Hike Lakes Mary, Martha and Catherine (Brighton Lakes)

Brighton Resort

Hike to 3 lakes on this 3.5 mile hike in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. This hike is relatively easy as it does not include summiting the peaks.

This trail is a local favorite because you can make it as hard or as easy as you want it to be! You can stop at the first lake which is only 1 mile from the parkinglot, or you can go to the top of one or more of the 5 peaks that are surrounding the lakes for an added challenge. It is 3.5 miles round trip just to reach all 3 of the lakes without ascending any of the peaks. The elevation gain is only about 1200 feet.

The trailhead begins at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon from the east end of the Brighton ski resort parking lot. You will see a trail marker pointing you towards the dirt trail. About 1/2 mile into the hike there is a short turnoff from the main trail to a neighboring lake called Dog Lake. It is a small 1/4 mile detour if you so desire to add another scenic lake to your hiking list.

The first lake that you reach is my personal favorite. It is called Lake Mary (it is actually a reservoir). It is the largest of the 3, and has beautiful granite rock formations around it. This is the destination where many people, especially those with children stop and have a picnic to enjoy the beauty.

Shortly after Lake Mary, you will run into the small Lake Martha. Then you need to gain some more elevation, and head into Catherine Pass before you will see Catherine Lake. It is surrounded by peaks and some great photos can be taken at any time of day. Like I said, there are many peaks to ascend from this point, but if this is your destination, then head back the way that you came for a nice 3.5 mile hike in the beautiful Brighton area.

This trail is in the middle of Brighton Ski Resort, so trails cannot be accessed except for by skiing at the resort. Snow can often linger on the trails until late June. Wildflowers are abundant here in the late summer.

Pack List

  • Hiking Boots or Trail Shoes
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Snacks
  • Daypack
  • Camera
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RT Distance 3.5 Miles
Elevation Gain 1200 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Groups
Lake
Picnic Area
River
Scenic
Wildflowers

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Great views, but should have waited another few weeks

Beautiful hike the entire way. Went June 2nd and there was still a ton of snow later in the hike and Lake Catherine was still frozen over. Decent crowd at Lake Mary but very few went on to the other two lakes. With the snow it's pretty difficult to find the trail from Martha to Catherine as there are very few signs and the paths aren't visible. Got lost on the way back down for a little and had to do some bushwhacking which definitely made it an adventure.

A Fun, Family Friendly Hike

There is so much to see on this hike, including a variety of gorgeous wildflowers in summer. I love hiking among the pines, and stopping at each lake to reflect. In addition, we almost always see moose on this hike. Please stay at least 25 yards away from these animals at all times, and also remember that swimming is not allowed here.

Great for a Picnic

The Brighton Lakes are a great place to hike up to and hang out at with a picnic with the fam. Kids can skip rocks across the lake and explore all around.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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