TAKE ME HOME MOUNTAIN ROADS – PARK CITY MOUNTAIN TRAILS
It’s often what we’re searching for when we venture off into the wilderness, with the intention of getting lost along a Park City mountain trail and in the beauty of nature. We sometimes wish we could simply dissolve into the melting earth tones, climbing higher and higher into the lush landscape. It is a truly amazing experience when you can’t see anything other than your natural surroundings.
This year has certainly given us reasons to search for new or even familiar escape routes. Maybe you found yours on the slopes, turning and carving your way away from a rather desolate, socially trying year. Perhaps you and the significant other piled the kids into the car and just took off—I know many of us did—to find some place other than home to be. Staycations, long drives and revisiting and reimagining normal road trips took on a whole new meaning as we all searched for something other than our new normals.
Park City boasts upwards of 400 miles of hiking trails making it one of the most extensive connected trail systems anywhere in the United States. The pristine quality and maintenance of Park City’s trailheads are thanks to the Mountain Trails Foundation, an incredible member and volunteer organization solely dedicated to developing and carving out some of the best trails in our country for over 30 years.
It takes a truly Herculean, human effort to maintain these trails year after year. Year-round ski patrollers, environmental science students and volunteers catapult themselves into the rigorous work, redefining and reimagining the seamless hikes we often take for granted. There’s a distinctly human touch to the naturalistic aspects we fall in love with, while on the trails, and it’s important to remember the dedication and hard work that gifts us with these immaculate trails and conditions year after year.
Locals tout an abundance of different routes and access in and around Park City offering a wealth of mesmerizing views along the way. PC Hill’s hike captures the expansiveness of the area, while Bonanza’s Abandoned Mine Trail spotlights the mining history of Park City. Both are accessible for the whole family. If you’re looking for a challenge, try the Iron Canyon Trail. Some serious elevation gain reveals amazing views out east with the Wasatch etched in the distance. If you’re up for an afternoon hike, head out to Bald Mountain—it’s less than two miles to the top where 12,000 feet seem like heaven and you can see for miles.
Mountain Biking has a particular stronghold on the Park City community, as the spiderweb of trails continues to become more accessible and vast. Extensive amenities and bike parks sprawl across both Deer Valley and Park City Mountain Resort’s terrains, with four total lifts giving those willing to brave them immediate access to higher elevations and tiered levels of difficulty. Park City is one of the only premiere locations in the United States boasting a Gold Level Ride Center as designated by the International Mountain Biking Association, with over 450 miles of gold-rated trails.
Mid-Mountain Trail connects multiple hotels and resorts, running at a breathtaking 23 miles through the backwoods of Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley. Every type of adventurer is welcome, with accessibility and differing entry and exit points introducing themselves throughout. Locals know it’s better to bike it—it’s seemingly endless.
Trails this season will be peppered with the usual wonders with a few less familiar oddities—social distancing, masks and COVID etiquette are still in effect. But we’ll still cruise by those we’re used to seeing once a week, or once a month, with quick nods and friendly greetings. We’ll still answer questions asking where Rob’s Trail is while we’re standing on it. Mountain bikers will still zoom past, nodding hello with big smiles on their faces. We’ll quietly dodge the path of moose and watch deer jump through the brush, spend alone time up high and downtime watching thunderstorms roll in from the west.
As you travel along the Park City mountain trails, maybe you’ll take some extra time this season to reflect on the human effort it takes to make these adventures possible and the special locale we get to be a part of as the trail takes us away to a home away from home, just right up that hill—the one we ski down when there’s snow, and the one we hike up when there’s none. So, here’s to you, Park City.
You’re ever changing and always fascinating.
THE PARK CITY TRAIL SERIES IS A GREAT WAY TO GET INTO TRAIL RUNNING OR RACE YOUR TRAINING BUDDIES.
All racers do the same distance each month. Sign up for the whole series or just your favorite distance.
“The PC Trail Series has been a great way
to experience trail running on a variety
of levels. The gradual increase in mileage
is a great motivator for novice and
experienced runners alike. The series
is both challenging and beautiful
providing the opportunity to fully enjoy
everything Round Valley has to offer.”
~ AMY WARREN
RESIDENT & PARTICIPANT OF
PARK CITY TRAIL SERIES
“The Park City Trail series is a blast.
A little of everything regarding trail surface
and a lot of fun!! The routes for all
events are well thought out and very well
supported. Love all the enthusiasm this
series brings to Park City.”
~ MELISSA JANSSEN
RESIDENT & PARTICIPANT OF
PARK CITY TRAIL SERIES
“The Park City Trail Series remains the
most-shared anecdote of our big day and my
favorite part of wedding planning! I’m still
grateful for the opportunity to share
the trail and explore Park City with so
many of our visiting guests…and stay on our
fall marathon training schedules. Thank you
and the PCTS team for building an organized,
welcoming running community and
hope others will be inspired to see you on
~ COURTNEY CHENETTE
PARTICIPANT OF PARK CITY TRAIL SERIES