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Skiing:  Park City

Park City is a great place to spend a vacation. Fantastic skiing and all the amenities expected in a ski town can be found here. Park City was a silver mining town in it’s early days. Nowadays snow is the commodity most often pursued here.

Last Sunday I went up to Park City for the final day of the year. Only Snowbird is still open at the time of this writing. The drive over from Salt Lake City takes about 45 minutes.

Park City ski resort rises directly from the town of Park City, the Town Lift escorts skiers from the center of town to the mountain. This lift stands in the same place as the tram that used to carry ore from the mines located on the mountain. Park City has a very efficient lift system, numerous six passenger high speed lifts tend to eat up the lines nicely. Although just like any other ski resort it can be crowded on the holiday’s.

I arrive at Park City and meet up with the friends I will be skiing with. One of my skiing partners today is Ralf Daum. Ralf came to Park City about 14 years ago to ski for a living. Skiing for a living means working to survive and skiing to keep alive.

The town of Park City has many diversions for the non-skiing members of the family. Some of the best shopping and restaurants in the state of Utah are found in Park City. There is a manufacturers outlet mall located near I-80, this mall features outlet stores from many famous name’s. Main Street features many boutiques and galleries. In Park City you can find many fine galleries featuring stunning western art.

Ralf is one of a dying breed in Park City, the ski bum as we know it is fading away. The young powder hound coming to Park City today would find himself (or herself) facing very high housing cost’s and low income.

The Skiing

Park City has a wide variety of skiing terrain, ranging from beginner slopes to hike accessible expert’s only terrain.

For the best beginner terrain on the mountain be sure and hit First Time and Three King’s. Park City caters to skiers of all abilities and there are plenty of trails which allow the beginner to see and appreciate the mountains.

An intermediate can negotiate a way down from every lift except the Jupiter lift. The Prospector area is the spot most intermediate skiers will find entertaining. Consistent pitches and well groomed trails make this a cruisers dream.

Park City does offer some superlative expert skiing. The Jupiter lift gives the skier access to the steepest skiing Park City has to offer. Scott’s bowl receives the most snow in the resort. While most of the folk’s are skiing on the front-side of the mountain, Jupiter will reward the inquisitive with stashes in its nooks and crannies. Jupiter Peak when open is a hike accessed adrenaline rush of 45 degree pitches. McConkey’s is another lift where the confident skier can find snow after the obvious lines are skied out. Take a left after getting off the lift and dive into the tree’s, although tight, this area will have untracked lines for days after a storm. Be careful here and don’t pull a Bono/Kennedy, every year someone dies here in the tree’s.

Park City’s older ski bums are becoming productive members of the community. A true skier will somehow provide him or herself with a worthwhile existence, while at the same time assuring that the job providing this existence is in close proximity of several major ski resorts.

Apres Ski

Park City is home to many clubs, being located in the state of Utah there are various hoops to contend with. Any “Bar” you go into is actually a “Private Club”, you are charged a membership fee to enter.

That said, there is a lot of fun to be had here. The Alamo and the Cozy are two of the most popular local hangouts, a fun after ski atmosphere can be had at either.

The Baja Cantina is located in the base area of Park City, this small joint offers after ski beers and great Mexican food.


Park City is a fine place for a vacation destination. Deer Valley and The Canyon’s are nearby to provide alternative places to ski while you’re here. There are many lodging opportunities in Park City, ski-in ski-out capability will be improved once the Marriott hotel is finished in the base area. If you have a rental car I would highly recommend traveling to the Cottonwood Canyon’s. Snowbird, Alta, Solitude and Brighton are a short drive from Park City and are well worth the trip over.

Today’s snow is kinda slushy, the ski runs seem as rivers of white through the brown scrub of the sun exposed hillsides. Only the Jupiter and McConkey lift’s give a tiny glimpse that winter still has a small grasp on the high country. Warm and sunny, this is a fitting close to another great ski season.

Enjoy Skiing In Utah! 

Additional Resources

Snow Report

Park City Snow Report








Utah Atlas and Gazetteer

Backcountry Skiing Utah

First Tracks: A Century of Skiing in Utah

Hidden Salt Lake City and Beyond: Including Park City, Deer Valley, Alta and Snowbird


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