The Park City & Deer Valley Guide
Skiing in Utah certainly has its draws: wide-open terrain, more bluebird days than we can count, and some seriously good, consistent powder. (Case in point: This January alone, Deer Valley had already received more than 294 inches.) Another draw is the proximity to the airport—New Yorkers can be on the mountain by 1pm, and West Coasters can carve turns before lunch. And now, thanks to an alliance with mountain behemoth Vail Resorts, which owns Beaver Creek, Vail, Heavenly, and more, it seems that Park City, the laid-back mining town that many have known (and loved) for years, is finally getting the attention it deserves. The biggest news is that Park City Mountain Resort has merged with neighboring Canyons, resulting in a 7,300-acre mountain complete with a high-speed gondola called Quicksilver, as well as a handful of new on-mountain upgrades. The town itself continues to thrive, with new restaurants, shops, and even a performance venue popping up on Main Street.
White Pine Nordic Center1541 Thaynes Canyon Dr., Park City | 435.649.6249
You can log some serious miles on your Fitbit with Park City’s extensive network of scenic cross country trails set among the Uinta Mountains. (About 50 miles of which are totally groomed.) They also offer moonlight snowshoeing tours through Deer Valley Resort's Empire Pass for those who want a glimpse of alpine life after hours. White Pine can set you up with rentals for just about any excursion.
Snowmobiling at the Deer Valley Resort2250 Deer Valley Dr. S., Deer Valley | 435.645.7669
Sure, snowmobiling is kind of an athletic cop-out—but if you’re going to do it while you’re in Park City, this is the place. Summit Meadows Adventures offers guided tours (for groups, or just you) in Browns Canyon where you can explore 7,000 acres with spectacular views of the the Wasatch Mountains. They also offer complimentary transportation from Park City (it’s just ten minutes from Main Street), plus helmets. Photos courtesy of Deer Valley Resort
Holiday Lanes565 N. Main St., Heber City | 435.654.0372
This local bowling alley, with its original ball returns and pin machines, is a bit of a time-warp—and it’s awesome. The same family has run Holiday Lanes since 1964, and they’re known for their classic malt, which they make using hand-mixing machines from the 60's. We recommend the burgers and fries, too, which are almost as much of a draw as the bowling.
Jans Sports1600 Park Ave., Park City | 435.649.4949
The experts at Jans can pretty much get you through any mountain adventure—in the winter, they focus on the three major ski groups: alpine, nordic, and backcountry. In the summer, book them for fly fishing—they make the sport fun for first-timers, and have access to locals-only spots where you’ll have the best chance of catching something.
Park City Institute1750 Kearns Boulevard, Park City | 435.655.3114
Located in the heart of Park City on Main Street, this cultural hub brings big-name acts to the alpine village. In the summer, the Big Stars, Bright Nights series, held in Deer Valley’s Snow Park Outdoor Amphitheater at the base of the resort, is a huge crowd-pleaser. (Past seasons included Willie Nelson, Esperanza Spalding, and Mike Posner.) Throughout the year, the performing arts center hosts a varied roster from the likes of Alan Cumming, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, for a series of performances and intimate-yet-engaging talks.
Kimball Arts Festival1401 Kearns Blvd, Park City | 435.649.8882
Every August, Utah’s longest continually operating festival heads to town, taking over blocks-long Main Street and checking the requisite food, art, and music boxes along with it. Over the course of three days, some 225 jury-selected artists across categories like drawing, photography, and woodworking head to town to show off their wares. For the artists, it’s the opportunity to go home with a “Best in Show” award, and for the visitors, it marks the chance to discover and take home works from up-and-coming artists from across the country. (Proceeds from the festival allow the Kimball Arts Center to provide free year-round exhibitions, tours, and gallery talks for its patrons.) Local food trucks like Bruges Waffle Bus and Black’s Sliders decamp throughout the festival blocks, and there’s a rotating roster of live music acts.
Summer at Park City ResortPark City Mountain, Park City
When the snow finally melts for the summer, Park City turns the base of their mountain (including the bottom-most runs) into a playspace for littles, with zip lines, a ropes course, a summer tubing track, rock climbing wall, mini-rollercoasters, and a temporary playground, plus ample areas to sit out in the sun and watch. It's also home base for gondola rides, mountain bike trails, and some great hiking.