Just leaving Silver Lake
We started up at the Solitude Nordic Center in Brighton, by Silver Lake, taking the well-beaten lake path around to where the hiking/MTBing trails split off. We'd brought our snowshoes but decided not to use them - this would ultimately be the right decision, although we did break trail in a couple of places where they would have been useful. But I was wearing plastic bags between my hiking boots and my wool-socked feet and a little knee-deep snow wasn't going to be an issue.
Snow in the trees - so pretty
Just like the first time we tried to find Lake Solitude, we started following a trail ... that we eventually lost. But we recognized Solitude Ski Resort's Sunrise chair, crossing under it and walking across the top of North Star to Zip-A-Dee, which comes out above the Summit chair. From there we knew what to do, making our way through the trees to little Lake Solitude (not quite frozen over). H suggested that we make this hike a loop and since a loop is always better than an out-and-back, I readily agreed.
Under the Summit chair
Our route - up Mine/Shaft and through the Headwall Forest to Sol-Bright - had been traveled before: we walked in ski-, boot-, snowshoe- and deer-tracks. We went over the pass between Solitude and Brighton, continuing along the less-trodden Sol-Bright trail and then turning off on the well-packed trail back to Silver Lake. It was a beautiful day, sunny and fairly warm, and we had the place pretty much to ourselves for a couple of glorious hours.