The Albion Meadows at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon are famous as one of the best places to see wildflowers in all of Utah! During the mid-July through early-August, the flowers there are gorgeous!
If you look very closely you can see the Catherine’s Pass parking lot at the base of the mountain on the right side. This post is about driving to that lot and hiking from there. The flowers are surrounding the road and parking lot, so you could even make it a scenic drive.
The Albion Basin is located at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. To get above Alta Ski Resort you will need to pay the $10 fee. The Albion Basin Road get very busy on weekends and there is limited parking. If possible go on a weekday or if you do need to go Saturday or Sunday, go early. If you don’t want to pay, take the longer route to Albion Meadows that begins at Alta.
Catherine’s Pass Trailhead
Plan to park at the Catherine’s Pass Trailhead. Catherine’s Pass parking is also the closest route to the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, so beginning here is the quickest and easiest way to Lake Catherine, Sunset Peak, Mount Tuscarora or Mount Wolverine.
Here are the views while standing in the parking lot.
The parking is at the top of the hill, so you will need to head down in the Albion Meadows.
To limit the trampling of the wildflowers, the path is lined with rope during wildflower season.
This trail can easily be adapted to make it shorter or longer. As you hike look to the south. The mountain seen in the distance above the “X” of snow is Devil’s Castle. Cecret Lake is near its base, further to the right.
There isn’t shade on this hike, so plan accordingly but with the shorter route, it may not matter as much. Most of the wildflowers are yellow and purple, but there are also lots of pinks and reds!
I love Indian Paintbrush!
It’s a beautiful place year-round, but the Albion Meadows are especially stunning covered in wildflowers!
In the Albion Meadows, the entire hillside, on both sides of the trail, is covered with wildflowers!
The beauty is almost overwhelming!
Once you get partly down the hill there are a few trails, one higher than the other. You can go along one for a while and then return on the nearly parallel trail. The higher path is most popular, but they are both stunning!
At this point we were on the higher, rockier trail looking down on the lower trail.
To get an idea of how far above Alta the Albion meadows are look at this picture. Can you see the parking lot nestled in the trees and the beginning of the meadows. This also shows the parallel paths at their closest.
Map of Albion Meadows
Here is a map that shows the paths through the Albion Meadows. The trail is marked in blue with the two possible parking options in red. There are wildflowers along much of the trail, but the biggest concentrations of wildflowers are highlighted in light blue. This trail has the most, followed by the trail to Cecret Lake.
So much beauty!
You can also see lovely Albion Basin wildflowers on the 1.8 easy mile Cecret Lake hike from the Albion Basin Campground parking lot, which is beyond Catherine’s Pass. Even if you don’t want to hike it, you might want to drive the couple minutes to the trailhead to see more wildflowers! These were taken from the roadside along the way.
Stats: Distance – 0-3 miles round trip (very adjustable)
Approximate hiking time – 30-120 minutes
Elevation gain – 0-600 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At trailhead
Seasons to hike – July – September (Wildflowers are only in peak bloom for a couple weeks, usually at the end of July or early August.)
Permits needed – $10 to park in Albion Basin (Free from Alta)
Pets allowed – No
Parking at Catherine’s Pass