The Albion Meadows at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon are one of the best places to see wildflowers in all of Utah! During the end of July through 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. One of the best things about this hike is it’s flexibility. The flowers are surrounding the road and parking lot, so you could even make it a scenic drive. You can shorten this by parking at Catherine’s Pass instead of the Albion Base. You could add on by continuing on to Cecret Lake or Sugarloaf Mountain. You could also add on the other direction to Lake Catherine, Sunset Peak, Mount Tuscarora or Mount Wolverine. The mountain seen in the distance above the “X” of snow is Devil’s Castle. Cecret Lake is near it’s base. There is with little shade on this hike, so plan accordingly with sunscreen, extra water snd trying to avoid the hottest times.
The main Albion Meadows trail is between the Albion base, at Alta Ski Resort and the Catherine’s Pass parking lot.
It costs $10 to drive on the improved dirt road above Alta and there can be a wait to get up the road on weekends and holidays, so many choose to start at the bottom at Alta and hike up. It isn’t too steep and is a great option.
The roundtrip hike from the base, up to Catherine’s Pass and back is 3.6 miles.
Albion Meadows from Catherine’s Pass
If you would like a shorter hike, pay the $10 and drive to the Catherine’s Pass parking lot. 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.
Albion Meadows from Alta
From the base, begin between the Albion Grill and Alta Ski Shop. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow.
In 10-15 minutes you get to some incredible lupine fields!
There are many varieties of wildfLowers, including my favorite: Indian Paintbrush!
At a moderate pace, it will probably take you about 20 minutes to arrive at the incredible Albion Meadows.
In the Albion Meadows, the entire hillside, on both sides of the trail, is covered with wildflowers!
The beauty is almost overwhelming!
You can look up to the north and see the Catherine’s Pass Trailhead in the distance. You can head up the hill, or continue straight ahead and loop back 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.
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!
Stats: Distance – 3.6 miles round trip (very adjustable)
Approximate hiking time – 30-120 minutes
Elevation gain – 744 feet
Difficulty – Easy
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks
Bathrooms – At trailhead
Seasons to hike – July – September
Permits needed – Free from Alta ($10 to park in Albion Basin)
Pets allowed – No
Parking near Albion Grill
Parking at Catherine’s Pass