Backpack Lake Catherine and Bag Sunset Peak

3 miles 1200 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Lindsay Daniels

Lake Catherine is a great trip for beginning backpackers. Set up your campsite right near the lake (remember to camp responsibly). For a short day hike, head to Sunset Peak (2 miles roundtrip).

Any chance to get into the backcountry of the Wasatch Mountains is worth it. Many people day hike in the area, but not very many backpack in. The trail meets up with the Great Western Trail and overlooks Lake Catherine. The best place to camp is in the woods next to the lake. Hike down to the lake using the main trail and spot a faint trail on your right that leads to a bunch of trees. You’ll find a rock pit to make a fire and plenty of flat ground to pitch a tent.

Once you have your camp set up, this is a great place to start exploring. I would highly suggest making the hike to Sunset Peak which is about 2 miles roundtrip. You’ll be rewarded with wide open vista views overlooking Lake Catherine, Lake Martha and Lake Mary below. Hike back up the way you came until you reach the ridge. Follow the trail along the ridge as it climbs toward the summit of Sunset Peak. Come back the way you came to get back to camp.

This is a great trail for beginner backpackers. The trail to Lake Catherine is 1.5 miles one way. Sunset Peak from Lake Catherine is 2 miles roundtrip and is a little more strenuous, but the views are worth the effort.

Once you're back to the car, head to Porcupine Pub & Grille (3698 Fort Union Blvd). It's a great place to stop after any adventure in the Cottonwood Canyons.

Getting there - There is a dirt road at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon that takes you to the trailhead. After about 2 miles on the dirt road you’ll reach a small parking lot with bathrooms on your right. Park there and the trailhead is across the dirt road. 40.583177, -111.618092.

Read More

Tags

Camping
Backpacking
Hiking
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

🥈 Contributor

about 3 years ago

Beautiful wildflowers, easy trail

I did the hike in mid August and there were a surprising amount of wildflowers! The trail up to Lake Mary and Lake Catherine is very moderate and is covered with beautiful wildflowers. Sunset Peak was also worth the short hike. You get really incredible views both of BCC, LCC, and into Park City. It was really pretty!

🥈 Contributor

over 4 years ago

Nice Backpacking Trip And Fishing

I love this trip. I enjoy fishing and this was a great lake to do It at. I would use a clear bobber with a swivel on below it. Put some thin leader on the other side of the swivel. On the leader I would use a small dark ant fly or parachute Adams or a small caddis fly. That is what I use but almost any fly works. I caught a few nice brook trout. Have fun and good luck fishing!

This was a great beginners backpacking trek! Took us about an hour and a half (we like to stop and take photos quite a bit). We went early July, and once the sun set, it got a bit chilly. But it was gorgeous! Utah is so green this year, thanks to the late rainfall. The only downside to this hike would probably be that it is very popular, so if you want to avoid the crowds, try this hike midweek.

Stay Nearby

Albion Basin Road

Albion Basin

Overview Albion Basin Campground, just 15 miles from Sandy, Utah, is set among shady white pines and aspens in its beautiful namesake basin in Little Cottonwood Canyon at an elevation of 9,500 feet...

Sandy, Utah

The Cliff Lodge

Within walking distance to Snowbird’s pedestrian village, The Cliff Lodge offers comfortable lodging for the whole family or group. An on-site ski rental and repair shop and complimentary ski locke...

From $300/night

Salt Lake City, Utah

Redman Campground

Overview Redman Campground is located in scenic Big Cottonwood Canyon at an elevation of 8,300 feet. Salt Lake City is conveniently close. Visitors enjoy hiking, biking and fishing.Recreation Hikin...

Salt Lake City, Utah

Ski In/Ski Out W/ Private Hot Tub, Steps To Dining

• TurnKey photo-verifies this home is professionally cleaned with products approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. •The perfect retreat for an alpine getaway this 3BR home offers ski-in/ski-o...

From $187/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Hike Mount Wolverine

    This mountain can be conquered two ways and is a great after-work adventure to watch the sunset, an early morning trail run, or a fun family challenge. The trail is 4 miles and 1,425 feet elevation gain (from the Alta side) or 6 miles and 2,050 fe...

    4 miles 1425 ft gain

  • Hike Catherine Pass

    Catherine Pass is a must do if you are in the Salt Lake vicinity in July. The wildflowers are mind-blowing. But it’s a great hike to do in the Spring, after Alta Ski Resort has closed, and the Fall as well.  It costs $6 per vehicle to drive to the...

    4 miles 1115 ft gain

  • Hike to Cecret Lake

    Cecret Lake is reached by driving up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Albion Basin above Alta Ski Resort. The hike is just under 1 mile to the lake and should take about 30 minutes. The hike goes through fields full of wildflowers and wildlife is abu...

    1.5 miles 458 ft gain

  • Photograph Cecret Lake

    A short 1 mile hike form Albion Basin to Cecret Lake. It climbs a gentle slope and along the way there are interpretive signs with information about the basin, its plants, animals and geology. From the lake you can return the same way you came, or...

    2 miles 300 ft gain