Hiking Lake Catherine via Brighton Lakes Trail in Wasatch National Forest, Utah

The Beta

Lake Catherine is quite the hike near Brighton Resort, Utah! It’s 4.6 miles long, featuring 1,247 feet of elevation gain, and is rated as moderate. It features incredible mountain views of Brighton Resort and the surrounding Wasatch Mountains, as well as three perennial lakes. This hike is best done from mid-May to mid-June and late September to mid-November. Dogs are not allowed to use this trail, and swimming is not allowed at this lake or any lake in the SLC watershed.

Lake Catherine from Sunset Pass in the Wasatch National Forest, Utah.

Need to Know

This trail follows the same route as Lake Mary, and continues on past it towards higher elevation! Once you get to Lake Mary, the route is pretty covered and offers lots of shade. The first .75 miles are nearly full direct cover with high exposure. This hike, in my opinion is bets done on cooler days in early spring and late fall, or on cloudy days with low temperatures and minimal sun from mid-May to mid-November. I was lucky enough to get a cool, 60 degree day in early June, which meant it was even cooler at elevation!

Speaking of elevation, this trail does start at the base of Brighton, which is at 8,755 feet. You only go up from here, and can find yourself at just under 10,000 feet at Lake Catherine. Make sure to take breaks and stay hydrated. Bring niacin rich dark chocolate or cheese to combat altitude sickness!

The overlooks near Lake Catherine are absolutely stunning. Utah is so beautiful in spring!

Justin’s Suggestion

This can turn into a long hike pretty quickly. Once you arrive at Lake Catherine, you have the options to turn towards a number of 10,000+ foot summits, including Sunset Peak. Make sure to bring enough water, and even a small snack or other food! Even on the day I did this, I was happy I brought a protein bar and beef jerky, along with five liters of water.

Try to do this hike during the midweek, if able. Lake Mary is pretty popular, so weekends are very crowded. Once you start hiking past Lake Mary and Lake Martha, the crowds start thinning out a bit. You’ll be greeted with beautiful views overlooking Brighton, and a closer look at some of the peaks!

Overlooking Lake Catherine from Sunset Pass, Utah.

Take A Hike!

This is a great hike for individuals and families! Pack the car, make sure you remember water and sunscreen, and have a great time! Let me know in the comments how it was if you did it – I would love to hear stories!

While you’re in Big Cottonwood Canyon, check out Hidden Falls!

See you on the next one!

Parting shot:

If you’re in for more hiking uphill, take the trail to Sunset Pass for this incredible view of Mount Timpanogos!

Next blog: Let’s get into some Escalante and Kodachrome Basin blogs, shall we? Southern Utah is RAD!

6 thoughts on “Hiking Lake Catherine via Brighton Lakes Trail in Wasatch National Forest, Utah

    1. It’s definitely a bummer – it’s all the Salt Lake watershed, so it makes sense, but it would be awesome to take a dip in there! There’s other lakes in the area you can swim in, so it all works out!

      Liked by 1 person

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