The fall colors look pretty from downtown Park City, but nothing quite beats taking a minute to tilt your head up, close your eyes, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and feel the warm sun on your face . Except maybe opening your eyes to see the light beaming down through the bright yellow aspen leaves right above you while you’re hiking near Deer Valley, Utah.
Ranked for years as number one ski resort by SKI Magazine, Deer Valley offers first class recreational experiences in the summer and fall as well as the winter. Situated above Park City’s historic Main Street, Deer Valley is home to miles of hiking trails, offering a variety of options in terms of length, elevation change, technical challenge, and scenery.
Several great hiking trails begin near the Silver Lake Village, in the mid-mountain area of Deer Valley Resort. Not to be confused with the main base lodge, Snow Park, Silver Lake Village is an easy drive that is less than ten minutes from Main Street, Park City. You can also take the free city bus up there.
As you would expect at Deer Valley, the trails are well marked and well maintained. Here are three excellent hiking options.
Hiking Bald Mountain, Deer Valley
Just beyond the Silver Lake Village, there are two trails that lead up to the top of Deer Valley’s iconic Bald Mountain. Standing below the Sterling Express chairlift and looking up the mountain, the Ontario Canyon trail will be to your right, and the Silver Lake trail will be to your left. You can hike either of them as an up and back, or you can hike them both as a big loop in either direction. The round trip on this hike is about 5 miles with significant elevation changes (the trail starts at 8,100 feet and climbs up to 9,400 feet). The views at the top are well worth it, and the path along the way is also quite pleasant.
Nabob Loop Hiking Trail
If you’re looking for a shorter hike, the Nabob Loop is a about a mile long with just a bit over 100 feet of elevation gain, and it’s a great Deer Valley hike for all levels. From Silver Lake Village, head out toward the Sterling Express chairlift. If you’re standing below the lift, looking up at it, the Nabob Loop starts over a ways to your left, slightly downhill from the start of the Silver Lake trail, and continues through a beautiful alpine forest. This is what I call a giggle hike; just fun and easy.
Sultan Out and Back Hiking Trail
The Sultan Out and Back hiking trail shares it’s beginning with the Nabob Loop, but then continues on to the east, out past the Sultan Express chairlift. Traversing through trees, and across ski runs, this hike leads to a scenic deck that is perfect for picnicking. It’s around 6 miles roundtrip, starting at around 8,100 feet of elevation and dipping down to around 7,800 feet at the deck.
Whenever you hike, you'll want to wear sunscreen and bring water and maybe a snack. And in the fall especially, it's important to be prepared with an extra layer of clothing, possibly one that sheds water in case of rain. And be sure to bring a camera or your smart phone - the views and the autumn colors combine for sights you'll want to remember.
For more tips on where to hike near Deer Valley, Utah, come by White Pine Touring and talk to our experts, or book one of our customized guided hiking tours in Park City and beyond.
Kendall Fischer, Content Writer