The easiest and most common routes for an ascent of Sugarloaf Peak are by way of the east and north ridges. Either ridge may be reached from the Secret Lake trail in Alta's Albion Basin. Refer to the main page 'Getting There' section for directions to the trailhead.
One-Way Hiking Distance: 1.5 miles
Elevation Gain: 1,641 ft.
Trailhead Elevation: 9,410 ft.
Summit Elevation: 11,051 ft.
Average Gain Per Mile: 1,094 ft.
From the trailhead parking area follow the well maintained trail for approximately 3/4-mile to the east shore of Secret Lake. This portion of the trail is very popular and sees heavy foot traffic, especially on early summer weekends when wildflowers are in full bloom.
Sugarloaf Peak rises directly above the west shore of Secret Lake. The summit may be reached from either the east ridge to the left of the lake, or the north ridge to the west of the lake. The east ridge is shorter but slightly steeper than the north ridge, but neither route requires any scrambling.
Ascent via East Ridge
To ascend via the east ridge, contour to the south shore of the lake, where a unmaintained hikers trail can be followed up the steep scree slopes to the south. The route appears steep but is not as bad as it appears. This is the standard route for an ascent of Devil's Castle
, which is the dark and rugged peak on the ridge stretching east from Sugarloaf. Upon reaching the low spot on the ridge connecting Devil's Castle and Sugarloaf, turn right and follow the ridge a short distance to the summit.
Ascent via North Ridge
To ascend via the north ridge, at Secret Lake follow an unmaintained hikers trail around the north shore of the lake, then head west up the moderate slopes below and to the north of the prominent buttress midway up the ridge. Contour around the west side of the buttress, where the north ridge of Sugarloaf can be intersected and followed to the summit.