Salt Lake City is known for epic skiing in the winter, however, summertime offers some of the region's best hiking opportunities. Numerous hikes include lakes as destinations and are just minutes from Salt Lake City ski resorts, which offer a variety of summer activities and lodging deals.

These five lake hikes are excellent examples of what the area has to offer. Each sits high in the mountains, at roughly 9,000 to 10,000-feet, meaning cooler temps. However, the altitude may leave you breathless if you're unaccustomed to the thin air.

When I first began hiking in this region, I huffed and puffed like the three-pack-a-day smoker. The key to enjoying these hikes is to take your time and stay hydrated.

Cecret Lake

Cecret Lake


Located in the Albion Basin above the Alta Ski Area, the hike to Cecret Lake is short, family-friendly and lovely. During mid-June and August, this area explodes in wildflowers. The small alpine lake sits high above the ski area against a scenic backdrop of red rock. If you look closely, you'll spot tiger salamanders swimming in the lake with distinctive mane-like gills.


Cecret Lake


If you want a longer hike, extend your trek up toward Sugarloaf Peak overlooking the ski.

1.6 Miles Round-Trip


Desolation Lake

Desolation Lake sits in a bowl scraped out by glaciers during the last ice age. At first glance, it looks more like a crater. The best views can be found by hiking up to the rim of the bowl for a view over the lake and of the neighboring peaks.


Desolation Lake


From the Mill D Trailhead, the first part of the 3.7-mile trek to the lake is steep in spots, but be assured that the last 1.8 miles level out and meander through aspen and pretty meadows.


Desolation Lake Trail


7.4 Miles Round-Trip


Read about all five breathtaking hikes...


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