Difficulty: Moderate ◼︎
Length: 4.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,400 feet
Dog Friendly: No
Trailhead coordinates (copy + paste): 40.5828, -111.6183
Directions: Drive past the Alta base and up the summer road to the parking lot, which is on the edge of a sharp turn below the top of Sunnyside chairlift. Note: The trailhead starts a few miles up a dirt road past the Albion Basin fee booth. You will need to pay $8 for a day pass.
Starting from Albion Basin, the Sunset Peak trail winds its way up a wildflower-covered mountainside to Catherine Pass, which bridges the gap between Little and Big Cottonwood Canyons. At this point you will connect with hikers who started from Brighton and ascended via Lakes Mary, Martha and Catherine—a longer route to try another day. Follow the sign to Sunset Pass, where the trail begins to climb. The trail flattens slightly and turns to sand along the top of the ridge, where you travel for a short while on a section of the 4,500-mile long Great Western Trail. Continue East on the trail, which gets narrower and steeper, before quickly wrapping around to the summit. The peak itself it small and can be crowded on weekends. Because of this and the lack of shade, it's best to start early. The 10,648-foot peak towers over the sister lakes and has sweeping views of Heber Valley, Mount Timpanogos and Little Cottonwood Canyon. The ascent to Sunset Peak is less strenuous than many of its 10,000-foot plus peers and doesn't require scrambling, making it accessible to a wide range of hikers. Dogs are not allowed in the Cottonwoods, so the furry friends will need to sit this one out.