Jans Expert mountain biking in Park City, Utah

Park City: A Summer Guide to On-Trail, Off-Trail Adventures

When you think of Park City, what comes to mind? Probably skiing. Park City is a world class ski town tucked into the famous Wasatch Mountains, with a whopping eight ski resorts within an hour drive of historic Main Street—so it makes sense that Park City, and its surrounding mountains, are known for powder skiing. However, there is a saying amongst locals that we, “move here for the winter, but stay for the summer.” And as cliché as it may be, that saying tends to be true. Summertime in Park City is pure bliss.  With numerous options for activities both on the trail and off the trail. Many people are shocked when they come to Park City in the summer and enjoy it as much, or even more, than they did in the winter. No matter what you are interested in—the outdoors, food, music—Park City has something for everyone in the summer months.

On the Trail

Mountain Biking:

While known for its skiing, it may be surprising to hear that Park City is equal parts ski town and bike town. With over 450 miles of singletrack in and around town, it is almost impossible to beat the pure variety of bike trails and the convenient accessibility of them. Park City was named the first Gold Level riding center from the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA), meaning that all our trails are built to the highest standard.

If visiting from out of town, it can be hard to choose a trail to ride, so here is a tip to get you started… Corvair is a popular trail among locals and non-locals alike and it’s a great way to experience the high quality of riding offered in Park City. Corvair is a fast, smooth, flowy downhill that switchbacks its way down a shady, loamy forest. Bike trails tend to get dusty as the summer progresses, however Corvair typically stays nice and tacky. Getting to Corvair can be as easy or as challenging as you’d like it to be. For those looking for just the downhill, you can drive up to Empire Pass, park the car and immediately start coasting downhill on Corvair. If you prefer to earn your descent, you can climb up to Corvair, via Tour Des Suds (TDS). TDS starts in Daly Canyon, accessible from town, and switchbacks its way up 2,000 vertical feet to the top of Corvair.

Hiking:

If you want to slow things down and enjoy the scenery, hiking is your ticket. Like biking, hiking options in and around Park City are limitless and will take you as far as you desire. If you only have a few hours in the morning or afternoon, no worries, as there are plenty of trails within reach of Park City proper and most local accommodations. The Lackawaxen Lake Trail is a perfect half-day hike in an area that has wildflowers, wildlife, and no bikes. The hike to Lackawaxen is 2.6 miles one-way and is rated roughly as moderate. The Lackawaxen Lake Trail shares the same route as the popular Bloods Lake hike for the first half mile, but the majority of trail users venture further to Lackawaxen, making it a quieter alternative. To top it off, it’s dog friendly, and the lakes offer a place for the pup to cool off on a hot summer day. The trailhead for Lackawaxen and Blood Lake is minutes from Park City proper, at the top of Guardsman’s Pass, which is one of the most scenic drives, worthy of experiencing on its own.

If you have a full day, go check out the Uinta Mountains—just a 45-minute drive from Park City. The Uintas are big and wild, containing Utah’s largest wilderness area, at over 450,000 acres, as well as all of Utah’s twenty-one 13,000-foot peaks. 80% of Utah’s water is holed up here, in the form of lakes, and paired with a higher elevation and you got the ingredients for a hiking oasis during the summer heat.

The Wall Lake Trail and area is a great way to get a taste of the Uintas. The drive to the trailhead is roughly 45 minutes, and the hike to Wall Lake is relatively easy. From Wall Lake, you have options— hike up to The Notch for expansive views, or hike above Wall Lake to the Divide Lakes, which separate the Weber and Provo river drainages.

Fly Fishing:

Fly fishing in the Park City area is superb. With the blue ribbon-rated Provo River and Weber River within a 30-minute drive, there are ample opportunities for fishing close to town. If you prefer a more “off-the-grid” experience, the Uintas is also a fishing paradise, and boasts thousands of lakes, often stocked with fish. There are multiple lakes right off the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway with good fishing, good views, as well as peace and quiet.

If the outdoor activities mentioned above sound appealing but you don’t know where to start, Jans has a wide variety of guided trips and tours, based out of Park City, as well as gear rentals. Our team of local Experts can show you the best trails to ride or hike, and waters to fish, whether you’re an Expert yourself, or new to the sport entirely. If a guided trip isn’t your thing, we still invite you to swing by our outdoor shop and we’ll happily point you in the right direction or hook you up with some maps of the area.

Off the Trail

Park Silly:

The Park Silly Market is a favorite among locals and tourists alike. The open-air market takes place every Sunday on the bottom third of Main Street, starting Sunday, June 2. Park Silly is a great showcase of local artisans, food, farms, and music. If visiting Park City this summer, checking out Park Silly is a must!

A tip for attending Park Silly—utilize Park City’s free public transportation! Parking is virtually non-existent during the market, so either bus it from your accommodations, or park at the Park City High School and take the Red line in-bound to Main Street.

Deer Valley Concerts

Every summer, the Deer Valley Snow Park Amphitheatre plays host to a wide variety of concerts. Each Wednesday, Deer Valley presents one free concert, featuring a local musician or band, with additional concerts for more famous bands throughout the summer—which require a ticket purchase. Going to a concert at Snow Park is fun and family-friendly, and the rules are pretty relaxed—bring a blanket, snacks, and a bottle of wine, and enjoy the show as the sun sets over the surrounding mountains.  A Deer Valley concert also makes the perfect nightcap to biking the resort, or after descending on the aforementioned Corvair Trail— take it to Mid Mountain, then Deer Crest, and follow the trail to the Snow Park Amphitheatre!

Golf

Due to the outstanding climate of Park City summers, golfing in and around town is a popular pastime during the warmer months. Communities like Glenwild, Victory Ranch, Tuhaye, and Promontory all have world class golf courses with beautiful views to boot. High temperatures typically top out in the 70s and low 80s, and rain is rare in this alpine desert, making Park City a golfing destination for visitors from all over the country.

Summary

The traditional ski town ‘off season’ is not quite so off in Park City. Gold Level bike trails make summer a time that locals look forward to every year, while outdoor concerts, farmers markets, and pristine hiking trails make Park City a summer destination for people with all types of interests.

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