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Hiking Alta: A ridgeline picnic above Cecret Lake

Thursday July 11, 2013

 Lunchtime View

I didn't realize that ski resorts offer a variety of outdoor recreation during the summer months. As the temperatures soared well over 100 degrees in the Salt Lake Valley, I had already started seeking out higher and higher trails to escape the heat. My hike to White Pine Lake is a good example. 

When a new friend invited me to hike at Alta Ski Resort, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd heard there was a pretty lake up there, but I'll confess, I expected a touristy experience. When we arrived and parked in the huge resort parking lot, I still had reservations. We headed off down a wide trail and began winding our way up the mountain from an elevation of roughly 8,600 feet. The views soon became breathtaking with young grass and wildflowers. The area above Alta beginning around 9,500 feet is called the Albion Basin, known for its wildflowers, geology and wildlife. It was also breathtaking because at that elevation, hiking uphill, I couldn't catch my breath. I became the world's worst conversationalist and suspected I may not be invited on any future hikes...

Soon we were above Cecret Lake, sometimes spelled Secret Lake, on our way to the ridge. The hike at this point was directly up a ski slope where some snow remained. Winding back and forth across the slope we arrived at the top of the Sugarloaf Lift located at 10,500 feet on a ridge between Sugarloaf Peak and Mount Baldy. The views were stunning in every direction. A cool breeze blew up the slopes made me want to stay up there until the valley temperatures fell below 100 degrees. Continue reading....

avalanche control area sign