Backpacking Lake Catherine Near Brighton, Utah

So, full disclosure, I didn’t actually backpack this hike with all my friends, but all of them did! I went along with them for the hike up as a “guide” of sorts and helped out. My friend decided to run some backpacking basics trips this summer and this was the first trip with a bunch of people who had never backpacked before! We did the short hike up to Lake Catherine, and they attached a sunset hike up to Sunset Peak. I hiked up to Lake Catherine with them, helped them set up their tents, offered tips and advice, and ended up hiking the Wolverine, Tuscarora, and Patsy Marley cirque.

Here we go! Heading to our first lake.
Cue some Lord of the Rings music!
Cristian posing near Lake Mary! Made it to lake one! We stopped here for some snacks.

It’s been a number of years since I’ve taken a backpacking trip, and I certainly didn’t want to miss out on this one, but, a 5-mile trip isn’t a huge lure for me. I’d rather get a little further in for my trip, and a little further away from Salt Lake. This hike was pure fun for me, and to get to hike with a bunch of friends, and, of course, take all the photos for the crew!

John walking to our snack spot!
Katie took in the view of Lake Mary. It’s a pretty lake, that’s for sure!
Our fearless leader, Andrew. All smiles here!

There’s something just so fun about hiking with a bunch of enthusiastic friends. Most of them were new to backpacking, and they were excited to be on the trip! In Utah, there are so many opportunities to get outside and hike. So many of the best locations are hidden deep in the backcountry, which almost requires at least a one-night trip in order to experience it fully. Most of the hikes in Big Cottonwood or Little Cottonwood can be done in a couple hours, a morning or afternoon, or a full day. But, slowing down that experience and taking your time is a good way to experience the beauty of the canyons.

Stopped for a quick snack at Lake Mary. There are 4 lakes on this trail – make sure you hit them all!
Annie had been in Salt Lake for about a week prior to this trip. What a rad gal!
Sammy smiles. They’re contagious!
Ready to get on the trail again. Lead the way!

From here, we packed up again and continued on toward our destination. We passed Lake Martha on the way and crossed a few snowy areas along the way. In late May and even early to mid-June, there can be snow on the trails. A number of people brought hiking poles, including myself, and they’re super helpful for conditions like these! I also like to use them for hard summits. They honestly make a huge difference! And this is coming from the guy that’s always been skeptical of poles. Get ’em – you won’t regret your decision!

Snow covers the trail – even on June 25th, 2022!
Watch your step on the snow Take it slow, and try to step in holes where you can’t slip!
Nearly there – Lake Catherine is just behind those trees to the left!

Finally, we made it to Lake Catherine! Everyone was happy to make it to camp, and tent setup began immediately. There was a little confusion on how to set up tents, and it was a learning experience for both the newbies and Andrew and myself. It was tricky learning how to set up those tents on location. I made sure to remind everyone that it’s always good to assemble your tent at your house *before* you backpack or even car camp. If you arrive late in the evening, or if you arrive under non-ideal weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet, hail, or wind), setting up your tent for the first time is going to be even harder. Once we worked out the tent situation, we went through food storage, sanitary “bathroom” habits, and water filtration. All these skills are good to learn, and I’m happy I could be there to support Andrew with teaching!

The girls setting up their tent!
All done!
Laughs at camp. We all had a good time!

From here, Meaghan and I said our goodbyes to the group and both of us continued on to hike Wolverine, Patsy Marley, and Tuscarora. It was a hard hike as always, and, coincidentally, the warmest I’d ever done this hike! I did it twice last year – once in August 2021 after a little snow storm (there was snow at the top!) and in October 2021 with my friend Dan during an actual blizzard. That was a fun experience, but one I don’t think I’ll want to do again!

Cristian sitting in a camp chair, taking it all in.

I’ll leave you with my parting shot, taken at the top of Mt. Wolverine. What a day for the books!

Parting shot:

Meaghan at the top of Wolverine. Bagged three 10k peaks!

Next blog: Caught up on June 2022 now. Let’s get to July!

8 thoughts on “Backpacking Lake Catherine Near Brighton, Utah

  1. I’m sure your friends must’ve been thrilled having you as the designated photographer! You certainly captured epic portrait shots of them, and I’m sure they’ll be using them as their profile photos on social media! Looked to be a beautiful hike as well…Like you, I also have travel posts to be published this fall of my trips from LAST year, so it’s great you’re catching up quickly with yours! Can’t wait to read them soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah they were pretty happy with that! It’s nice to have someone capture all those moments, ya know? It was a beautiful hike! I love this little loop! Yeah, I won’t pretend that I’ve skipped over some posts from last fall but surprisingly, I’m only backed up til about July 2022, save for a few November 2021 posts. I’m stoked to write about them!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeahhh haha I just have 3 or 4 blogs from my time in California, but after that, I would be totally caught up to July 2022! Not sure if I’ll write them, but the photos were awesome!

        Liked by 1 person

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