It was the winter after I first moved to Utah when I first heard about this little hike. I was so excited to go, I kept regularly driving up to Alta hoping the road up to Catherine's Pass would be open (plowed/melted).....It finally was -in July!
This is the most beautiful short family-friendly hike. This one is even great for toddlers - As long as you keep them away from the water's edge.
This is another one to take your out-of-town friends too as well.
Being that the altitude of the lake is above the 8k ft mark ( 9875ft) , its also a great place to adjust to the altitude before hiking the higher peaks in the area.
Distance: 1.5 mile out and back. 300 Ft elevation gain from the parking lot to the lake.
Directions: From I-15, take exit #298 (Sandy) and head east on Highway 209 for 7 miles to where it meets Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. Drive up Little Cottonwood Canyon for 11 miles to a parking lot on the left side of the road just before the Albion Basin Campground. It is best to arrive early as sometimes the road is closed due to large weekend crowds.
Dogs: NO DOGS ($ 300 Fine )
Optional Summit of Sugarloaf Peak
The area above the lake was still snow-packed when we were last up there, but if you go late enough in the summer (or have snow shoes/ Micro Spikes with you), you can continue on the trail and summit sugar loaf Mountain. This is something we are hoping to check off our list soon.
Sugarloaf is one supposed to be one of the easiest peaks in the Wasatch that is over the 11k ft Elevation. I highly suggest this if you can manage it.