Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
350.00 ft (106.68 m)
Trail type
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

With its beauty, short distance, and easy access, Cecret (pronounced Secret) Lake has become one of the most popular hikes in all of the Wasatch Mountains. Located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon, it is near the Catherine's Pass Trail and just next door to the Albion Basin Campground. The ski lifts of Alta hang overhead as you head up the short, steady hike. While the trail can be a little steep at sections, it is quite short and thus has people of all ages and hiking levels enjoying its sights. Jagged peaks tower in every direction at the top of the trail's plateau. Sugarloaf Mountain is directly above the lake, Devil's Castle is just to the east, and Mount Wolverine is to the north in the distance. The lake itself is not very large, and it is basically impossible to see from anywhere in the basin besides at the top of the trailhead.

Keep your eyes out for the commonly seen moose, hawk, and hummingbird of Albion Basin. The great wildflower season and decent fall colors is a reminder that sometimes hikes are crowded because they are just plain awesome. This is a hike for kids and their grandparents alike, with a beautiful drive to and from the trailhead up the canyon.

The trailhead parking lots fill up quickly, so during peak season (weekends/summer) the traffic is limited by attendants further down the road. The gate that allows cars up is shut until July 1 each year. Remember to leave the dogs home in this hike and any other hike located in the Cottonwood Canyons due to watershed concerns. Cecret Lake has catch-and-release fishing, but swimming is prohibited. There are several restaurants in the town of Alta just a few miles down the road from the trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

Not Required


Short Hike. Easy Access. Great Views. Wildflowers in summer.


Very Crowded. High elevation. Exposed trail. No dogs.

Trailhead Elevation

9,550.00 ft (2,910.84 m)


Rock climbing
Big Game Watching
Big vistas
Big Game Watching


Nearby Lodging + Camping


This is a great early morning hike, I've done this about 4 times and see moose all the time. One time we almost got run down by a sow and her calf!
The hike up to the lake was relatively short (it took us about 30mins). Thus, we decided to hike up above it to the top of Sugarloaf. Definitely worth it!
Saw a moose and a great sunset!
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