An Easy Hike near Brighton For All Abilities
- Length: 0.75 miles round trip
- Elevation Gain: 0
- Highest Elevation: 8,730
- Trailhead: Solitude Nordic Center, just before Brighton Ski Resort
Great for kids and wheelchairs with access to fishing, too. This hike follows a boardwalked path around beautiful Silver Lake edged by mountains.
Silver Lake is located at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon, just before Brighton Ski resort at the end of the road. In summer, it is a great place for an easy and beautiful hike, or a fishing experience. During the winter it becomes part of the Solitude Nordic Center system of cross-country skiing trails.
The US Forest Service built the walkway (not actually a wooden boardwalk, but a synthetic material) and maintains it and the interpretive signs and displays around the lake. These signs and displays offer an excellent opportunity for the public to become educated about the flora, fauna and ecosystems of the area as well as watershed and drinking water implications.
The Information Center (which in the winter is the ticket and rental office for the Solitude Nordic Center) is open during the summer months over weekends and on holidays between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Both the Information Center and walkway are wheelchair accessible, and the lake is stocked with fish.
The day I hiked this trail (in the summer), representatives from Leave No Trace had a booth set up with all kinds of information on this excellent way of traversing the land. The information they were giving out complemented the information already on display around the lake and in the Information Center.
Although fishing is allowed, remember that this is still part of the Salt Lake Valley's watershed (meaning it eventually ends up as our drinking water). Swimming and dogs are not allowed at Silver Lake.
For a nice end to the day, why not stop at the Brighton Store and Cafe for a drink, snack or lunch and eat outside while gazing at the mountains you were just hiking around.
For more pictures from this hike, check out the
Hike Photo Gallery.