Utah, Part 1: Snowbird and Cecret Lake

I’m fortunate in that I have a job that I love, and that said job affords me the opportunity to travel to incredible places. We just wrapped up a workshop in Utah, and I was able to spend a couple of extra days exploring the area with a coworker/friend. Most of the trip was business, but the 3 short days we had free were full of fun.

There’s a lot to share, so I’m breaking into 4 parts. I’m one of those people who thinks a picture is worth more than a thousand words, so you’re going to get lots of pictures. And lots of pictures tend to make a post long. Hence the 4 parts. Really.

We did the workshop up at Snowbird, which meant I got to stay in the Cliff Lodge. Snowbird is primarily a ski resort, though there are plenty of summer activities. It was beautiful, and very hard to imagine covered in snow. The lodge is a little bit dated, honestly. Nice enough, but I don’t think I’d pay to stay there. I’d stay in Salt Lake City and drive up the mountain to ski. Plus, the hallways are creepy.

Cliff Lodge Hallway

Cliff Lodge Room 2The room was actually really good-sized, and had a mini-fridge. Unfortunately, the fridge froze everything solid regardless of what temperature it was set to. My coworkers had similar issues with theirs, so it wasn’t just me. My other major complaint about the room was the lack of accessible outlets. Really….it’s 2014. There’s absolutely no excuse for not having outlets near the bed and desk.

I also want to point out the shower “window.” This didn’t bother me, but some people thought it was really strange. I think the reasoning is that you’re able to lie in the tub and look out the window at the mountains. But there it is, a window in the shower.

Cliff Lodge Room 3And…I have to share this because it was hilarious. When Jennifer and I got there, we asked the valet to bring us a luggage cart so we could pile our groceries on it to take up to our room. He brought back a laundry cart. You should have seen us maneuvering this thing through the halls…

Luggage CartBut, the view from my room was pretty nice.

Cliff Lodge View CropSo there we were, up in the mountains with very little free time, just staring at all the beauty around us. Sigh. Until Thursday night, that is, when one of the locals took us on a short hike to Cecret Lake. It’s located in the Albion Basin of the Wasatch National Forest.

CJ Wasatch Sign 2

Cecret Lake Sign

The hike to Cecret Lake is about a mile, and is relatively easy until the last little bit. At that point I wanted to die. (Now might be the time to mention that Snowbird is sitting at about 8500 feet above sea level. Knoxville is…oh, about 900.) It was worth it though. We were there about a week after the wildflower peak, and it looked like a postcard.








41Friday the rest of the team went home and Jennifer and I began our 3-day Utah adventure.

We were moving down to the city, so we checked out of Snowbird and decided to spend the afternoon enjoying the mountain. We took the Peruvian Chair Lift up the mountain, hiked around a little bit – straight up, I swear – and then rode the tram down the mountain. The lift took us to about 10,000 feet, and we hiked up to get to the tram and Hidden Peak…at 11,000 feet. Me and my lungs were proud.

Hidden PeakBut wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. The chair took us up the Peruvian Gulch. After we got off the chair, we had to go through a tunnel to get to Mineral Basin.


Mineral BasinThen we hiked. Up. The. Mountain. It was absolutely gorgeous, and I can’t pick just one or two pictures. And…these are phone pictures. They aren’t filtered or edited. It was that beautiful.




Casey Mineral Basin

Mt Baldy Sign

Casey Mt Baldy

Mt Baldy


The wildflowers were in full bloom on the mountain

At the Top

This was also the day that Utah ate my phone. In a fluke of nature, somehow when I set my jacket down (phone was in the pocket), a rock caught my phone at just the right angle and completely shattered the screen. So, I went the rest of the trip with no phone, and Jennifer took a million pictures like a champ.

Caseys Dead Phone

You can’t tell, but it’s spiderwebbed all the way up the screen. At least I did a good job.

That night we went into downtown Salt Lake City, but you’ll have to wait to hear about it! Stay tuned for more Utah adventures….


  1. The tunnel was so freaky cool! Frankly, I think Utah is one of the most gorgeous states in the Union. So glad you were able to take the additional 3 days to enjoy it!

    1. It really is gorgeous! I can’t wait to go back – Jimmie and I are already talking about doing it next year for our vacation 🙂