Devils Castle is located above Brighton Ski Resort in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It has a relatively straightforward option for hikers, as well as a technical ridge that will get your heart going (Devils Castle Traverse). Here’s everything you need to know about this peak. This is one of our favorite hikes in this area due to the fun scrambling, large cliff drop offs, and incredible 360 degree views.
Distance – 4.08 miles round trip (6.6 km)
Height – 10,850 feet (3307.1 m)
Elevation gain – 1,796 feet (547.4 meters)
Duration – 3.5 – 4 hours
Difficulty – Difficult
Hike Class: “Easy Route” is Class 2 hiking, ridge traverse is Class 5
Trailhead Locations – Cecret Lake Trailhead (other options below as well)
Need To Know Information
- Dogs are not allowed on this hike.
- Best hiking season: Late June (after the snow melts) through first snowfalls, usually early to mid October.
- Swimming is not allowed in any of the lakes in this area.
- The easiest route (starting from the upper trailhead) requires paying for a day parking pass. Options are explained below.
- There is overflow parking on the road (explained below).
- Camping is common, and there are no fees or permits required. Camping information and regulations below.
- This summit is high and exposed to the elements, if poor weather is coming in, avoid the summit.
- Camping is common, as there are campgrounds near this lake. Camping information and regulations below.
- The route options below are from the upper trailhead, we will explain below that parking lower will add mileage and elevation gain to your hike.
- Either route takes hikers past Cecret Lake, a popular destination. Many hikers also want to combine Sugarloaf Peak into this hike.
Devils Castle Traverse
For the adventure seekers that want to travel the ridgeline of Devils Castle, this is your route. We want to warn those afraid of heights, or without much scrambling experience, this route has a lot of exposure to big cliffs where falls would be fatal. The route is considered class 5.
Full Traverse Stats
9.9 miles round trip (15.9 km) – 3,933 feet (1198.8 meters)
Hikers begin at the Cecret Lake Trailhead but head towards the road as opposed to the trail to Cecret Lake. The road heads all the way up to Point Supreme. From point supreme, hikers simply follow as close to the ridge as possible. From the ridge, hikers start to experience class 3 scrambling at various points and need to find there way around rock spires, trees, loose dirt, and more. The going is relatively slow, the trail isn’t a maintained trail, but rout finding is easy as hikers are basically staying along the ridge, and following what often appears as the most traveled parts of the terrain around them.
Hikers will begin experiencing sections where using your hands are required, but most of this remains quite straightforward, even though some larger drops on either side become present.
Quite simply, the ridge seems to progressively get more challenging and more beautiful. Areas cycle between easy walking and difficult scrambling before eventually hitting the most difficult parts of the trail. Hikers will be climbing up and over each of the major spires along the ridge. It looks terrifying from a distance, but does get a bit better when you are actually on the sections that look the scariest from the beginning. Images include here are to help you with route finding along the ridge.
Once hikers reach the final spire, the hike becomes a very straightforward hike. Hikers descend on the north side of the summit, dropping 20-30 feet before the trail cuts across to the south side of the ridge towards Sugarloaf Peak. From here, simply follow the obvious and well traveled trail back down to Cecret lake and out to the car.
Devils Castle Summit: Out and Back
Out and Back Stats
4.08 miles round trip (6.6 km) – 1,796 feet (547.4 meters)
This route is far simpler than the traverse. Hikers have several options towards Cecret Lake, and they tak ethe trail that goes east of Cecret Lake and heads up to the saddle between Sugarloaf Mountain and Devils Castle. This is well traveled and easy to follow, but doesn’t have any trail signs leading the way. Often, hikers will take a small detour to Cecret Lake, or to Sugarloaf Mountain when combining this route.
Hiking Devils Castle In Winter
Devils Castle is located above Brighton Ski Resort. This is not a winter hike, though there are those that ski off of portions of the mountain and nearby mountains.
Devils Castle (easy route)
We have created an online map of the easy route that doesn’t go along the traverse: Download The Route Here
Devils Castle Traverse
We have created an online map of the traverse loop: Download The Route Here
You can also look at our trail map image here:
There are campgrounds within Albion Basin that can be reserved when they are open. This campground contains 24 camping sites, each with picnic tables and campfire rings. Vault toilets are also on the premise. Information and availability can be found here.
Fishing Cecret Lake
Cecret Lake does have fish in it. With our most recent trip, the lake was drained, and therefore we suspect fish have died. We will release more information when we know regarding when this lake will be fishable again. This is a catch and release fishery.
Current Weather Conditions:
Here is the detailed weather forecast for the next few days. We highly recommend you check out local weather the morning of your hike.
Sunny. High near 41, with temperatures falling to around 36 in the afternoon. South wind 13 to 18 mph.
Snow likely after 11pm. Partly cloudy. Low around 27, with temperatures rising to around 32 overnight. South southwest wind 18 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
Snow likely. Mostly cloudy. High near 29, with temperatures falling to around 22 in the afternoon. West southwest wind 10 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Snow. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Wind chill values as low as 9. West wind 7 to 10 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.
Snow. Cloudy, with a high near 19. West wind 10 to 17 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 10 to 16 inches possible.
Snow likely. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 6. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches possible.
A slight chance of snow before 11am. Partly sunny, with a high near 15. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
Directions & Parking
The first trailhead is the lower trailhead that is free to park at. There is free parking along the main road, across the street, and in various locations. Parking is relatively easy, and marked, but the trailhead starts right behind the Alta Ski Shop. The most common trailhead is the Cecret Lake Trailhead which does require passing a gate, which is open on most weekdays and weekends. On these days purchasing a parking pass for the day can be done via the kiosk, or via a person managing the small building hut. Read the signs for any updates on the day you are there.
This is the Albion Base Trailhead:
The most common trailhead is the Cecret Lake Trailhead (usually requires purchasing day pass):
Hikers can also choose to park at the Catherine Pass Trailhead if they choose. This also requires a day pass. This trailhead is between the lower trailhead and the Cecret Lake Trailhead, and hikers can join the trail system from this parking lot:
Max DesMarais is the founder of hikingandfishing.com. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor adventure, travel, and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. Max grew up hiking all around New Hampshire and New England. He became obsessed with the New Hampshire mountains, and the NH 48, where he guided hikes and trail runs in the White Mountains. Since moving out west, Max has continued his frequent adventures in the mountains, always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about