Sugarloaf Pass via Greeley |

Little Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking Sugarloaf Pass via Greeley - Little Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Sugarloaf Pass via Greeley
Little Cottonwood Canyon

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

Overview

RATING: Moderate Hike

Sun

37 | 31

Mon

40 | 21

Tue

31 | 24

Wed

31 | 22

Thu

25 | 17

View Full Weather Details
SEASON: Late spring, summer, fall
WATER: Bring All You Need

Sun

37 | 31

Mon

40 | 21

Tue

31 | 24

Wed

31 | 22

Thu

25 | 17

View Full Weather Details
Sugarloaf (right) and Devil's Castle (left) during the approach.

Sugarloaf (right) and Devil's Castle (left) during the approach.

Sugarloaf Pass is an amazing spot! In the winter, thousands of skiers take in this view when skiing at Alta. In the summer, a service road makes for relatively easy access to the pass, and a lovely hike. The access road has enough switchbacks to never feel too steep. The grassy slopes the road ascends are awash with wildflower blooms in mid-to-late summer. It is a nice hike that is not as crowded as Cecret (Secret) Lake.

As a bonus, a semi-loop can be made by returning via the ever popular Cecret (Secret) Lake tucked up against the base of Sugarloaf Peak.

Due to traffic in Albion Basin, my recommendation is to go early and have a backup plan if getting into Albion Basin proves to difficult. Grizzly Gulch or Collins Gulch are good fallbacks that are nearby. You can start from the lower Alta parking lot and hike up Albion Meadows to reach the trailhead, but this adds about 3.5 miles round-trip. If considering starting from Alta, it is more scenic to go up Collins Gulch and return via this route.

Germania Pass from Sugarloaf Pass

Germania Pass from Sugarloaf Pass

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.
The road climbing up through wildflower laden slopes.

The road climbing up through wildflower laden slopes.

Route

From the trailhead, follow the Albion Basin road back the way you came. In just a few minutes, a dirt road leaves on the south (left side). Follow this dirt road as it descends to Alf’s Restuarant (closed in the summer). After Alf’s the road makes a bend to the left, then a side road leaves on the right. Take this side road.

Navigation is easy from here, follow the road as it climbs and switchbacks up Glory Gulch. The views and wildflowers seemingly get better and better. The road passes old mine tailing piles as Devil’s Castle and Sugarloaf Peak come in the view.

At a ridge, the road reaches a junction. Right continues up to Germania and Sugarloaf Passes, left is the Cecret (Secret) Lake optional return. Go right. The road climbs and goes through a narrow notch before a final climb to Germania Pass. At the pass is a junction. Go left, reaching Sugarloaf Pass, the top of a ski lift, and excellent views in just a few minutes.

Return the same way or go right at the *Jct - Secret Lake Return* and descend to Cecret (Secret) Lake, then follow the Cecret (Secret) Lake trail back to the trailhead.


Maps

Out and Back / 6.57 miles / Elevation Range 9,191 - 10,530 ft.
Return Down Cecret / 5.45 miles / Elevation Range 9,191 - 10,530 ft.
Printable Maps:
Trailhead

12T 448118mE 4492094mN

N40° 34' 41" W111° 36' 47"

Jct - Leave Albion Road

12T 448070mE 4492326mN

N40° 34' 48" W111° 36' 49"

Jct - Secret Lake Return

12T 447130mE 4491576mN

N40° 34' 24" W111° 37' 29"

Jct - Germania Pass

12T 446542mE 4491370mN

N40° 34' 17" W111° 37' 54"

Sugarloaf Pass

12T 446639mE 4490881mN

N40° 34' 01" W111° 37' 49"

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