Hiking Cecret Lake, Utah – A Fantastic Hike Near Alta


Article Categories: Hiking

Cecret Lake is a stunning lake located in Little Cottonwood Canyon near Alta, Utah. This is a beginner friendly hike that can be shortened by paying a $10 day parking fee, or hikers can park for free at the Albion Base Trailhead. Here’s everything you need to know about this hike.

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Difficulty – Easy
Distance – 4.9 miles round trip (7.89 km)
Height – 9,874 feet (3009.60 m)
Elevation gain – 1,278 feet (389.53 m)
Duration – 3-4 hours (book time)
Trailhead Location – Albion Base Trailhead (8,694 Feet)
Dogs – Not allowed on this trail


Need To Know Information

  • Dogs are not allowed on this hike.
  • As of September 2022, this lake was drained, which means it likely will not be filled until the spring of 2023.
  • Swimming is not allowed in any of the lakes in this area.
  • This is a popular hike, and you will encounter people. Parking fills up quite fast.
  • There are two main routes for this hike. The easiest route requires paying for a day parking pass. Both are explained below.
  • Camping is common, as there are campgrounds near this lake. Camping information and regulations below.
  • Fishing is allowed at this lake with a Utah Fishing License.

Trail Map

Cecret Lake Trail Map

Click map to enlarge

Download GPX For Lower Trailhead Here

Download GPX For Upper Trailhead Here




Cecret Lake Via Albion Base Trailhead – 4.9 miles round trip (7.89 km) – 1,278 feet (389.53 m) Elevation Gain

This is the route that hikes will take if they want to avoid the day parking fees, or they simply want to hike through the beautiful Albion Basin where wildlife is often seen. Hikers begin at the Albion Base Trailhead and simply follow the trails and signs towards Cecret Lake. This trail remains with a moderate incline just about the entire way on well traveled and well maintained trails.


Cecret Lake Via Cecret Lake Trailhead – 1.56 miles round trip (2.51 km) – 458 feet (139.60 m) Elevation Gain

The Cecret Lake Trailhead has a good sized parking lot with overflow parking in another lote only about 100 feet away. This is very well marked and well traveled, so it is easy for hikers to follow the signs and trails to Cecret Lake. The trail moderately gains elevation for the first half mile, and gets a bit steeper in the last quarter mile of the hike before reaching the lake.



Hiking in Winter

This area is not hiked in winter as it is part of the ski resort, and therefore it is being skied on while the resorts are open.


Camping Information

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.



Here is a detailed weather forecast for the area:

Alta, UT

This Afternoon
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly sunny. High near 65, with temperatures falling to around 63 in the afternoon. Southwest wind around 12 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Mostly clear. Low around 47, with temperatures rising to around 49 overnight. South southwest wind around 9 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 70. South southwest wind around 10 mph.

Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 51. South southeast wind 8 to 12 mph.

Sunny, with a high near 73. South southwest wind around 14 mph.

Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 52.

Sunny, with a high near 73.



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.

The next most common trailhead is the Cecret Lake Trailhead:


Hikers can also choose to park at the Catherine Pass Trailhead if they choose. This trailhead is between the lower trailhead and the Cecret Lake Trailhead, and hikers can join the trail system from this parking lot:



Additional Pictures

Dry Cecret Lake with Sugarloaf in the background

Dry Cecret Lake with Sugarloaf in the background

Max DesMarais

Max DesMarais

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, backcountry skier, 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 climbed all of the Colorado 14ers, is always testing gear, learning skills, gaining experience, and building his endurance for outdoor sports. You can read more about his experience here: hikingandfishing/about

One Response

  1. Max DesMarais October 2, 2022

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