Devils Castle Loop |

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking Devils Castle Loop - Little Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Devils Castle Loop
Little Cottonwood Canyon

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

Overview

RATING: Easy Hike

Fri

32 | 19

Sat

34 | 26

Sun

40 | 21

Mon

42 | 20

Tue

42 | 22

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Summer, Fall
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
WATER: Bring All You Need

Fri

32 | 19

Sat

34 | 26

Sun

40 | 21

Mon

42 | 20

Tue

42 | 22

View Full Weather Details
Devils Castle from the loop trail.

Devils Castle from the loop trail.

Secret Lake sees most of the hiking traffic in Albion Basin, but the Devils Castle Hiking Loop is a nice alternative. The loop sees quite a bit less traffic than Secret Lake though it has equally amazing wildflowers and views. It is a treat to get so close to the base of the forbidding limestone Devils Castle. The distance, and general ease of hiking making this loop very well suited to families or others looking for something short to-do. If you are staying at the Albion Basin campground (or are in the area), this is an excellent early morning or late evening hike. I have often seen deer and moose in the grassy areas in the morning.

Wildflowers lining the trail

Wildflowers lining the trail

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 11.2 miles to the signed Secret Lake Trailhead parking, just before the Albion Basin Campground.

Note: The trailhead described here starts in Albion Basin. The area is incredibly popular, and the parking can fill up by 7AM on the weekends. Even during the week, I have seen it full by 8AM. You can alternatively start this hike from the base of Alta and use the Albion Meadows trail to reach the trailhead described here. This drops the parking issue but adds about 4 miles roundtrip to the hike. There is an $8 fee (2020) to drive the road to Albion Basin above the base of Alta.
Note: The Albion Basin road usually does not open until mid-to-late June due to snow. If in doubt, check with the Town of Alta.
Looking down Albion Basin.

Looking down Albion Basin.

Route

From the parking area, the trail takes off from the campground booth/gate. It is well marked, wide, and easy to follow. The area is crisscrossed with trails that go to the campground and Albion Basin. Stay on the most used trail. It merges with a dirt road.

Shortly (1 minute) after passing two large boulders that are on the right side of the dirt road, look for a single track on the left. Take this single track. There are many side trails in the basin, generally stay on the most used trail. It heads generally south and soon enters a forested section. Devils Castle looms to the south and is a good landmark throughout your hike.

The trail begins ambling more east as it nears Devils Castle. An immense boulder on the right with a wooden seat makes an excellent stopping point to take in the views of Devils Castle and Albion Basin. The large boulder is known as Tacos Diablos Boulder to climbers and hosts a few stout climbs.

Continuing from the boulder, the trail follows the base of Devils Castle east for a few minutes, then heads north and intersects with the Point Supreme service road. Go left here, following the service road. It meanders down through some houses, then reaches the Albion Basin Campground. Go left on the campground road to circle back to the trailhead.


Maps

Route / 1.97 miles / Elevation Range 9,412 - 9,926 ft.
Printable Maps:
Cecret Lake Trailhead

12T 448112mE 4492097mN

N40° 34' 41" W111° 36' 47"

Tacos Diablos Boulder

12T 447849mE 4491058mN

N40° 34' 07" W111° 36' 58"

Devils Castle Loop - Left on Single Track

12T 447949mE 4491677mN

N40° 34' 27" W111° 36' 54"

Devils Castle Loop / Road Jct

12T 448243mE 4491438mN

N40° 34' 20" W111° 36' 41"

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