Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brighton Utah Hike

Location: Brighton Utah
The area above Brighton Utah is an area I spent a great deal of time in when I was young.  I lived up there for several summers, and spent at least a week or two a year up there till I was 16 or 17.  It's been 15 or so years since I had been.

It's much more developed than it used to be, but not nearly as much as the opposite canyon (where Alta and Snowbird are).  The development seems primarily right on the road.  It's also far more crowded.  As a kid going up to lake Cathrine, we might encounter 2 or 3 other hikers.  This is the trail we came back down and we encountered at least 40 other people.  Probably more.

This area is riddled with trails surrounding Brighton, extending into Alta, Heber, and Park City depending on the direction.  There are a great number of lakes and reservoirs.

The path we chose was toward Twin Lakes, which due to the very wet year was just one large lake with a light patch where the normal land bridge extends when it's not so full.  Both dams we saw were near their spillways.  We hiked up and around Twin Lakes to climb the overlooking peak, which offered a spectacular view of the area.  It's steep, but not long, and was a great workout.  Then down the other side to Cathrine pass, and Lake Cathrine, then back down past Lake Martha, Dog Lake (usually a puddle, but more deserving of the lake title this year), and Lake Mary.

We saw a moose, and heard a coyote.  The coyote sounded sad, and lonely.  Later, when we stopped for lunch and had a pleasant conversation with a guy who knew a lot about the area, we heard coyote again, but this time a group, they sounded much happier.  We also met a guy with a dog who claimed to have a permit for him.  We took him at his word and continued our lunch :)

This is by far our favorite area within easy driving distance of the city.  It's high enough that it's not a sauna outside.  The mountains are beautiful, and the trails are quality.  There is a lot of ground to cover, you could hike up there for a few weeks, and there's a good chance we will be back a few times before the snow starts to fall.

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