The Lake Mary Trail

Difficulty
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Moderate
Duration
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
1.5-2h
Distance
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
4.2 km
Elevation
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
259 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Lake Mary Trail is an absolutely gorgeous hike in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest. Home to forest wildlife such as moose, deer, salamanders, and songbirds, Lake Mary is a pristine alpine lake with a rugged rocky shore. This trail is moderately challenging but overall family-friendly and a great way to spend the day exploring the beauty of the Utah landscape.

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Route Description for The Lake Mary Trail

The hike to Lake Mary is a beautiful route through the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, east of Salt Lake City, Utah. This trail has some steep and rocky sections, so hikers should arrive with proper, supportive footwear and lots of snacks and water for the day. Dogs are not allowed, and swimming is not permitted in Lake Mary as this reservoir is a watershed. Also, the water up there is pretty frigid, so you probably wouldn’t want to swim even if you could. This hike is one of the most popular routes, so we recommend arriving early to beat the crowds.

Lake Mary is truly something to behold. This pristine alpine lake is home to moose, deer, fish, songbirds, and more. If you are lucky enough to see wildlife on your hike, do not feed the animals and be sure to give them lots of space. For an especially spectacular experience, try this hike in July when the forest wildflowers are in full bloom.

From the Brighton Lakes Trailhead, follow the path south to an intersection of trails. Take the path in the middle, and follow it straight ahead for a quarter of a mile to a divide, stay left and continue south. A quarter of a mile past this divide, a trail will join in from your left, continue straight ahead to a split, take the right-hand path and head east for just 0.1 mi to another divide. The trail on the left leads a short distance to Dog Lake and can be a fun addition to your hike. To continue on the route, follow the path straight ahead for another 0.2 mi to the rocky shores of Lake Mary.

Take a rest at beautiful Lake Mary and enjoy the cool breeze coming off the crystal-clear water. If you are looking to explore more, you can continue southwest down to Lake Martha and Lake Catherine or continue northwest to the Twin Lakes Reservoir. Finally, if you are ready to head home after a break at Lake Mary, turn around and follow your footsteps back to the trailhead.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the Lake Mary Hike?

The hike to Lake Mary via the Brighton Lakes Trail is 4.2 km out-and-back.

Can you swim in Lake Mary, Utah?

No, you cannot swim in Lake Mary as it is part of a watershed.

What canyon is Lake Mary in?

Lake Mary is in the Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.

Insider Hints for The Lake Mary Trail

  • This trail is very popular, arrive early to beat the crowds
  • Pack a picnic and a blanket to enjoy a lakeside lunch
  • You can also hike to Lake Mary along the Brighton Lakes Loop

Getting to the The Lake Mary Trail Trailhead

This hike begins at the Brighton Lakes Trailhead at the Brighton Resort east of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    No

  • When to do

    January to October

  • Pets allowed

    No

  • Family friendly

    Yes

  • Route Signage

    Average

  • Crowd Levels

    High

  • Route Type

    Out and back

The Lake Mary Trail Elevation Graph

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The Lake Mary Trail Reviews

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