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Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass (10,648 ft) offers a 360 degree view of the Wasatch Mountains, plus a view of Heber City, Park City, and the Salt Lake Valley. Hiking up via Catherine Pass contains a great mix of meadow, wooded areas, a fantastic vistas. Hiking this trail provides for a good workout, but getting to the peak doesn’t require months of training. While this trail is only 3.5 miles one way, your calves will burn on the elevation gain! The best time of year to hike this is typically July when the wildflowers are in full bloom.

¬†From SLC and I-215, take exit 6 for 6200 S. Continue on Wasatch Blvd, past Big Cottonwood Canyon and the 7-11 gas station. The road will curve into Little Cottonwood Canyon – drive to the very end of the road, past Snowbird, up to the fee booth at Alta. Here’s a driving map.

Distance: 7 miles round trip

Elevation gain: 1,880 ft

Time: 4-7 hours

Dog friendly? No dogs allowed in LCC

Kid friendly? Yes, older kids

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

There are several ways to start this trail.

Pay $10 to park at the official Catherine Pass TH OR

Park for free just before the fee booth, but add on 3 miles (RT) of hiking.

We opted for free, and started at the fee booth, which is where my trail guide begins. Walk along the road or catch the official trail – they both meet up at the same place. We started out on the road.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

At 0.6 miles turn right, leave the road, and get on the Albion Basin trail.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Hike under the ski lift.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

The trail starts to get really rocky and gains elevation.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

At 1.0 mile, turn left for Catherine Pass.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Work your way up a few switchbacks among beautiful flowers.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

At 1.5 miles, turn left again for Catherine Pass, going up the stairs.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

If you paid to park, this is where you will begin. It’s a giant parking lot with port-a-potty’s available.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

The trail continues across from the parking lot.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Cross the one and only bridge.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

At 2.3 miles turn left again for the pass. You will hike up a very short, but steep hill.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Reach the meadow, then hike up a few more switchbacks.

Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Reach Catherine Pass at 3 miles. You can now clearly see your destination straight ahead – Sunset Peak! Stay right and high. Do NOT take the lower trail you see cutting across the hill on the right.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Staying high, continue to the ridge. It will wrap around the backside for a short time.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

You’ll hike through a very sandy section, then reach the GWT (Great Western Trail). Stay left again.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

The trail drops slightly – a relief to the legs! You will see trails going in all directions – stay on the ridge and again, stay high.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Girls night out!

Compression socks will help your legs recover so much faster! Check out my discount page to save 10% on Lily Trotters compression socks!

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Following the main trail, you will then hike next to a tall-ish rock wall on your right.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

One last push to the summit!

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Whew, we made it! What a great leg workout. We started hiking at 5pm, and we were back to the cars by 8:45pm. We took several breaks and kept a very slow but consistent pace. It was also quite hot despite there being clouds. I highly recommend bringing a water bottle with electrolytes in it – it helped saves my muscles from cramping in hot & sweaty conditions. Check out my discount page to save 20% on Cure Hydration electrolytes (my favorite)!

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

Sunset Peak looking down to Lake Mary, Martha, & Catherine. If you hiked to Sunset Peak via Brighton you would pass all those lakes.

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

If you are lucky you might see moose too!

My track via Gaia GPS – the best tracking app! Get your app here for a discount.

 

Top 10 Peaks to Bag in Salt Lake City

Top 10 Peaks to Bag in Salt Lake City

Hiking to Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass

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