Brighton Lakes Trail: Lakes Mary, Martha and Catherine
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Distance: 1 mile one way to Lake Mary
  • Travel Time: 1 hour one way to Lake Mary
  • Elevation: 700' gain to 9500'
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Trail Pictures

The Lake Mary Trail at Brighton Ski resort is one of the more popular trails in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  Lake Mary is a senic lake with granite cliffs droping into the lake on one side and mountains all around.  It is a combination of 2 lakes(Lake Mary & Lake Phoebe) created by a dam.  The hike is a relatively short 1 mile but gains 700 feet in elevation.  Parts of the trail cross over the ski runs and don't provide much shade, so it is better to do this hike in the morning or late evening during the summer.  Because Lake Mary is part of the Salt Lake City watershed, no dogs are allowed on the trail.

The trailhead is located just south of the Brighton Center building and north of the Majestic ski lift.  The first section of the trail climbs up the ski slopes crossing under the Majestic and Crest Express ski lifts.  It eventually connects with one of the service roads in the resort just before the road ends at some boulders. A couple of hundred yards past the boulders in the road the trail veers to the right and into the forest.  About 3/4 of a mile from the trailhead there is a junction.  To the left is the trail to Dog Lake (a small but senic pond 500 ft from the main trail).  Shortly after the junction, you'll cross a stream coming out of Lake Mary and come to another junction.  The main trail is to the left, but the Twin Lake Trail to the right takes you along Lake Mary's north shore.  Taking the trail to the left you'll enter a ravine taking you to the base of the dam.  The trail heads up the south slope of the ravine to the top of the dam and the lake.

To get to Lake Martha and Lake Catherine, keep following the trail along Lake Mary's southeast side.  Lake Martha is a smaller more pond like lake, not very far past Lake Mary.  Lake Catherine is about a mile past Lake Mary and another 500 feet gain in elevation.  At Lake Martha the trail heads to the left and starts some switchbacks up the ridge separating Dog Lake from Lakes Mary & Martha.  At the top of the ridge a spur trail heads to the left to get to Lake Catherine.  Or you can continue to Catherine Pass, Albion Basin, or Sunset Peak to the right.

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