Perfect Day’s Outing For Fit Seniors.

Alta's Vail Ridge. Credit: Maura Olivos
Alta’s Vail Ridge.
Credit: Maura Olivos

[Editor Note:  This article was contributed to by Sue Z.  Sue Z., born in Brooklyn, is now a senior skier who likes to spend her time at Alta. When she is not skiing or hiking with her husband, David, she paints in acrylics, plays the piano, and plays the drums. She and David have two sons, one in technology, living in Austin, the other a stand-up comic, living in Brooklyn.]

Alta’s Albion Basin area has terrific skiing for families in winter. In the summer, it becomes a beautiful high altitude destination for seniors who like to hike through meadows covered in wildflowers. They (flowers, not seniors) start blooming in mid-June and reach their peak at the end of July, when the Wasatch Wildflower Festival offers guided tours.

For dedicated Alta skiers like my husband and me, summer hiking reveals what’s has been hidden by snow during the season. This past season Alta accumulated 438.5 inches before closing on April 24. All the slopes and trails we enjoy during winter are now a riot of yellows, purples, reds, and whites.

Wildflower Festival hike at Alta Credit: Maura Olivos
Wildflower Festival hike at Alta
Credit: Maura Olivos

What was hidden? We could see big boulders, entire trees, and lots of logs. At the beginning of the hike, starting at the Albion Lodge and Grill, we saw the parked fleet of groomers. We then realized that the popular location for the resort’s photographer on the novice run is actually atop a large rock. A nearby outcropping is a young skiers’ jump. Further up the trail, around a corner, you might see a moose. Most wildlife are ground squirrels which scurry across your path. We discovered that Sugarloaf mountain, with so many trails, slopes and bowls, is mostly rock.

Although the Upper Albion Meadows trail is labeled moderate, we think it’s an easy hike for seniors. We bring our trekking poles, hats, long pants, suntan lotion, water, and sliced oranges. We chuckle when we encounter families with young children, hiking in sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, and the occasional flip-flops. It begins at the Albion Grill and leads to the Albion Basin campground and Cecret Lake Trailhead. The total distance is 1.5 miles one way, with an elevation gain of 1,100 ft. We traveled about a mile on the trail to Alf’s Restaurant and returned from there. There are several shaded areas at the beginning of the trail, and the surface is mostly dirt and small rocks. My husband and I have a favorite shaded rock to enjoy our oranges.

Campground Trail's wild flowers. Credit: Maura Olivos
Campground Trail’s wild flowers.
Credit: Maura Olivos

Paul Paris, our ski friend, leads wildflower tours. He comments: “It is truly hard to describe the awe-inspiring beauty standing waist deep in flowers in the Albion Basin. No matter one’s age, a visit to the Basin during the peak of wildflower season is close to a spiritual experience.”










Ah, the colors! Alta in summer. Credit: Maura Olivos
Ah, the colors! Alta in summer.
Credit: Maura Olivos
Alta's Supreme Top in summer dress. Credit: Maura Olivos
Alta’s Supreme Top in summer dress.
Credit: Maura Olivos

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *