Lakes Mary, Martha, and Catherine

Check here for a post on Lake Mary! We love visiting all three sister lakes when we come up to Brighton. I believe getting to Lake Mary is the most difficult, and it’s really smooth sailing after that.


Where: Big Cottonwood Canyon, edge of Brighton Ski Resort

Grown up difficulty: medium

Five year old difficulty: medium to hard

Length and elevation: 4.4 miles and 1250 ft gain

To see: wildflowers, three lakes, moose, rocks to climb

Busyness: busy



You’ve already made it to the first, hardest lake, Lake Mary! Congrats. It’s shady now, with truly spectacular views. After resting at the first lake, you’ll follow the trail around the lake, heading away from the dam in the same direction you came up. The trail climbs, giving an excellent top view of the lake. Lake Martha comes up really quickly on your right. It’s smaller, off the trail a ways, and often has a moose grazing nearby.

There’s more wildflowers here, including paintbrush, lupine, asters, and bluebells. It’ll open back up after awhile as you hike higher, through a switchback, and then to another meadow.

Our kids love climbing around on the boulder field right before Lake Catherine. There are some beautiful views here of the other two lakes as well as the Big Cottonwood Canyon. The trail splits and either way will take you to the last lake.

Once here, we take a really long break. You’ve just hiked over two miles and you may have some whiny kids. Plus the rest is mostly downhill and your toes are going to get tired. We’ve seen moose here as well.


Such a beautiful area and hike. If you’re up for a longer, steeper hike, tack on Lake Martha and Lake Catherine to your Lake Mary hike. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

Faves: wildflowers, three lakes, streams, shady areas

Hardest: length

Gear: good shoes and socks, water, snacks

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