Hiking

Hiking in Alta should be on everyone’s summer and fall to-do lists. Staying at Alta Lodge makes it easy, with miles of extraordinary terrain & trails located in our own backyard.

Hiking to views of these white Alta wildflowers with morning sun peeking through the trees.

Wildflower Season in Albion Basin

As snow melts and summer takes hold, an unforgettable display of wildflowers spreads across Alta’s slopes. The glacier-carved Albion Basin offers some of the best family-friendly wildflower hiking in the Wasatch Range. Here you can hike below Devil’s Castle and explore the backside of Alta while strolling through fields of lupine, Indian paintbrush, bluebell, elephant flower, geranium, columbine and more.  

Wildflowers begin to bloom as early as June. They peak in late July and early August—just in time for the annual Wasatch Wildflower Festival. The festival is hosted by the Cottonwood Canyons Foundation, a local environmental stewardship organization. The foundation hosts guided hikes for all ability levels, as well as live music, art vendors and more. This season highlight event is a must for anyone wanting to learn more about Alta’s 300 species of wildflowers.

Free Shuttle Service: Trailhead access is simple and easy via the Albion Basin summer road, which usually opens to the public on or around July 1st. On weekends and holidays in July, August and September, the Town of Alta offers a free shuttle service from 9:30am – 5:30pm.

 

Overlooking Lake Mary, which you can see by hiking the Brighton Lakes Loop.

Little Cottonwood’s High Alpine Lakes

High altitude peaks and ample snowmelt combine to form beautiful alpine lakes throughout Little Cottonwood Canyon. These pristine pools make for rewarding out-and-back hiking destinations. They can also provide a perfect spot to picnic. Cecret Lake, nestled below Sugarloaf peak, is one of the most popular family hiking attractions in Alta. It is a locals’ favorite! This spot is especially nice for beginner or young hikers.

For a slightly more challenging day, try out the Brighton Lakes Loop for views of Twin Lakes, Lake Mary and Catherine’s Lake, while also taking in gorgeous mountain vistas from Catherine’s and Twin Lakes Passes.

For an all-day adventure, we recommend making the 2.8 mile drive to the White Pine Trailhead, located just past Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort. Here you can set out for White Pine Lake, Maybird Lakes or Red Pine Lake. All three of these hikes will challenge you, but the payoff is more than worth it. With any longer hike, remember to start early and carry plenty of food and water. Familiarize yourself with the route before heading out. Our front desk staff is happy to answer any questions you might have about these adventures.

 

Looking at Alta from the Cardiff Pass hike, with beautiful purple wildflowers all around.

Unforgettable Views

Little Cottonwood Canyon’s hikes provide access to some of the Wasatch’s most scenic viewpoints.  For breathtaking panoramas of Alta and the mountains beyond, we recommend the short and moderately steep hike up Cardiff Pass. The trailhead is across the street from Alta Lodge’s roadside entrance. To turn this into a longer adventure, you may choose to make the climb to the top of Mt. Superior. The summit of the iconic peak awaits just a short distance past the Cardiff saddle.

Plan a Weekend Hiking Adventure

To make the most of your summer trip to Alta, we recommend planning to stay several days. This will allow you to experience as much of the canyon’s beauty as possible. Stay a night or two at Alta Lodge and fuel up for your day with continental breakfast, or our Sunday Brunch buffet. Finish your evening with a hot tub and sauna session to relax sore muscles. We can also help with providing food for your adventure. Ask the front desk about a picnic lunch for your group.  We would be happy to help you plan your day!

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