Park City is without a doubt the recreational capital of Utah. With three ski areas (Park City Mountain Resort, Deer Valley Resort, and The Canyons Resort) and the Utah Olympic Park located in the valley, the city (approximate population about 8,000) is noted worldwide for its snow sports: The U.S. national ski team trains here, and many of the 2002 Winter Olympic competitions took place in the valley. In summer, guests flock to the resorts to golf and explore the scenic mountain landscapes on horseback, mountain bike, or foot.
However, there’s a lot more to Park City than recreation: The well-heeled clientele that frequents the resorts has transformed this old mining town into the most sophisticated shopping, dining, and lodging center in Utah. However, such worldly comforts come at a cost. Condominium developments and trophy homes stretch for miles, encroaching on the beauty that brought people here in the first place.
Even if you’re not a skier or hiker, plan to explore Park City’s historic downtown. Late-19th-century buildings along Main Street and on the hillsides recall Park City’s colorful and energetic past. Here you’ll find a historical museum, art galleries, specialty shops, and fine restaurants.
A busy year-round schedule of arts and cultural events (including the Sundance Film Festival), concerts, and sports also help keep Park City hopping.
Most sports stores in Park City (and there are lots of them) rent skis and related equipment in winter and bicycles and camping gear in summer. It's also easy to rent equipment, including mountain bikes in the summer, at the ski resorts, Park City, Deer Valley, or Canyons.
White Pine Touring (1790 Bonanza Dr., 435/649-8710, www.whitepinetouring.com, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily) rents cross-country skis, mountain-climbing equipment, camping gear, and mountain bikes.
Jans Mountain Outfitters (1600 Park Ave., 435/649-4949, www.jans.com) has downhill, telemark, and cross-country rentals, snowboards, mountain bikes, in-line skates, and fly-fishing gear.
Getting to Park City
Park City Transit operates a trolley bus up and down Main Street (about every 10 minutes daily) and has several bus routes to other parts of town, including Park City, the Canyons, and Deer Valley ski areas (about every 10-20 minutes daily). All buses are free; pick up a transit guide from the visitor center at Kimball Junction (1862 Olympic Pkwy., 435/658-9616), in the Park City Museum (528 Main St., 435/649-7457), on any of the buses, or by calling Park City Transit (435/645-5130 recording). Parking can be extremely difficult in downtown Park City, so it's a good idea to hop a bus.
All Resort (800/457-9457, $37 one-way, 24-hour advance reservations recommended) and Canyon Transportation (800/255-1841, www.canyontransport.com, $35 one-way) both make regular runs between Park City and Salt Lake City International Airport or downtown. All resorts also offer car rentals in Park City.
Call Ace Transportation (435/649-8294) for cabs.
© W.C. McRae and Judy Jewell from Moon Utah, 9th Edition