The Lake Mary – Grizzly Gulch hike is beautifully scenic hike that will take you through three to four ski resorts. It passes through several lakes, Mary included, and takes you through the old abandoned mines of the Grizzly Gulch trail.
This hike starts at the top of Alta, where you’ll drive to the Catherine Pass Trailhead. It ends just outside the Alta ranger post, at the Twin Lakes Pass Trailhead. Grab a buddy car to shuttle this section – it’s just over a mile and fairly flat or… Throughout the summer months, Alta has a free shuttle system that will drop you back at Catherine Pass Trailhead. Being the smart, sharp person that I am, I left my key in Lisa’s car and even though we had two cars for a shuttle, ended up hitching to Catherine instead! *do’h!*
The trail starts off with a bit of a climb and a few switchbacks. You’ll climb about 820 feet, according to UtahTrails.com. After a mile or so, you’ll hit Catherine’s Pass. Take a few steps forward and you’ll see a sign showing the way to Brighton…
And also Lake Catherine just below.
Follow the path the Brighton and shortly, you’ll find yourself approaching the Brighton Lakes. If you’ve hiked the Brighton Lakes trail from the Brighton Resort, it should all look very familiar.
First you’ll Lake Martha. Then as you continue on, Lake Mary won’t be far along.
Lake Mary is one of my favorite Lakes in Utah. It’s always a majestic bright blue that sparkles in the sunshine. Oh hey, no swimming or pets in the water please! I drink that water… the Cottonwoods are protected watersheds because they feed our water system.
After you pass Lake Mary, you’ll start to head down-trail. You’ll hit a sign that gives you a detour to Dog Lake, another small pretty alpine lake. Go the opposite direction towards the Twin Lakes. If you start to hit a downhill that allows you to see the Brighton Ski Resort too clearly, you’ve gone too far. You should see this wood cabin thing as you approach the correct path.
Yes, we totally went almost to the start of Brighton and added a good amount to our hike day. We did see moose though! Meese?
Follow the path towards the Twin Lakes. You’ll be cutting from Big Cottonwood Canyon to Little Cottonwood Canyon and over to Snowbird Resort.
The path may be difficult to follow with all the traffic that has roamed around the area. But follow your inner navigational gut towards Little Cottonwood Canyon – we ended up going up past the cabin to find a path just over the ridge. You’ll eventually hit a rock quarry.
If you don’t see a path right away, look upwards to find a clearing. There is a small path that will lead you out to the other side. The path will take you up a couple of switchbacks and up the hill where over the ridge you’ll come to the Twin Lakes.
As you approach the Twin Lakes, veer right around the dam and to the other side of the lake. The Twin Lakes are a gorgeous spot for lunch *ahem*.
Feel free to walk around the Twin Lakes. However, keep in mind that the path you’ll want to take is closer to the dam. A small utility building marks the beginning of the path. Take that path at a fair climb going up along the Twin Lakes.
Keep walking; you’re almost there! Take a look to your side if you need a breather – great views!
Follow the skinny path along the ridge where you’ll eventually end up on a jeep path. Keep an eye out for a skinny path on your left that leads over the ridge – you’ll take this towards Alta.
Follow the path down and you’ll hit Grizzly Gulch – old mining country! You’ll know you’re on the right path when you start to see light and telephone poles.
Follow the trail out and you’ll end up right near the Alta ranger post!
From here, shuttle back to your car, walk back to your car, wait for the Alta shuttle to take you to your car or hitchhike back to your car. And. Done!