I'm on a quest to experience some of Utah's grandeur. I've spend over 5 years here in this great state, but I've really only been to a few places. I found a great website cleverly called Utah.com that has a pretty good list of different hikes. I looked for something that would be decently strenuous, but not too hardcore. Also I wanted something accessible. Mary's Lake was the winner. The description on the website says the trailhead is at the back of the Brighton parking lot, marked by a marquee with trail info, but after about 30 minutes circling the area in my car and using my phone's GPS, I figured out the trailhead is actually right next to the lift ticket office. I didn't see any marquee other than the resort map.
Yeah. Pretty obvious.
I didn't expect there to be as much snow as there was. A lot of the trail was like this:
But really, most of it looked like this:
Mary's lake was the first stop on this hike, about 1.5 miles (I'm guessing) from the trailhead. The trail continues on to Martha Lake and then further on to Catherine Lake, which apparently is the best of the three. Because of the amount of snow still on the ground, I only made it as far as Mary's. I actually lost the trail on the way up and just cut my way through the trees to find the lake and ended up coming in around on the back side. It would have been hard to find my way any further up.
Here's a few photos of Mary's Lake.
Mary's is actually a reservoir for Salt Lake water, so there's a man-made dam.
I did a bit of fishing, but after an hour or so without so much as a nibble, I gave it up. I'm going to go back in a couple of months when all the snow has melted off so I can make it all the way up to Catherine's.
Mary, Margaret, and Catherine Lake Hike
Recommended time of year - Late July - September
Accessibility - Very easy
Difficulty of Hike - Pretty easy, even in the snow
Length - Reported at 4 miles out and back, but I'm not sure if that's accurate
Level of Awesomeness - Mary's lake was actually pretty cool. I'd like to see Catherine's
Money - Parking is free at Brighton, no access fees
Fishing - I really have no idea if there are even any fish in the lake...
Crowd Factor - There were quite a few people at Mary's, even with the poor trail conditions. I bet it's pretty crowded once the snow is gone. I'm not sure how many people would make it all the way to Catherine's though.
My Rating (1-10) - 7 - Great day hike, especially if you only have a few hours.