Escaping to the mountains for a winter ski getaway may be the most popular thing to do in Alta, Utah—but that doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty to do during the other seasons, too!
One of the most popular outdoor activities you can’t miss when visiting Alta during the summer and fall is exploring Cecret Lake. Here’s everything you need to know about this fun, scenic destination!
Where is Cecret Lake?
Cecret Lake in Utah (pronounced like Secret) is a gorgeous alpine lake located just outside the town of Alta in the Wasatch National Forest.
Why is the lake’s name spelled “Cecret” instead of “Secret,” you ask? Well, no one knows for sure—although some suspect a miner in the area named the lake. Regardless of its origin, the United States Geological Survey decided to keep the unique name, and it’s still used today!
Cecret Lake is situated between the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain the Albion Basin—famous for the wildflowers that bloom in July and August.
What Is There to Do at Cecret Lake?
There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy at Cecret Lake, Utah, to admire the jaw-dropping scenery. Here are a few:
Hiking at Cecret Lake in Utah is arguably the most popular activity to do when visiting the town of Alta from June to September. Some Utah locals consider Cecret Lake the most scenic hike in the Salt Lake City area!
The Cecret Lake Trail is located at the Albion Basin Campground. The hike overlooks the gorgeous alpine lake, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see hundreds of colorful wildflowers and maybe even a moose, hawk, or hummingbird along the way!
How Long of a Hike is Cecret Lake?
The Cecret Lake Trail is a 1.8-mile out-and-back trail. Despite what the incredible views might suggest, you’ll gain less than 500 feet in elevation, making this trail an excellent family-friendly option for all experience levels—including kids. Leave your furry friends at home, though—dogs aren’t permitted on Cecret Lake Trail due to watershed concerns.
Cecret Lake Trail can become busy during the summer months, so get an early start if you’d like to take a family photo by the lake without tourists in the background.
If you’re looking for a challenge, continue hiking to the top of Sugarloaf Peak after you reach Cecret Lake. You’ll add a few extra miles to your trek and nearly 1,300 feet in elevation!
If you’re wondering if there are fish in Cecret Lake—the answer is yes! Cecret Lake, Utah, allows for catch-and-release fishing once you arrive at the lake.
If you’re planning to stay awhile, pack a picnic lunch to enjoy the cool mountain air while you wait for the fish to bite!
Camping at the Albion Basin Campground is a great way to enjoy the scenic outdoors during the summer to give you and your family close access to Cecret Lake.
The campground is located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, and the trailhead for Cecret Lake Trail is at the entrance.
The beautiful wildflowers, hikes, and views in the area make this campground extremely popular in the summer—and often crowded. If you’re looking for more space and privacy, as well as access to restaurants and amenities, we’d suggest staying in the nearby town of Alta instead.
Can I Swim in Cecret Lake?
Although the refreshing, cool water at Cecret Lake might tempt you to dip your toe in for a swim, you should think twice. Swimming in Cecret Lake, Utah, is prohibited—it’s a protected watershed that provides drinking water to Salt Lake City!
What’s the Best Way to Get to Cecret Lake?
Since Cecret Lake, Utah, is a popular summer destination, the road to Cecret Lake Trail can become highly congested during peak season.
Parking along Summer Road is prohibited, and there is limited parking at the Albion Basin Campground parking area. If you’re planning to drive, we recommend arriving early to get a parking spot.
That said, if you’re hiking on a weekend or holiday during the summer, the best way to get to Cecret Lake is to take the shuttle from Alta to the entrance of Cecret Lake Trail for just $5 per person.
Enjoy Close Access to Cecret Lake, Utah, with Alta Chalets
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Alta this summer with easy access to Cecret Lake, Utah, we would love to host you and your family in one of our beautiful, cozy vacation rentals!
Our vacation rentals and condominiums are situated between the Snowbird Ski Resort and Alta Ski Area Resort for close access to the fantastic restaurants, amenities, and activities available in and around the town of Alta.
We have operated for more than 30+ years as a small, family-run business representing some of the most exclusive properties in the area. We’d love to book a unique and personalized vacation experience you and your family will remember for years to come. Contact us today!