We reflect on the spectacular snowfields at Utah's Park City Mountain Resort.
It’s summertime in the northern hemisphere and sunny Salt Lake City sits on an average high of 31.5 degrees. Spectacularly located at the foothills of Wasatch Range, the city’s modern skyline creates a striking contrast and its thriving art scene, abundance of restaurants and buzzing university make it a pleasure to explore.
Salt Lake City was the site of the 2002 Winter Olympics and, come wintertime, its close proximity to world-class skiing and snow boarding draws sports fans to its trails like whiskey to hot coffee.
Park City Mountain Resort has been welcoming alpine thrill seekers since it officially opened as a tourist destination in 1963. Originally named Treasure Mountain, it was established in the hope skiing would save slumped local trade and re-invigorate economically depressed rural towns. When it first opened its doors, Treasure Island boasted a gondola, a chairlift, J Bar and a nine-hole golf course. Today, Park City has 116 trails, four terrain parks, two half pipes and enough lifts to ferry 31,000 guests per hour uphill.
Ranked by Ski Magazine as one of North America’s top five ski resorts and polling favourably with snow seekers looking for a family-friendly, convenient resort, it’s an impressive destination that offers far more than just skiing and boarding.
Park City’s historic Main Street is lined with accommodation, shops, restaurants and bars and the Town lift provides a ski-in/ski-out connection straight from the mountain. Enjoy a break from the mountain at a gallery, soak tired legs at a downtown spa or sample a cold one at the town’s microbrewery.
If skiing and boarding isn’t for you, the resort’s Flying Eagle Zip Line can keep you or the kids entertained for hours. Open all winter, weather permitting, it’s a two person ride that provides an exhilarating aerial perspective as you whizz over the beautiful scenery below. Similarly, the Alpine Coaster will keep the adrenalin running off the slopes as you shoot along over a kilometre of curves, bends and loops.
Unwinding after a day on the snow is always a special time at a resort – twinkling lights, warming meals and the chatter of conversation as everyone shares their version of the day’s events. Park City has some novel dining experiences including a snow-cat pulled sleigh ride followed by dinner in a traditional yurt. After the 25-minute sleigh ride pulls you 1000 vertical feet, a pewter mug of spiced Gløgg awaits as you enter the cosy yurt for a five-course meal.
Visiting the resort outside the winter season is a must for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking and biking trails suit all skill levels and take you deep into wilderness of the Wasatch Range. Hone your boarding tricks ahead of the winter season on bungee trampolines fitted with safety harnesses or visit the adventure parks, miniature golf and various playgrounds set up for kids.
Convenience is at the heart of Park City Mountain Resort and it is only a 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, where over 600 daily flights are scheduled. Accommodation is plentiful and varied and it’s also a great starting point for exploring some of the other slopes and resorts in the area.