Brighton has been a scenic gathering place since its pioneer days. The first Pioneer Days in Utah were celebrated at Silver Lake in 1857. Soon after, Brighton was homesteaded by Scottish immigrants William and Catherine Brighton in 1870. They built a rustic hotel that hosted hundreds of visitors to enjoy the canyon scenery and cool summer days. Timber to build Salt Lake City was an important export from the canyon, as was silver ore during the mining boom of 1872-1892. The Cardiff Mine, closed in 1961, was the largest and last active mine in the canyon.
Today, recreation-loving visitors number about two million annually. Big Cottonwood Canyon is the largest watershed in Salt Lake Valley, covering 50 square miles, and furnishing 20 percent of the valley’s water.
There are about 800 homes, with 80 percent being seasonal cabins. Two world-class ski resorts, Brighton and Solitude, provide a casual, family-friendly flavor to the canyon, and are surrounded by thousands of acres of backcountry ski terrain.
The 260 full-time residents of the community voted to incorporate in 2018, and the incorporated Town of Brighton was created on January 1, 2020.
Learn more about the Town of Brighton.
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