Sugarloaf Peak

Elevation: 11,051
Location: Wasatch Range, Utah

Sugarloaf Peak is an easily accessible and fun climb of one of the higher peaks in the Wasatch. I've climbed the mountain a number of times, all from either Albion Basin or Collins Gulch at Alta.

Sugarloaf and Devils Castle from Germania Pass I first climbed the peak in 1995 from Collins Gulch. This is the longer of the two routes. Still, with a gain of 2,500 feet in about 3 miles, it is not too difficult. This is also almost entirely on trail. Find the service road leading up into the gulch and follow this for 2.5 miles to Germania Pass at 10,600 feet. Approaching the pass, where snow lingers late into the season, you'll have a clear view of Sugarloaf's gentle west ridge.

You should be able to find a track up the remaining 450 feet to the summit through the boulders and scrub trees. Even if you don't, the ridge is easy walking and not too steep. The summit of Sugarloaf affords a good view of the Alta ski area and both Collins Gulch and Albion Basin. To the south you'll probably see tiny Pittsburg Lake. Nearby Mount Baldy, also easily climbed offers a chance to bag two of the Wasatch "11'ers". They are surely easier than any other combination of peaks this high in the range. Devils Castle to the east is just under 11,000 feet, but a much more challenging climb.

Sugarloaf from Sugarloaf/Devils Castle saddle From Albion Basin, follow the trail up to Secret Lake. From the lake, you can either take the trail on the east side of the lake and climb steeply to the saddle between Sugarloaf and Devils Castle. Finding and following this trail can be easier said than done. And even if you are on the trail it is steep, but it's nothing an experienced climber would have trouble with. From here, the east ridge of Sugarloaf is not a difficult climb either. It is an easy walk up gentle slopes of boulders to the summit. An easier route I think, and probably more scenic, is to go west around Secret Lake and take the trail here up to the ridge seperating Albion Basin and Collins Gulch. From here, take the service road to Germania Pass and follow the west ridge to the peak.

The peaks in the Alta and Brighton areas offer the best chance to climb in high altitude with minimal effort in the Wasatch range. Albion Basin is well-noted for it's wildflowers in the summer, and bringing a camera is a good idea.