albion basin

This last week we were able to go camping at Albion Basin in Utah. My younger sister came into to town and both of us have seen this place all over our social media feeds so we hopped in the car and set up camp for the night. So if you’re looking for a great place to hike, ski, take photos, or camp here’s information.

Albion Basin Address

Albion Basin Rd, Alta, UT 84092
This camp site is only 20 minutes from Sandy, Utah and an hour and half from Provo. This campground is the last stop at the top of Little Cottonwood Canyon. The drive up the canyon is steep and has no gas stations.

When are they open?

This area is open year around as it serves as an excellent ski destination in the winter and is apart of Alta. But to get the peak of the wild flowers you will want to visit between the end of July when the wildflower festival is held until the beginning of September.

Albion Basin Phone Number

(801) 742-2356

If you plan to camp overnight it is a good idea to call ahead of time and reserve your campsite. There are reserved 17 campsites and only 7 walk up. Here is also the website if you have further questions.

What are the prices?

To go up and hike for the day or take photos there is no charge. If you would like a day camp site it is $8. For a campsite overnight it is $21 with an additional $8 for more than  two cars. If you plan to use one of the paid options bring cash or a checkbook for payment.

What can you expect?

If you are going up for the day you may be asked to park at the lower parking area, especially if you come in the late afternoon. But there is a shuttle that can take you to the top parking structure. If you do park up top there are two different parking areas. For camping you will want to drive straight to the gate. Also as mentioned, if you plan to camp overnight it is a good idea to call ahead of time and reserve your campsite. There are reserved 17 campsites and only 7 walk up. The basin itself has over 100 different types of wildflowers that smell and look beautiful.

The basin is 9.500 feet up so the weather tends to be in the mid 70’s to 80’s reaching only in the 50’s at night. The weather feels fantastic in the middle of summer and is a great reprieve from the scorching summer temperatures down in the valleys. Bring sun block no matter why you are visiting because there are many open areas.

If you are camping the camp hosts are very helpful and will help you once you arrive and can direct you to your campsite. The campsite has latrines for restrooms with a faucet and soap nearby. The campsites are mostly shaded and have a picnic table, fire pits and grills. There are a bit of trees so the campsites are a great place to bring a hammock. There is also running water from the faucet to fill up water bottles.


If you are not camping you should plan on bringing water as there isn’t many places to fill up water bottles aside from the campsites. There are some public restrooms along the hiking trails. We hiked to the Meadow Trail and to the Cecret Lake. There is also a few other trails nearby such as Catharine’s Pass so there are many trail to pick from. The Meadow trail which takes you down the hill but along spectacular views as it opens up to the canyon. The photos below as well as the one at the top are taken on this trail . This trail is slightly inclined or declined but generally an easy one.

albion basin

albion basin

The Cecret Lake trail is a bit more a of challenge having you start gaining elevation right away. This hike though has many beautiful gems and sites as a pass a small brook. There were some rather large rocks that are said to have fallen from the nearby peak called Devils Castle that my boys has fun climbing along the way. The hike will gain elevation at the beginning and the final decent is a few switch backs so while my children were able to make this trail, breaks and lots of water are good ideas. The photo with Nora smiling big is at the top of the switch backs with the lake behind her. That three year old did the whole hike on her own!

Once you get to the top you can end your hike at Cecret Lake (as pictured below) or you can continue on a path to the top of the peak called Sugarloaf. There were also some rock climbers along the way up to the lake. So if you like to rock climb bring the gear. The wall we saw was south of the switch backs. The lake is a glacier lake so it is pretty cold and probably not suitable for swimming. But we did find salamanders in the lake and the kids had fun watching them. I think there are also fish though I would check and make sure fishing is allowed. This hike in total took about 40 minutes for our gang of kids one way.

Photo Tips

If you are coming for photos the sun starts setting around 6:30pm at the basin because of the trees and mountains. The sun was officially gone by 8:30pm. I would advise though if possible to shoot in the morning. I must have seen five families there for photos in the evening and the trails were equally as busy so it is a lot less congested in the mornings and the light is lovely. The sunrise is around 6:30 am. The meadow trail offers some stunning views with hardly any trees. Whereas the overlook photos taken at dusk are taken along the Cecret trail a little in to the right. to be honest, as long as you are there you can find a spot to shoot. I even took the one below in the middle of the morning in some shade.

Ok. you got the down-low on the amazing flowers in Utah! Get up there and have an awesome rest of the summer! Comment with any questions and I will try to get back to you asap.

albion basin

albion basin

albion basin

albion basin

cecret lake

albion basinalbion basin