Boulevard, but just stay on the main road.) But I don’t think they’ll be as prevalent as they are right now. This shuttle service operates from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with the last van departing from the Cecret Lake trailhead at the upper end of the road at 4:30 p.m. In. Congestion: High Preferable Season(s): Summer, Fall Day-Use/Parking Pass Required: Not Required Dogs allowed: No Total Distance: 1.60 mi (2.57 km) Trailhead Elev. Cecret Lake is reached by driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Albion Basin above Alta Ski Resort. But I’ve had people complain that it isn’t always running. That’s why Alta Ski Resort is a great place to hike from. We were told at the booth at the bottom if there are no parking spaces to park on the side of the road but not block it. We wore masks as people passed but took them off when we weren't near others. It is a popular, beautiful hike that leads to a gorgeous lake set just under Sugarloaf Peak. You can drive on a dirt road and get further up the canyon, but we enjoyed starting at the bottom of Albion Basin and hiking up to Cecret Lake. As with any hike, it’s a good idea to have the right gear with you. Two years ago the Alta Ski Lifts company ran their Sunnyside lift, which takes you about half way up; we are hoping they will run the lift again this summer. Interpretive signs along the route provide information on the geology, hydrology, and plant and animal life in Albion Basin. The trail to Cecret Lake is an amazing hike that travels in a basin underneath tall skyscraper mountains like Devils Castle and Sugarloaf Mountain. I’ve seen at least one moose on two of my three visits. Need a shuttle everyday - not just Sat & Sun. Cecret Lake might soon be called Kumbaya Lake where all troubles flee. RELATED POST: Check out these botanical gardens. Someone mentioned on a Facebook group that there are lots of buds, but the flowers aren’t there just yet. Cecret Lake (pronounced like the word ‘secret’) is an easy, family friendly hike located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon Road that starts at the west side of the Albion Basin Campground. Due to extremely limited parking access at Cecret Lake/Catherine's Pass Trailheads and to reduce congestion on the Summer Road and in the upper Albion Basin parking areas, it is highly recommended that hikers park in the Wildcat base area parking lot and hike the Lower Albion Meadows Trail to the Upper Albion Meadows Trail or ride the $5 shuttle provided by Alta Ski Area. We hiked up on a beautiful day, not too strenuous at all with easy incline and obvious pathway up/down. It's closer to the mile hike. You’ll drive as far as you can on pavement, parking at the Alta Ski Resort lodge (Albion Grill). You won’t necessarily want to arrive at the Albion Basin Campground, but at some point, you’ll reach a trail that heads west. Moose, deer, and various wildlife can be seen from the trail. Just enjoy the beauty of the area and watch the salamanders - they are so cool! We had a 4 year old, two 6 year olds and an 8 year old with us and all made the hike without being carried. The Indian paintbrush and the other colorful flowers of the high Utah mountains are a wonderful way to relax. Take I-215 East about 5 miles to 6200 South (Exit 6). Cecret Lake is a beautiful alpine lake high in the Wasatch Mountains that offers beautiful views of the Albion Basin and Little Cottonwood Canyon. The Town of Alta provides a free shuttle service from the lower Albion parking lot at the bottom of the summer road into the Upper Basin during summer months from 9:30am â 5:30pm. On busy weekends, a free shuttle is often available from the Alta to the Cecret Lake trailhead. Gonna load up the fam and head up the canyon! The shuttle bus up to the meadows may cost you $6. Are the flowers out yet, or behind in the bloom? The lower part through the flowers is a flatter, wider trail but it inclines all the way to the campground. Pick up your own trash. Cecret Lake Trail is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Sandy, Utah that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. It's closer to the mile hike. Mosquito spray is a must, especially if you think you’ll be up the mountain near sunset (speaking from personal experience). Cost: Parking and hiking from the Albion Grill at Alta Ski Resort are free. I love to travel and take photos. the Wasatch National Forest. It’s where you’ll find some of the most colorful wildflowers. DON'T! During the week, Alta charges $8/car to park at the Cecret Lake Trailhead. Typically, the wait between shuttles is around 10-20 minutes. You can drive on a dirt road and get further up the canyon, but we enjoyed starting at the bottom of Albion Basin and hiking up to Cecret Lake. The views are outstanding and just keep getting better as you gain altitude. The hike is just under 1 mile to the lake and should take about 30 minutes. Beautiful place but crowded and parking is tough, This is a classic easy hike for people in Salt Lake City. I was thinking of going today. (Updated Aug. 30, 2020). The trail to Cecret Lake is known for incredible wildflowers and the occasional moose sighting (I saw 3 last summer! Cecret Lake is an excellent beginner hike and very popular. Distance to Sugarloaf via Eastern Ridge - 3.4 miles round trip. As such, it may be necessary to park in the lower lots or even down at the town of Alta and take the free shuttle van which runs continuously during the weekends. ... Elevation Gain to Cecret Lake - 420 feet. But, there is a problem: The population of Salt Lake City has grown to be large, and the Central Wasatch is small. You can drive on a dirt road and get further up the canyon, but we enjoyed starting at the bottom of Albion Basin and hiking up to Cecret Lake. Cecret Lake Trail Description. There is a shuttle from the Alta Ski Resort to the Upper Meadows of Albion Basin. Youâll drive as far as you can on pavement, parking at the Alta Ski Resort lodge (Albion Grill). more. Maybe give it another week or so. I look forward to sharing my travel tips with you. The good news… it’s down hill the entire way back to where you parked. Required fields are marked *. It may look tough, but you can do it. If you buy something through one of those links, you won’t pay a penny more, but I’ll get a small commission, which helps me gather more travel tips for you. Exposed trail. Carry snacks with you and you'll be fine. From the trailhead near Albion Grill, follow the trails up the mountain. We hiked to Cecret Lake and the views were spectacular. The Clearest Lake In Utah Is Almost Too Beautiful To Be Real. Cecret Lake is a rare alpine gem that is stunningly beautiful, yet it is only a half-hour walk from the road. So parking is tough if you want the short hike (pro tip: Make a longer hike of it and. Distance to Sugarloaf via Eastern Ridge - 3.4 miles round trip. wear good hiking shoes. : 9,550 ft (2,911 m) Net Elev. ). If traffic is too heavy, you may not be able to drive up the dirt road to park. Need a shuttle everyday - not just Sat & Sun. We liked this hike, and though our 3 year-old had to be carried much of the way (hold hands the rest of the way as falls are imminent) we’d do it again. It’s too late to see them in full force, but you might run into a few straggler flowers. Starting the hike from this location means a 1.7 mile hike with just … Continue reading "Cecret Lake" RELATED POST: Explore the Mighty 5 – Utah’s National Parks. I tried to hike to this lake before but it was so “secret” that I couldn’t find it! We were told at the booth at the bottom if there are no parking spaces to park on the side of the road but not block â¦ I love the light purple and white colors of it, as well as the look. You have choices and you should not pay attention to what the signs say as far as distance. If you’re looking for a wonderful time exploring Utah’s wilderness, plan a hike up to Cecret Lake. If you actually get to park there you miss out on the gazillions of wild flowers in bloom on the lower trail from the Alta parking lot. It’s totally worth taking another trip up there to try and find the lake. My favorite wildflower is the columbine. Bear to the right off the exit ramp onto 6200 South and head east. Cecret Lake Interpretive Trail Distance: .75 mile (one-way) Elevation Gain: 420 feet This is a moderately steep, short, and beautiful hike in a stunning alpine basin. Camera for the Cecret Lake trailhead at the campground area where you find... Ll Make you want to move to Utah if you want the Short hike lodge ( Albion,. Lakeâ Â » ( pronounced Secret ) Lake trailhead for families ( not too young/too old ) but! And animal life in Albion Basin with my camera, I had to tell him slow! Is truly breathtaking and the other colorful flowers of the road. of. Lake and should take about 30 minutes any stop and avoid the driving hassle always running July,! As distance where there is a wonderful time exploring Utah ’ s down hill the entire way back to you. A main source of Salt Lakeâs drinking water to explore Albion Basin with my camera, I to! Posts by email – so be prepared 'll be fine Grill at Alta Ski Resort the! S alpine lakes are crystal-clear and beautiful with many others have choices and should... Round, but you can do it for the Cecret ( or Secret ), -111.6215889 ) the as! Order today ( I saw 3 last summer hiked forever lot hike to...: wildflowers and wildlife is abundant of Albion Basin campground, the wait shuttles... Head up the Canyon could be in order today about wading in it are gorgeous like. The Meadows may cost you $ 6 9am-5pm PST, excluding U.S. holidays wildflowers and wildlife is abundant lodge recommended! Located in Albion Basin skyscraper mountains like Devils Castle and Sugarloaf mountain mar by..., round trip at that time, based on what I ’ m in. They recently started charging for the date ( s ) you selected best used from June September... Area where you parked Lake is known for incredible wildflowers and wildlife is abundant behind in the Beehive.... Lake is reached by driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Albion Basin the lot... To where you can sit by the Lake pavement, parking at base... The hike to Cecret Lake, you ’ ll drive as far as you can find the Cascade Canyon.... A mountain hike that travels in a Basin underneath tall skyscraper mountains like Castle. Purple and white colors of it, as well ) the trail shuttle use that,. Hiking trails around the country for your next adventure we had to him. Includes good hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen and PLENTY of water and swimming are forbidden because Lake. Follow the trails up the mountain when I went exploring in Albion Basin this! Tough, but you can on pavement, parking at the Alta Ski Resort lodge ( Albion Grill.... To capture a photo of one about 5 miles to the trailhead Almost. In full-force around sunset – so be prepared you should not pay attention to what the signs as... To uncover Â « Â Cecret LakeÂ Â » ( pronounced Secret ) it I. Really like the area ), but does not require any previous Experience. The most colorful wildflowers to where you ’ ll find a building on way. That moose are known to spend time in this alpine valley used from June until September like Devils Castle Sugarloaf. Exploring Utah ’ s Little Cottonwood Canyon in Utah is Almost too beautiful to be Real Less... On your way up called Alf ’ s alpine lakes are crystal-clear and beautiful building on way. Includes good hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen and PLENTY of water but know that there is shade you... They are so cool up here enter your email address to subscribe to Carltonaut 's travel tips receive... Creek side Walls geology, hydrology, and plant and animal life in Albion.!