This years winter trip was to Park City UT for some skiing fun. I had been to Park City over 25 years ago when I was a lot younger to go skiing and it was great to go back and see how things had changed. I wasn’t as adventurous as I was when I was younger and only skied at Park City rather than bouncing between Park City, Park West (now part of Park City as The Canyons) and Deer Valley (I can’t go there because they don’t allow snowboarders and my daughter snowboards). Park City is close to the top of the ski resorts that I’ve skied in the last 3 years and I’ll say why in a bit but on to the other stuff about the vacation!
SLC to Park City
By far the shortest drive of all of our ski vacations to date. It only took about 30-45 minutes to get from SLC to our hotel in Park City by car. For our vacations to Colorado and the one to Whistler in Canada, the ride from the airport to the mountain was around 2+ hours each way which is a lot considering that you’ve just spent about 4 hours in a plane, waited another 30 minutes for baggage claim and then had to spend even more time to get your rental car and then start driving to your hotel. We did a similar drive from SLC to Snowbird which is in another part of the mountains near Park City and it was also around the same amount of time to get there. So score Park City, it so far wins in terms of access to the big city and ski country!
Accommodations – Double Tree The Yarrow
I didn’t do anything fancy this time around, I burned up some of my Hilton points in order to book the Double Tree close to Park City. It was only 2 stories and it had a heated pool and jacuzzi (both of which I didn’t use because they were outside and I’m not that crazy). They had a ski valet that could store my ski’s and they had a shuttle that brought guests from the hotel to the mountain. Being Platinum (I don’t know how I still have that status given I haven’t stayed in Hilton’s at all this year) I was afforded a free breakfast every morning if I so chose. The breakfast and the room were typical Double Tree so there is nothing special to write about. If I was going to do it again though I would have stayed closer to the mountain so I wouldn’t need the shuttle to get to the slopes. The divers and attendants at the hotel were nice and helpful and of course they always offered us the cookies but we were good and didn’t take them all the time. The hotel was close to the place where I rented my skis and also to some places to eat but we used the car for that. It was right next to a grocery store so it was easy for us to get snacks and drinks. I probably would have liked a room with a kitchenette, that was really useful when we went to Keystone, Snowbird, and Whistler in the event we didn’t want to go out to eat.
Park City is actually two different mountains but I only skied on legacy Park City. I didn’t ski the Canyons since it was a little far away by car and the shuttle wouldn’t take us there. There is a gondola that takes you there but you have to ski down from Park City in order to get there. Surprisingly there isn’t a gondola at Park City thats strictly for the mountain to access the different trails. In order to get to the top of the mountain you have to take 2 different chair lifts. I spent a lot of my time on the top half of the mountain going up the Bonanza lift and trying out the various trails from that lift. I did also the Silverlode lift a lot as well just to change things up. I didn’t do any diamonds this time around because some of those trails looked really hard and my legs were kind of telling me that I shouldn’t do them. There is a really nice mid mountain stop where they have a lodge to eat lunch. I went there once with the family to eat but for the most part I skipped that meal in favor of skiing. The mountain was dotted with little places to rest and eat which was nice. I passed most of them on the way down as I made my way to the next lift. I think that Park City is more beginner and intermediate friendly than most of the mountains that I’ve skied lately with the exception of Keystone. Although I questions if some blue trails were really blue’s or not, they sometimes appeared to me to be navy blue rather than a true intermediate slope. There were some great little adventure areas for the kids. I took my daughter to 2 of them and I discovered a 3rd one on my own. They need to be a little better marked since the first adventure area we went to my daughter ended up getting a little lost and went down through the trees instead of on the path that was created. The second one was also not well defined and we ended up getting lost and had to make our way down in order to find a trail that led to a lift. The third one that I found on my own was much better laid out and it was clear what the path was compared to the other 2. The only blue trails that I actively avoided were the ones with moguls. While I can ski them they just aren’t as fun as they used to be. Otherwise I think I covered most of the mountain quite well going up lifts and coming down trails.
The Other Stuff
In addition to skiing, there was a place called Woodward Park City which used to be known as Gorgoza Park which we went to 3 years ago when they had only snow tubing. This facility has tubing, some skiing, and a huge indoor area that kids can climb, jump on trampolines, a pit where you can jump your skateboard or BMX bike, and an indoor skate park where you can grind your board or scooter. My daughter played there for about 2 hours, the only part that was crummy was that they had surge pricing for tubing so instead of doing that as a family we just let her play around in the trampoline area.
The other great part was the Olympic stuff that was left over from 2002. They capitalized on it by allowing people to train there for the Olympics and they put in some other structures like a huge ropes course for kids and adults. I went on the tour since they also had 2 museums there and my wife and daughter ended up doing the ropes course. There was also a chairlift that brought you up to the top of the hill because there was extreme zip lining, I didn’t do that either since I’m took chicken shit about heights but I went up and down the chairlift with my daughter to take in the sights. I took some great pics from the top of the hill for the Bobsled track and the ski jump as well while I was on the tour.
The great part about Park City is that there is a lot of restaurants near by and if you really wanted something you could always go into Salt Lake City. We didn’t do that, we chose to stay within Park City as much as we could. We were able to find pretty decent food most days. I think our favorite place was Fuego’s which is an Italian place that was close to our hotel but it still required us to use our rental car. Our last night we ate at a sea food place and had some amazing lobster rolls. We did go eat in downtown Park City but just had sushi at Oishi’s which was also pretty good. We were supposed to go to this other place but the wait was 3 hours long and that included seats at the bar which is crazy. I think that is the only downfall of Park City, in order to eat you need to plan way ahead and make reservations or else you’re going to be hungry all the time or you’ll need to get some groceries and snack on that stuff.
Overall, Park City ranks up there as one of my top 3 resorts. The others that are on my list are Keystone and Whistler. Although Park City definitely wins in accessibility since its only 30 minutes from the airport rather than 2 hours. I think I’ll come back to Park City to ski The Canyons and maybe even go back to Snowbird. If I could only get my daughter on skis that would open up Alta and Deer Valley to us as well.