Brighton has so many beautiful lakes! Lake Mary and Twin Lakes are the prettiest, so it’s fun to combine them into one hike!
This hike is easily adjustable to add on Dog Lake or take off Lake Solitude. I will describe it in sections so you can adapt as you’d like.
Lake Mary is a bit higher elevation, so it’s nice to get the steeper uphill done at the beginning, but I have done it the reverse way.
Lake Mary Trail
The trail begins at the Brighton Ski Lodge and the trail goes mostly right under the lift, with a few switchbacks. Near the end of the trail it heads to the right up to the lake. It is a bit steep, but even young children can do it if you take breaks. There are a few large rocks along the trail that the kids love to climb on.
It is moderate, but there isn’t much shade, so plan accordingly. This is the hardest part of the whole hike, so don’t get discouraged. Just before that pile of boulders, the trail will head right up through the pines.
Near the end, after you get more into the pines the trail heads off to the right. You will see a sign that shows the tiny detour to Dog Lake. It is more of a pond, but since it doesn’t add much time, it’s still worth a stop if you have time.
Return back to the path and continue up to Lake Mary, the real show-stopper! If you are here in June-September, you will probably see wildflowers along the path.
Don’t forget to look behind you for views too!
Sometimes that last section walking up has a bit of water along the trail, but nothing you can’t step over.
Soon you will get to picturesque Lake Mary. It is big and beautiful! It looks a little different each time depending on the sky.
Some years this hike is best with micro-spikes until after the 4th of July. This is from mid-July 2019. In 2020 and 2021 the snow has melted more quickly, so most of the snow has already melted by mid-June.
If you want to go up to Lakes Mary or Lake Catherine, check out the Brighton Lakes Trail.
Twin Lakes from Lake Mary
To head to Twin Lakes from Lake Mary, head around the dam and north end of Lake Mary to the other corner.
Once you get to the corner you will see a path that heads northwest through the forest. These first phots are reverse looking back at Lake Mary for reference.
Most of the trail between these two lakes is between the pines, so it’s mostly shaded and very beautiful!
There is some elevation fluctuation, but it’s gradual and slightly downhill to Twin Lakes. I love hiking through the pines with that fresh Christmas tree scent!
There is a scree slope off to the west side of the trail, but the trail is mostly below it, so the path has rocks, but they aren’t too loose.
Some of these photos are from my late September hike last year, so the fall colors were gorgeous! I love that contrast of the yellows and oranges against the green pines, white rocks, and blue skies!
There is a beautiful view over the canyon. You can look over at the Mickey Mouse-shaped rock visible from parts of Brighton. This second photo is looking back the trail at the scree slope.
Then you come to a flat area with lots of rocks. These photos are looking back where you came again.
This spot is actually a ski run from the Milly Lift. It’s interesting to see the dam of Twin Lakes when everything is covered in snow. This second photo is near the same spot, but looking east instead of south.
Twin Lakes is beautiful! The water drops a bit by fall, but it’s pretty with the changing colors.
Make your way around Twin Lakes dam to the north corner.
In July and August there are wildflowers near here.
Twin Lakes to Lake Solitude
Lake Solitude is a smaller lake, more like a pond. The path past Lake Solitude is 2.1 miles further than the path directly back to Silver Lake, but doesn’t add any difficulty. It is also significantly more beautiful, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom in July and August.
To head to Lake Solitude, you will need to head up the hill on the north side of Twin Lakes. The views of Twin Lakes from here are stunning!
This hill is pretty much the only uphill you have left on this hike and it isn’t long.
There is a dirt road that heads off to the right that you will take towards Lake Solitude. The first time I hiked from Lake Solitude up to Twin Lakes, because Twin Lakes is so much more beautiful. This road is steep though, so it’s much better to go down than up, so now I always recommend that. Pretty soon you can see Lake Solitude peeking through the trees.
As you get closer and closer the colors of Lake Solitude seem to change, because of what it is reflecting.
Lake Solitude is small, but still a nice place. Moose and deer really like this spot.
The wildflowers are beautiful when they are in season!
Near the end the path cuts back to Silver Lake. There were lots of wildflowers lining the path in late July.
The last part before Silver Lake is the aspen trees. During the fall all the aspens turn golden!
Silver Lake Trail
Both the Lake Solitude and Twin Lakes trails merge with the Silver Lake trail at the same spot.
You can go around Silver Lake either direction towards the parking lot where you will walk up to your car. The shorter way is to head clockwise.
It is cool to hike in different seasons, because everything looks a little different!
The last time I was up at Silver Lake we were rained on, but then we were rewarded with a beautiful double rainbow!
Stats: Distance – 6.0 mile loop (6.1 if you include Dog Lake)
Approximate hiking time – 3-4 hours
Elevation gain – 1,099 feet
Difficulty – Moderate
Trail – well maintained trail of dirt and rocks,
Bathrooms – At Trailhead
Seasons to hike – June-October
Permits needed – None
Pets allowed – None