Park City is a top-ranked Utah skiing resort belonging to Vail Resorts. Not only do they own the long-independent Whistler Blackcomb, but their Epic Pass will get you high up at resorts in Colorado, Utah, California, Michigan, and even Australia and Japan.
It was in 2014 that Vail acquired Park City Mountain. After investing significant amounts of effort and time, they connected Park City with the adjacent Canyons Resort and created the biggest ski area in North America. If you’re considering a Utah family holiday, this could be just the right place to go.
Introduction to Park City
The resort sprawls across 7 300 hundred acres of white space. Quicksilver Gondola takes visitors with lift access from Park City to Canyons all under one lift ticket. Perhaps the best part is that you’ll be at just a stone’s from Salt Lake City no matter what resort you stay at. It will take you no more than 45 minutes to drive from downtown Salt Lake to Park City.
You’d be hard-pressed to ski the whole area in one day but that would be a mission impossible. Instead, go to a separate hill each day and that way, you will be able to dive deeper into the terrain on each side. Park City Mountain and Canyons have a very different feel to them although they are now very close neighbors.
By taking wide, looping turns from nine separate peaks at the Canyons, you’ll find yourself at the base of a different lift each time. Numerous bridges connect the mountains and you can easily ski under them. Given the vastness of the area, it is surprisingly easy to get around.
Very little time is spent getting from point to another because everything is so neatly organized. As you take the Red Pine Gondola going up from the lively base area, the top panorama will reward you with wide expanses of the terrain slowly coming into view as you climb. You really can’t get the real impression of how big the area is until you go all the way up.
Read more: Things to Do in Colorado in Winter
Getting around Park City is plain sailing, even without a car as everything is so compact. You can use the Town Lift to get from the town to Park City, so you actually don’t need to have a mountain home in order to go full-throttle on ski-in, ski-out experience.
Unless you’re taking a direct shuttle, allow an hour and a half each way to get from Salt Lake City to Park city with a public bus. You can check the schedule here.
Read more: Best Skiing Family Destinations
Where to ride
The setup of the terrain in Park City Mountain is incredible and much of it is right near the base.
If you love unique park rides, then you should definitely check Neff Land off the Eaglet lift. Going down, you’ll be swishing through Candy Land all around you.
If you prefer a more powdered terrain, head for Jupiter Peak.
But be warned! There is some hiking to do off McConkey’s Express until you reach the Jupiter Peak summit.
Adventure seekers will be thrilled to discover Pinecone Ridge which has some of the most challenging runs of all. What’s special about this run is that it provides an additional challenge of being near the lift.
The Canyons side is much more mellow. There, you can take your time at the long runs.
Red Pine Bowl and the chutes will take your breath away. Steep and quick, there isn’t much margin for error but staying on your feet isn’t hard to do as long as the line is scoped out before dropping in.
Where to eat and drink
Red Tail Grill – The base area at Canyons is swarming with activity, particularly on weekends. They’ve got a great patio overlooking the ‘beach’ and local beer on tap.
LookOut Cabin – located off the mid-load of Orange Bubble Express. This is not your average cabin because the full bar and food are a head above the typical ski resort cafeterias. An added bonus is that they have wait staff so you can relax and have a couple of drinks and a sandwich.
High West Distillery & Saloon – Well worth the splurge even if you’re tight for money. Gourmet, handmade food paired with their awesome whiskeys or vodka, all served in an old-saloon setting.
Davanza’s – affordable tacos, pizza, and burgers.
Wasatch Brew Pub – Utah is climbing the ladder in the craft beer category. Their food is delicious and it pairs perfectly with their cold beer. It might get crowded, though.
Read more: Where to Celebrate Christmas in the US
Where to Stay
Park City Hostel – right in the center of Park City. It’s the cheapest option in town, with rates starting at $44 a night. However, they offer other great lodging options so make sure to check all of them, especially if you’re visiting with your crew.
Heber City – situated just 20 minutes south of Park City, this town has many hotel options way cheaper than in town. Park City’s hotels are expensive, so this is a good way to save some extra bucks for lift tickets.
Salt Lake City – you’ll be spoilt for choice with hotels and hostels here. There is something for every budget.
Park City is incredibly diverse and culturally unique. It’s a perfect winter destination no matter if you’re visiting with friends or family. It offers a perfect balance of luxury and comfort but also a wide range of options for those traveling on a budget.