Backpack Lake Catherine and Bag Sunset Peak

Lake Catherine Trail

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.

Pack List

  • Backpacking gear
  • Camera
  • Water and Filter
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RT Distance 3 Miles
Elevation Gain 1200 Feet
Activities Camping, Backpacking, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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!

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!


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