Friday, August 19, 2016

Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak

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Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Cecret Lake (yes, that is the correct spelling) is a beautiful alpine lake that sits in the heart of Alta Ski Resort. This easy 1 mile walk is great for kids, taking photos of the amazing wildflowers in July, and possibly sighting a moose. But why stop at the lake, when you can continue just one more mile and summit Sugarloaf Peak? The elevation of Sugarloaf Peak is 11,051 ft, and can be summited in under an hour and half. Bring a light jacket though - it gets really windy and can be quite cold at the top. Keep in mind that the Albion Basin Road is only open from July 4th until the last week of September (or whenever the first snow hits).

From SLC head south on I-215 and take the exit 4 for 6200 S/Wasatch Blvd. Follow Wasatch Blvd, as it passes Big Cottonwood Canyon, and eventually turns into Little Cottonwood Canyon. Drive all the way up the canyon, and once you reach the Alta area stay straight for the Albion Basin Road, which turns into a dirt road. Follow this dirt road for another few miles until you see the large dirt parking lot on your left, just before the Albion Basin Campground. A small, compact can easily drive up this dirt road. There is one restroom near the TH.

Distance: 2 miles RT to Cecret Lake; 4 miles RT to Sugarloaf Peak
Elevation gain: 1,600 ft to Sugarloak Peak
Time: 2-3 hours
Dog friendly? No, dogs are not allowed in BCC due to the watershed
Kid friendly? Yes for both the lake and peak
Fees/Permits? None
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
We reached the parking lot at 6:20am. It was nice and cool, about 60F.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
The trail starts just to the right of the campground entrance.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Follow the sign and cross the creek. 
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
The path is really wide. We now have our first view of Sugarloaf Peak!
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Work your way up the one switchback to Cecret Lake. 
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
It only took us 20 minutes to reach Cecret Lake. The early morning light on Sugarloaf Peak was amazing!
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Continue your way around the lake to the West side, and follow the trail up the East facing side of the hill.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Sunrise over Cecret Lake! 

No swimming is allowed in the lake, since it's part of the watershed. I've never seen anyone fishing there either.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
You'll walk under the Sugarloaf ski Lift.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
At the next trail you see, turn left, and follow it up to the ridge. Keep an eye out for moose in this area - around 7am we saw 3 large moose.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Once on the ridge, head East, and follow the trail that goes in front of the snow fence.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
The trail begins to get really steep. Parts of it have loose rock as well, so watch your step.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
The trail is pretty easy to follow. Can you see the trail through the rock field?
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
Looking down from where we headed up. A nice view of Mt. Superior & Monte Cristo Peak behind me - another great trail to do!
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
We reached the Sugarloaf Peak summit in 1:10. Looking down to Cecret Lake, you have amazing views of Albion Basin.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
This peak can be very cold, even in summer. It's a good idea to bring either a long sleeve shirt or light puffy coat. I had on my tank top, long sleeve, AND puffy and was still cold. I wished I had even brought gloves! If you do this during the day time, it won't be as cold, but evening hours will be chilly as well. We had a great view of American Fork Twin Peaks behind us.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak, Stash Bar
My breakfast for this hike was the Stash Bar by Kate's Real Food. These bars are sooo tasty - peanut butter, chocolate, seeds, nuts, etc. I love the sweet and salt taste, and with only 270 calories, it doesn't make you feel super stuffed for the hike down. As a perk, I have a discount for you guys on her website - 40% off your entire order! Just use the code "DANK40" at check out. Lots of good flavors to choose from.
Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak, Stash Bar
Yummy Stash Bar!
Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak trail map
Here is the trail map looking South. 
Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak trail map
Close up of the trail map from Cecret Lake to Sugarloaf Peak.



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Hiking to Cecret Lake & Sugarloaf Peak
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7 comments:

  1. Great hike! I love the view down to the lake. We'll have to check this one out during our next visit to the area:)

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  2. Thanks for your directions. Amanda and I did this hike today. Do you know what the name is of the other lake you can see from Sugarloaf Peak? When we did a 360 from the top, we saw Cecret Lake and then as we looked round clock-wise, we saw another lake that was right of Cecret Lake. Thanks!

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. I asked on Hike the Wasatch and found out it's Pittsburgh Lake. I read about it on Alltrails and apparently it is a dog friendly hike and lake.

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    3. It is dog friendly, but you need either ATVs or a high clearance jeep to get to the TH. The road is really bad and rocky, therefore, I have not done it. -Alicia

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  3. OK I am bombarding you with comments. LOL I have a question about the moose. How do you react? Just stay quiet? If we have our kids with us, will their noise make the moose agitated? Any suggestions on what to do if we encounter them with our family? :)

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    1. You are totally fine, that's what I am here for! So what I do when I see a moose and I am on a trail is I will try to hike around it by at least 100 ft even if that means hiking off trail. Don't make noise, don't stop and stare, or take 100s of photos. Just keep hiking, and don't make eye contact. Be quiet and continue on your way. The closest I have gotten was about 20 ft and that was by total accident - he was hidden in the trees. We both kind of spooked each other, but I just kept my head down and kept hiking right past him. A little scary, but as long as you hike by with confidence you'll be fine! -Alicia

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