Summary: This hike contains a good mix of meadow, woodland, and mountain terrain. Hiking this trail provides good exercise, but it is not extreme. Hikers will enjoy a wide variety of wild flowers and vegitation with a good mix of shade and sun throughout the hike.
The views are spectacular and become more so as the trail continues up the mountain. At the top of the pass, Lake Catherine can be seen below. The trail continues to the right and proceeds up to Sunset Peak. If the peak seems too daunting a hike, an alternative is to follow the trail as it continues down to Lake Catherine.
The trail up to Sunset Peak is not as strenuous as it looks from the pass. The terrain is interesting and the views from the peak are absolutely awesome. From Sunset Peak, the Heber Valley, Park City, Mt. Timpanogos, Big & Little Cottonwood Canyons, and even a small part of the Salt Lake Valley can be seen from this vantage point.
Trailhead: Getting to Little Cottonwood Canyon:
Take I-215 South (freeway will become I-215 East) until you reach the 6200 South exit. Turn right onto Wasatch Boulevard. This road will take you into Little Cottonwood Canyon.
From the north or south ends of the valley, take I-15 to I-215 East and follow the directions above.
Directions to the Trailhead:
Follow the canyon road into the town of Alta. Continue on the road until you reach the guard station on the east end. If you are in a party with multiple cars, you may be asked to park unnecessary vehicles and ride up in one or two cars as parking at the trailhead is extremely limited. There is a small parking area just past the guard station for extra cars. Follow the gravel road until you reach the parking area. Remember to park courteously so as to leave room for others to park. There are restroom facilities at the parking area. The trailhead begins across the gravel road to the east. (Lat:40.58285 Lon:-111.61854)
Trail Guides for Sunset Peak via Catherine Pass:
Best Easy Day Hikes - Salt Lake City
by Brian Brinkerhoff (Falcon Publishing)
Hiking the Wasatch
by John Veranth (University of Utah Press)
Best Seasons: Fall, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Bikes,
Ranger Contact: Wasatch-Cache National Forest (801) 466-6411 Tu-Sa 10:30a-7:00p MT
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Troy Slater, who has posted 9 other hikes on this site
Trail Reviews Page 1 of 2 Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jen on 9/10/2011
Did this hike Sept 9 and it was beautiful. Wildflowers everywhere, trail is well maintained. A good workout indeed.
Reviewed by Wasatch100 on 7/26/2011
This was so easy (right now)
Reviewed by MV on 1/11/2011
Hiked this last weekend and didn't expect there to be snow. Enough to need yaktracks and sometimes snowshoes. Had a good workout without either. Loved the trail.
Reviewed by Gary on 9/18/2010
Great open Albion Basin hike with big granite rock surfaces that are fun and safe to play on.
Reviewed by Antoni on 9/14/2009
September 14, 2009 - Fabulous scenery, with sun-breaks mixing with fog that swirled in like ghosts. A bit of lightning and a few raindrops reminded me that nature is still in charge.
Reviewed by HJ on 7/14/2007
Hiked this on July 13, 2007 and the wildflowers are out in true beauty. Best time to go is right now.
Reviewed by Keith on 7/31/2006
This is our new favorite hike. We went late yesterday (7/30/06). Hike goes through goregous fields of wildflowers. At one point the hummerbirds seemed to be dive-bombing us. You can feel the vibration of their wings as they swoop and dive. Arrived at the top around 6. Beautiful views of Heber Valley. The sun was setting by the time me left. Spectacular. Not to be missed.
Reviewed by Dave on 7/13/2005
I've done this hike several times. It's a fun one and it's awesome to be able to summit such a high peak and be back home within a few hours. Once we hiked down the other side into Big Cottonwood from Catherine Pass. I've seen some pretty funny stuff. One time we saw a bunch of drunk guys up on the peak who were drinking way too much tequila. Then another time we caught a couple totally in the buff, doing "something" on the top of the mountain. They were a little embarassed that we caught them, but it was hilarious, especially for a bunch of 17 year old boys! Aside from that, it's a fun hike and there are a lot of moose up in that part of Little Cottonwood, so keep your eyes open for some wildlife.
Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
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