An Easy Hike at Brighton
- Length: 1.5 miles rt to Dog Lake, 2 miles rt to Lake Mary
- Elevation Gain: 760 ft (Dog Lake), 800 ft (Lake Mary)
- Highest Elevation: 8,810 ft (Dog Lake), 9,520 (Lake Mary)
- Trailhead: Brighton Ski Resort parking lot
Lake Mary is one of a cluster of lakes accessible from the Brighton Ski Resort. In the winter, of course, the lake is frozen over and only appears as a snow-covered area. But in the summer, the crystal clear blue water surrounded by peaks, boulders and fragrant wildflowers is a welcome respite away from the heat, crowds and noise of the valley.
The hike is a short, easy one, and good for everyone in the family. It is a pretty popular hike (due to the close access and
not-so-steep terrain), so weekends during the summer you will most certainly have company.
This trail starts at Brighton Ski Resort, near the Majestic lift. There is a big sign, (in the summer time, it is a
map describing the area hikingtrails, in the winter time, it is a map of the ski runs). Several trails take off from this trailhead, including the Snake Creek Pass Trail and the Twin Lakes Pass Trail.
You will follow under the Majestic lift for a little while then cut off into the trees where the trail continues through forested hillsides to the lake.
Along the way, you will be treated to flower-strewn slopes, gnarled trees and several vistas of the valley below. You will come to a few junctions, but trail signs clearly mark the way.
The lake itself is actually a large, man-made reservoir (about 1,500 by 800 feet), and is held back on one side by a dam. But this reservoir is a part of Salt Lake's water system, so swimming, wading, boating, etc is prohibited. Enjoy the beauty of the lake from its shores.
After about 3/4 mile, there is a sign for a spur off to Dog Lake. The spur is just a few yards, so, you
should definitely check it out. On the day we took this hike, Dog Lake was very low, almost non-existant.
Continue on for about
another 1/4 mile to Lake Mary, a beautiful glacial lake nestled in the crook of some craggy granite mountain
peaks. Notice the dam keeping Lake Mary within its boundaries.
Moose are frequently seen in this area. Be careful not to approach them as they are wild animals,
very powerful and can be unpredictable.
For more pictures from this hike, check out the
Hike Photo Gallery.