Recommended Scenic Hiking at Nearby Brighton Ski Resort

Posted by Sean Matyja on Thursday, August 8th, 2013 at 8:03pm.

We often are asked "Where is a great place to hike in Park City?" So, we finally have gotten out ourselves and have been exploring some great hikes that have been recommended to us over the years. As an avid mountain biker and skateboarder, I simply have not dedicated much time to hiking. Wow! Was I amazed to find a few of these great hikes that we have right in our backyard. A few weeks ago we posted about a great hike off of Guardsman Pass going up the ridge to Peak 10,420'. It was a beautiful high elevation hike with distant views. And that was only the tip of the iceberg!

Lake Mary at Brighton Ski Resort

We recently went over to Brighton ski resort to hike up the Lake Mary Trail. It was so amazing, that we went back the next day and did the Twin Lakes Trail too. Both are stunning lakes located up on the mountain of Brighton ski resort. These are man-made lakes, created by dams. The contrast of the deep blue water, green evergreens, and rugged grey granite stone is simply breathtaking.

Below is a summary of the Brighton hikes:

Lake Mary Trail
Brighton ski resort is only a 20 minute drive from Park City in the Summer (almost an hour in the Winter). In Summer, Guardsman Pass is open to traveling and you can easily drive the road, no 4x4 needed. From Old Town Park City, you'll head up Marsac, also known as the mine road, whcih leads up to Deer Valley's Empire Pass community. The road is also shown as Hwy 224 on many maps. You'll pass the round-a-bout next to the Montage and will keep heading up. At the top, there will be a few areas to park and possibly some cars, but dont stop here. You'll keep following the road, and be going along the backside of Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. You'll eventually get to another area of parked cars which is the trailhead for the hike up to Peak 10,420'.

For Brighton ski resort, keep going on Guardsman Pass and you'll start heading down to the resort. You'll start to see some amazing views of both Brighton and Solitude. Once at Brighton, park at the southern end of the parking lot in front of the main lodge and lift ticket window. Basically you will also be in front of Molly Green's Pub.


To start your hike you will see the signs shown in the photos above, next to the main lodge building. From the parking lot, the gravel path quickly turns into the dirt path shown above. It's an easy hike for a while as you go up the ski runs, walking under the ski lifts. Because of the high elevation you will probably get more winded than expected. You will start to see all the large scenic peaks surrounding the resort. Brighton has some of the best scenery of all the Utah ski resorts (and a secret, they have the best snow by far!)


The hike will eventually lead into the trees to give you a break from the sun. At this point the hike becomes more rocky, more technical, and a little tricky for really young kids or older folks with knee issues. It's a fun and scenic hike though, so it's well worth a try, and you can take it slow if needed. Getting up to Lake Mary is in total about a mile up, or about 40 minutes at a regular pace, maybe an hour if you are not used to the elevation. BTW - be sure to bring water. Water helps a lot for people not custom to hiking in high elevation. Go a little slower, take your time, and most people should be OK getting up and back down. Once up at Lake Mary, be sure to take some time to enjoy the unbelievable scenery. From Lake Mary you can continue up to the Albion Basin Trail which goes much further up the mountain, heading over to Alta ski resort. We have not done this hike yet, but plan to do so very soon! There is a trail that leads around Lake Mary so if you have time, explore a few of the additional paths. The mountain peaks are amazing, and the scenery is just so beautiful.

Heather and Sean at Lake Mary, Brighton Utah

Twin Lakes Trail
The Twin Lakes hike can be done one of two different ways. Either start at the same location as the Lake Mary hike, or start at the Silver Lake recreation center at the start of the Brighton Road Loop. Going up from Silver Lake is not quite as scenic. I would recommend going up from Lake Mary, or maybe do it as a full loop. Go up one way, come down the other to fully experience it all. 

Just before you get to Lake Mary, you'll see a sign to turn right to Twin Lakes Trail. This will lead across the top of "Mary's Chutes" which is amazing expert terrain at Brighton in winter. You'll then head through the trees, and then across the large bowl under Mt. Millicent, one of the most stunning peaks in Utah. You'll be walking by huge boulders and it's amazing that in winter these get completely covered by snow and you'll be skiing right over them. The trail then leads up underneath the Millicent chairlift, across a few ski runs, and to the large dam that creates the Twin Lakes. There is a trail that loops around the lake. It sort of fades away and re-appears as you navigate around the lake, but overall it's not too difficult to figure out. From the dam, you can head down to Silver Lake as you will see the path leading back down.

Sparkling water of Twin Lakes at Brighton Utah

So if you are in Park City this summer or fall and would like to try a few beautiful hikes, you really must head over to Brighton. Its a short, scenic drive and well worth the trip. If you would like, feel free to give us a call at 435-901-2158 and we can better explain how to get there, and what to expect. In all my 20 years of living in Utah, mostly in Park City, I cannot believe I waited so long to go check these hikes out. They simply are breathtaking, nothing else quite like it. And I know there are plenty more so we will be doing more hiking and will report back on more options. The nice thing about these Brighton hikes is they are not too difficult, and not very far away. There are more great hikes like the Bald Mountain Peak hike in the Uinta Mountains at the top of Mirror Lake Highway. That is another epic hike, but is about an hour drive, yet a scenic drive. We hope to get back out there, and post about that hike and others soon.

Sean Matyja - Realtor® / Associate Broker
Mobile: (435) 901-2158 | Email: 

1 Response to "Recommended Scenic Hiking at Nearby Brighton Ski Resort"

Stacy wrote: Took Heather's advice on hike in Brighton to Lake Mary. Drive over Guardsman Pass is fantastic. Perfect hike w kids, little challenge, but not too difficult!

Posted on Sunday, August 11th, 2013 at 7:11pm.

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