Brighton Lakes, Moose, & Sunset Peak
Looking back on our trip, our favorite hike was the Brighton Lakes hike in Brighton, Utah. It was perfect weather, beautiful scenery, and we ran into very few people on the trail.
Brighton is a beautiful 40 minute drive southeast of Salt Lake City. Driving on Big Cottonwood Canyon Road in September may be one of the most breathtaking drives we've ever experienced. Arriving at the trailhead on a crisp morning, we strapped up the hiking boots and headed out.
The beautiful thing about this hike is that you can make it as easy or difficult as you would like. It is an out and back trail allowing you to turn back at any of the three lakes or press on to the top of Sunset Peak. We decided on the latter. After a quick and somewhat steep elevation gain we ended the first mile with Lake Mary. The water was down after a hot summer, but the granite formation surrounding Lake Mary were so calming. We sat here a little while to take it all in and then headed on.
The second stop, Lake Martha brought us our first trail friend of the trip - a young moose, who lazily laid at the edge of the water until Cody got a little too close to take a picture. Bullwinkle (our name for him), then stood up to let Cody know who was boss. It was at that moment we decided it was best to say our goodbyes.
Lake Catherine is the final lake on this hike, sitting perfectly between the peaks of Brighton. We grabbed a quick snack and decided to shoot for Sunset Peak. From here it was switchback after switchback until we reached the top and realized this was our first summit together! It was a great and windy feeling. We snapped a few photos and headed back down.
Cody decided to take the "trail less traveled," which we quickly realized was just a water runoff. After what seemed like an hour of scrambling and Sarah whining that our lives were endangered we made it back to Lake Catherine. From here it was a smooth sailing back to the trailhead.