Collins Gulch |

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking Collins Gulch - Little Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Collins Gulch
Little Cottonwood Canyon

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hike
MAPS: DROMEDARY PEAK, UT

Tue

70 | 54

Wed

69 | 54

Thu

70 | 55

Fri

69 | 53

Sat

70 | 53

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Late spring, summer, fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: None

Tue

70 | 54

Wed

69 | 54

Thu

70 | 55

Fri

69 | 53

Sat

70 | 53

View Full Weather Details
Mount Baldy in the morning light.

Mount Baldy in the morning light.

Collins Gulch is a good alternative to Albion Basin if the parking is full or crowds are getting you down! The hike is a steep one as it weaves up the developed ski resort to Germania Pass. The ski resort lifts, buildings, and accessories contrast with the lush green slopes dotted with wildflowers and trees. Though heavily developed, it is a lovely hike once you look past the developments. The upper section, with its hanging valley, is particularly nice.

The ski road makes for easy travel. Being and out-and-back, you can make this outing as long or short as time/motivation allow. Reaching Germania Pass is about 2000’ of elevation gain and feels like a good effort to reach! If going all the way to Germania Pass, consider continuing to Sugarloaf pass for excellent views into Mineral Basin and of Mount Timpanogos in the distance, then descending the Greeley road and looping back to the trailhead on the Albion Meadows Trail. This makes for a longer outing, but great scenery throughout and a chance to make a nice loop.

History: Collins Gulch is named after an early miner in the area, Charles Collins. Charles, unfortunately, died of a heart attack while leaving a mine he had just sold, which just seems like bad luck! His name lives on however, as part of Alta Ski Resort.
Collins Gulch with Mount Superior in the distance.

Collins Gulch with Mount Superior in the distance.

Getting There

Little Cottonwood Canyon is on the east side of the Salt Lake City Valley. Get there by following I-215 to the east, taking exit 6 off the interstate and heading east toward the mountains.

Follow 6200 South which becomes Wasatch Blvd for 1.8 miles to the stop light and signs for Big Cottonwood Canyon. Continue south (straight) through the light an additional 2.3 miles to a junction and light. Stay left here, reaching the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon in an additional 1.6 miles.

From the mouth of Little Cottonwood, travel up the canyon. At 7.9 miles, the Alta main entrance/Wildcat Base/Gold Miners Daughter are on the right. This is the trailhead area, park on the south east corner of the parking lot.

American Fork Twin Peak from Sugarloaf Pass

American Fork Twin Peak from Sugarloaf Pass

Route

Navigation is easy. From the WIldcat Base entrance at Alta, the trail begins on the east side of the parking lot. Follow the trail up to the dirt road. Note, a signed single-track trail leaves on the left here. That is the Albion Meadows trail, go right instead on the obvious dirt road. The dirt road heads west briefly, then turns, passes under the Wildcat and Collins ski lifts, and begins climbing up steeply.

After the first bend, the angle eases a bit and the views of Mount Superior and Cardiff pass to the north across Little Cottonwood come into view. Keep climbing, staying left/straight at the top of the first lift. At a second junction halfway up the mountain, stay left again (right goes to the top of Wildcat Ski Lift).

Mount Baldy is the prominent peak that becomes increasingly visible. As you near the base of it, the road cuts east and climbs steeply up to Germania Pass and the top of the ski lift. There are good views into Albion Basin and of Sugarloaf Peak to the south from the pass.

If time allows, continue from Germania Pass up to the ridge above on the road. This is Sugarloaf Pass with views down into Mineral Basin and of Mount Timpanogos in the distance. It is a perfect spot for a break before returning.


Maps

Germania Pass / 5.55 miles / Elevation Range 8,542 - 10,383 ft.
Sugarloaf Pass / 6.40 miles / Elevation Range 8,542 - 10,520 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 445940mE 4493266mN

N40° 35' 18" W111° 38' 20"

Jct - Left

12T 446027mE 4492394mN

N40° 34' 50" W111° 38' 16"

Jct - Left 2

12T 446054mE 4491917mN

N40° 34' 35" W111° 38' 15"

Germania Pass

12T 446536mE 4491398mN

N40° 34' 18" W111° 37' 54"

Sugarloaf Pass

12T 446639mE 4490881mN

N40° 34' 01" W111° 37' 49"

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