Lake Mary |

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Hiking Lake Mary - Big Cottonwood Canyon Hiking Lake Mary
Big Cottonwood Canyon

Overview | Getting There | Route | Photos | Maps | Comments


TICKS & TODOS: 1 Todo Lists / 0 Ticks
RATING: Easy/Moderate Hike
GEAR: Standard Hiking Gear
SEASON: Summer, Fall
Wed Hi:41 Lo:17 Thu Hi:40 Lo:22 Fri Hi:38 Lo:24 Sat Hi:39 Lo:23 Sun Hi:36 Lo:23
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Lake Mary is a reservoir tucked below towering peaks at the end of Big Cottonwood Canyon. The hike to Lake Mary is popular and sublime! Grass slopes, carpeted with wildflowers make the uphill walk a delight. Just before Lake Mary, Dog Lake is a short side trip. Though smaller than Lake Mary, Dog Lake is generally less busy and makes a great lunch spot.

Lake Mary is a hike that is popular with families. The distance and scenery make it an excellent choice, beware of the frequent afternoon thunderstorms that happen in the mountains during the summer months.

Note: If you are looking for a slightly longer hike, the optional return via Twin Lakes is a great choice. The section of trail between Lake Mary and Twin Lakes is much less frequently traveled than the main path to Lake Mary and makes for an excellent loop.

Getting There

Big Cottonwood Canyon is on the east side of the Salt Lake City Valley. Get there by taking I-215 to the east, taking exit 6 off the interstate and heading east.

Follow 6200 South which becomes Wasatch Blvd for 1.8 miles to the stop light and signs for Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Turn left at the light and reset your odometer.

Drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon 14 miles to the small community of Brighton. At the loop, go right, with Brighton Ski resort just ahead. Parking in the large parking lot near the main Brighton Ski Resort Building.


To Lake Mary (1.25 miles one way)
From the Brighton parking lot, go just right (south) of the main Brighton building. A path leads up the slope, then heads right and passes between large logs to become a single narrower track. The single track switchbacks up the hillside, crossing under the ski lifts, before heading more south. After a short steep section. The junction to Dog Lake is reached. Dog Lake is a recommended side trip and takes only a few minutes. At the intersection to Clayton Peak, stay right for Dog Lake.

From the Dog Lake junction, it is a couple of minutes to the Lake Mary/Twin Lakes junction. If you are planning on just going to Lake Mary and returning the same way, got left. Lake Mary is less than 5 minutes from the junction.

If you are planning on the more extended return via Twin Lakes, go right here.

Twin Lakes Return (2.8 miles from the junction back to the trailhead)
From the Lake Mary/Twin Lakes junction, the trail works up past an old wooden building, then to the shores of Lake Mary. There are several excellent rock outcrops for a break or lunch here.

From Lake Mary, the Twin Lakes trail contours along staying relatively flat for 1.2 miles to Twin Lakes. At the reservoir for Twin Lakes, follow the road down, then left (west) to pick up the main trail back. The trail descends to Silver Lake with two junctions. Both are signed, go right at both. From the Silver Lake Parking lot, it is a 5-minute road walk back to Brighton.


Printable Maps:

12T 450566mE 4494340mN

N40° 35' 54" W111° 35' 03"


12T 450661mE 4494223mN

N40° 35' 50" W111° 34' 59"

Dog Lake Jct

12T 450581mE 4493358mN

N40° 35' 22" W111° 35' 02"

Lake Mary-Twin Lakes Jct

12T 450501mE 4493366mN

N40° 35' 23" W111° 35' 06"

Right to Silver Lake

12T 449872mE 4494954mN

N40° 36' 14" W111° 35' 33"

Right to Silver Lake 2

12T 450159mE 4495185mN

N40° 36' 22" W111° 35' 21"


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