This past weekend as we hiked through massive fields full of colorful wildflowers I couldn’t help but sing one of my favorite Tom Petty songs:
“You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
Sail away, kill off the hours
You belong somewhere you feel free.”
We’ve hiked part of the Napali Coast in Kauai, explored the dense bamboo forest in Maui, and climbed up to the Emerald Lagoon in Thailand, and after every adventure I’ve continued to tell you that hiking is just not my forte’, however this weekend that changed.
This weekend, I found that hiking in my own backyard is pretty damn great! And incredibly beautiful, too.
Up Little Cottonwood Canyon high above the hustle and bustle of the capital city, you’ll find one of the prettiest destinations in the state: Albion Basin. This basin is located in the heart of the Wasatch mountains and is a recreational haven thanks to its many hiking trails, vast fields of brightly colored wildflowers, and diverse wildlife viewing opportunities. (Oh, and we can’t forget about those famous slopes filled with the “Best Snow on Earth” during the winter months). And after living in Utah for five years, I was completely surprised that it took us so long to explore this area.
For our first local hiking adventure, we decided to hike up to Cecret Lake because–let’s face it–this hike is rated as “Easy” and is less than one mile each way, so we knew it couldn’t be that bad. We also liked the idea of hiking to a lake because it felt like we were aiming for a nice “reward” at the end of the hike.
And that reward paid off. Big Time.
Nestled 9,750 feet above sea level, Cecret Lake is hidden just-out-of-sight at the top of a steep hill. This snow-fed lake has an emerald hue (which was reminiscent of the Emerald Lagoon in Thailand); and if you look close and you’ll see salamanders swimming around by the shore. Sugarloaf Mountain dominates the entire landscape from the West, while the views of the basin filled with tall pine trees and fields of wildflowers go on for miles in the opposite direction.
Albion Basin is one of Salt Lake valley’s main watersheds which provides up to 15% of the valley’s drinking water, so swimming in Cecret Lake is strictly prohibited–leave your furry friend at home as well because dogs are not allowed in the basin, for the same reason.
We travel across the globe exploring beautiful places, exotic places, once-in-a-lifetime-kinds of places, and I’m humbled–and honored–to say that Utah is one of those “kinds” of places in its own right. And with so many beautiful hikes up the many canyons around the Valley, I have a feeling that exploring the mountains in our own backyard will become a weekly adventure this summer.
So, are you coming with us on the next hike? 🙂 Do you like to hike?