Cecret Lake Trail – Albion Basin Campground, Utah

Cecret Lake is about 10 miles up Little Cottonwood Canyon Road and east of Salt Lake City, Utah. The primary activities were hiking, rock climbing, and camping but dogs and bikes were not allowed. Parking was free. There were restrooms near the trailhead but I did not see water. In addition, there was the Albion Basin campground near the parking lot and that likely had additional amenities. Cell phone and GPS service were intermittent; hence the shaky GPS coordinates in the map below.

The hike to Cecret Lake was one mile with an elevation gain of 300 feet; from 9,500 to 9,800 feet.  The following chart shows the relative change in elevation.

At the beginning, the trail was wide, smooth, and ascended gradually.

We visited during the first week of August and along the edge of the trail were an abundance of blooming wildflowers. Notably, blooming flowers here generate enough heat to melt snow and create space for their developing leaves. The subsequent flower was Jacob’s Ladder.

Jacob's Ladder

The following was Indian Paintbrush, which hummingbirds are attracted to because of its red coloring.

Indian Paintbrush

Accompanying the flowers were numerous birds.  The following was the only one I captured on film. I believe it was a Western Tanager.

Western Tanager

Here was another look at the Western Tanager (photo credit: Sari Soutor). It didn’t sit still for very long so we felt lucky to each get one picture.

Western Tanager

At about the half way point, the trail transitioned into a steeper climb with switchbacks up the following ridge; the lake was on the other side.

On our way up, we spotted a yellow-bellied marmot (I think??). The last time I had seen one was at 11,000 feet on top of Twin Sisters Peaks in Colorado.

The trail ended at Cecret Lake and offered a serene setting. Some rock climbers passed us on the trail. They appeared to be headed to the left side of the following picture.

Cecret Lake

The following video provides a 360 degree perspective of the scenery at the lake’s edge.

The subsequent picture was the view looking down into the canyon from the lake.

In sum, hiking to Cecret Lake was fun, relatively easy, and full of vibrant flowers and wildlife. Another hike only a few hundred feet away was Catherine Pass. Similar trails nearby include:


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