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April 04, 2017 | By

Ultimate Guide to Skiing Park City

The Park City Mountain Resort we know and love today has come a long way since its beginnings in the early 1960s. But amidst the massive growth and infrastructure development, the ski resort and town of Park City have both maintained their roots, making for eclectic culture in the Wasatch Mountains. Ski bums, foodies, art and film enthusiasts and families looking for kid-friendly fun flock to Park City for its extensive offerings and ability to please virtually all types of ski vacationers. After being purchased by Vail Resorts in 2014 and merged with The Canyons, Park City now offer skiers 7,300 acres terrain and 300+ trails for days – weeks, rather – of exploration. Add swanky hotels and vibrant après bars, historic shops and modern restaurants and you’ve got everything you need for the perfect Utah ski vacation.  

Source: Park City Mountain Resort

There’s nowhere quite like Park City for the ultimate ski resort destination vacation, for its sheer size as well as its class. Main Street maintains historic buildings and even century-old businesses, while luxury boutique hotels contribute modern urban flavor to the old mining town turned mega resort. We love that downtown borders the resort base itself, so you can walk from the slopes to the hotel and a night out on the town within minutes. Families love Park City for its kid-friendly activities and restaurants, while those interested in the scene and being seen can drop into town for major festivals like Sundance. At just under 40-minute drive from Salt Lake City, Park City gets big points for accessibility. You’d be surprised what you can pack into just a weekend.

In this guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about the planning the ultimate Park City Ski Vacation. We clue you in on how to get there, where to stay, what to eat, and how to enjoy yourself on and off the slopes. You’ll find insider tips and links to the best ski vacation deals Park City has to offer. We’ll tell you where to get an après beer and where to dance the night away. Keep reading for the ultimate guide to skiing Park City.

 

Getting There

Fly into Salt Lake City International Airport, just 40 minutes drive from Park City.  

Most don’t need a car in Park City itself: public transportation around town is free, and the hustle and bustle of Main Street is at the base of the resort. Shuttles offer round-the-clock service to and from the airport, as well as select locations in Salt Lake City.   

 

Exploring Salt Lake City

Source: Temple Square Blog

Salt Lake City may be known for its outdoorsy scene and gorgeous backdrop of the Wasatch Range, but a weekend stopover in the city before heading to the mountains is worth being delightfully surprised by all its culinary and cultural offerings. From hip microbreweries like Bohemian and Unita to a bustling downtown with award-winning lounges and restaurants, the city has a taste of the best the Rocky Mountain West has to offer – with a progressive arts and music scene to boot.

Stay downtown near Temple Square for walking access to some of the city’s best sights, and a lively nightlife scene when the sun sets. Mormon pioneers built the Salt Lake Temple when first arriving in the area, and the modern city has built up around it. Opt for a free tour of the grounds for a look into the city’s history, then head just a few blocks southeast to historic Trolley Square for boutique shopping and a good brew. Indulge in steaks and seafood at the Market Street Grill for dinner, then catch a show at the Capitol Theater, home to world-famous Ballet West.

Got kids? Not to worry: Salt Lake City has plenty to offer – and for great prices, at that. The Hogle Zoo is home to over 900 animal species from around the world, and a steam train that’s a hit with kids. Downtown you’ll find the Clark Planetarium, boasting science exhibits as well as an IMAX theater. Little tykes as well as teens will enjoy the newly remodeled Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum and its 60,000 square feet of interactive exhibits.

 

When You Go:

Dine… at the Market Street Grill for the city’s most popular seafood and other contemporary eats in an upbeat 1930’s atmosphere.

Stay…at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Salt Lake City, which boasts spacious rooms, boldly colorful décor, and walking distance to all the major attractions in the heart of downtown.

Party…at Elevate, a downtown multi-level nightclub featuring live bands and popular DJs in a hip urban scene.

Shop…the massive and newly renovated City Creek Center for major department store offerings amidst local boutiques, restaurants, and other retail spaces.

Attend…a performance at the Capitol Theatre, home to the world-famous Ballet West.

Don’t Miss…a walk along the Great Salt Lake: it’s just 20 minutes from downtown, and offers surreal views of this natural phenomena bordering the city.

Park City Mountain Resort

Source: Park City Mountain Resort

Mountain Stats:

Vertical: 3,200ft

Summit Elevation: 10,000ft

Skiable Terrain: 7,300 acres

Average Annual Snowfall: 370 inches

Trails: 330+

Lifts: 41

Day Lift Ticket: $134

Private Lesson: $949

Childcare: Ages 6 weeks and up

When the resort opened in 1963 under the name Treasure Mountain, what is now Park City Mountain Resort boasted the longest gondola. Utilizing its mining roots, skiers were shuttled through a tunnel on a mine train followed by a mine elevator to get them 4 kilometers into the mountain to access the original terrain. Today, Park City Mountain Resort is a major world-wide ski destination: since hosting events of the 2002 Winter Olympics and going under a merge with The Canyons in 2014 after Vail Resorts purchased both areas, skiers and riders flock to popular “PC” for extensive terrain, arts and culture, award-winning spas, a thriving foodie scene and a look into historic roots of the Deseret State. If you’ve got a week, spend a week; if you’ve got a weekend, spend the weekend. Park City is not to be missed for its laid-back class and appeal.

Cheat Sheet:

Stay…at Main & Sky, which boasts modern luxury digs, on-site spa, and central location in downtown Park City.

Ski…the chutes off Jupiter Bowl for leg-shaking expert laps on a powder day.

Fine Dining…Dine in style at Café Terigo, which serves up tasty Italian and French inspired bistro fare in a cozy dining room.

Cheap Eats…Take the family to Davanza’s for wood oven fired pizzas.

Après...at High West Distillery & Saloon for flights of locally distilled whiskey and lively local crowd.

Shop...at Root’d for handcrafted home décor and elegant gifts.

Party…at the rustic and raucous No Name Saloon, an historic Main Street bar serving up tasty libations and regional microbrews.

Off The Slopes…Book a guided fly fishing day on the blue-ribbon Provo River.

Don’t Miss…the Sundance Film Festival week in late January: skiers will delight in empty slopes, while party-goers can catch all the glitz and glamour downtown.

Lodging

Source: Washington School House Hotel

Most lodging boasts ski-in/ski-out access and walking distance to downtown, while value options are a few minutes shuttle ride from the resort. Expect super friendly staff and homey vibes, even in the luxury digs.

Luxury

Just twelve rooms make up the Washington School House Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel in downtown Park City. The historic building is decorated with artful antiques and modern comforts, and includes a fabulous restaurant, heated pool, stargazing views and walking distance to Main Street and ski lifts.

Choose from suites, residences, and expansive penthouses with the best views of Park City at Main & Sky. This modern hotel boasts its own luxury spa, wellness concierge, complementary area transportation and two hip, healthy restaurants

 

Mid-Range

Guests love the bright interiors and modern comfort at the Hyatt Centric, which boasts ski-in/ski-out access to Park City and easy walk to bars and restaurants. The rooms are excellent for families, as they offer separate living spaces and convenient kitchenettes. Ask for a room with mountain views.

For a spacious stay book a condominium at the Silver King Hotel. The wood-burning fireplaces, full kitchens, and washer dryer make these spaces feel like home, and are a great option for groups or families traveling together. It’s a short walk to PayDay Lift.

 

Value

Reliable and comfortable, Double Tree by Hilton also scores points with its guests for excellent service and quirky interior design. The hotel is slightly farther from town and the slopes (which lowers the cost!), but hey – 5 minutes on the free shuttle and you’re in the heart of downtown Park City.

With on-site sauna, fitness center, restaurant and gear rental, the Park City Peaks Hotel is a one-stop destination for everything you need on a PC ski vacation – with value prices to boot. A complimentary shuttle runs to town and the base area.

On-Mountain Dining

Beat the crowds with an early or late lunch at one of these on-mountain favorites. Most restaurants have outdoor seating for sunny days.

One of Park City’s best kept secrets, the Silver Star Café offers ski-in/ski-out gourmet lunch in a hip little space at the base of the Silver Star lift. Enjoy hearty favorites like duck confit tacos or cornmeal crusted portabella sandwich. Dinner offers casual fine dining as well.

The slopeside Tombstone Grill is the place to be on a sunny day. Enjoy savory outdoor BBQ and casual atmosphere at the base of the Tombstone Express without losing too much time from the slopes. This is a great meet-up place for all skiers in your group – even the ones who aren’t skiing.

Mid-way up the Orange Bubble Express you’ll find the Lookout Cabin, a rustic little place with hearty, gourmet entrees and gorgeous views from the outdoor deck. Pair soups, salads, and flatbreads with a cold beer or glass of wine and take in the Wasatch mountainscape.

Village Dining

Source: Riverhorse on Main

Park City is known for its culinary delights, and chefs of favorite restaurants continue to wow patrons with creative, sustainably sourced menus. Most places feel quite hip and have just the right touch of romance. 

The best of French and Italian bistro fare come together at Café Terigo. The cozy space on Main Street is the ideal setting for a laid-back night out, and the menu features creative twists on classical European fare. The almond-crusted salmon filet with pork belly and chili oil is not to be missed.

Head to Mariposa at neighboring Deer Valley for an intimate dinner set amongst roaring fireplaces in a cozy dining room. The dinner menu includes top-notch steaks, seafood, and game, while vegetarians and gluten-free persons will also find plenty of options.

Book early for an evening at Riverhorse on Main, Park City’s most award-winning New American restaurant. Start with house-made sausage Pierogis, followed by macadamia nut-crusted Alaskan halibut with herb whipped potatoes – a fan favorite.

Après

Park City’s main après bars border the slopes and Main Street – you’re welcome to go ski-boots on. For quiet, sophisticated scenes, get dolled up and head over to Deer Valley.

High West Distillery & Saloon is known for being the only “ski-in distillery” in the world, and while the distillery itself has now moved to a larger building, the historic saloon is a crowd-pleaser for tasting flights and lively après hour. Be sure to save room for specialty cocktails like the infamous Dead Man’s Boots.

On the Canyons side, head to the Red Tail Grill for mountain views from the outdoor deck. The après scene is laid-back and lasts until dark on sunny spring days – ideal for those who want to kick back and enjoy a slower pace than the Park City base area. The food is top-notch.

Located at the base area inside Legacy Lodge, Legends Bar & Grill serves up tasty pub grub in a family-friendly environment. Enjoy favorites like pork belly street tacos and spicy jumbo wings with a cold draft from local breweries.

Nightlife

Source: Park City Live

Park City is a destination when it comes to nightlife in ski towns, so if it’s a party you’re looking for, congratulations: you’ve come to the right resort. Classic ski town bars mix with upscale nightclubs and luxury lounges, and we’re happy to say there is truly something for every taste when it comes to Park City nightlife.

 

Nightclubs

Eclectic and upscale, Downstairs prides itself on being a blend of lounge, bar, and performance space that caters to the hippest of Park City crowds. Saturday brings no cover for ladies, and every night of the week you’ll find DJs or live music acts lighting up the dance floor.

Park City Live is the place to go for huge live music shows; the space boasts multiple bars and seating areas, VIP section, and huge floor for dancing. Major acts like Stevie Nicks, Calvin Harris, The Shins and Macklemore frequent the space, as well as up-and-coming artists.

Ski Bars

Park City has grown progressively more glamorous over the years, but you’ll still find the soul of a ski town in certain Main Street mainstays.

Head to Rock & Reilly’s for Irish pub fare, good beer selection, and live music most nights during ski season. The space is a bit of a hole-in-the-wall compared to most downtown Park City bars, and for this it’s a local favorite.

Don’t miss a raucous night at the award-winning No Name Saloon, which has been serving up tasty libations to locals and tourists alike since 1903. The walls are decked out with antique memorabilia and the rustic wooden décor makes for the perfect Wild West ambiance; arrive anytime after lifts close and stay ‘til 2am.

Lounges

Luxury hotels in Park City and Deer Valley are ideal for quiet, classy evenings, while you’ll find lively spaces with music and dancing along Main Street. Note that bartenders in PC get particularly creative with cocktails despite (or because of) the liquor laws – prepare to be wow’d.  

Although located a few miles away at the base of Deer Valley, the Troll Hallen Lounge is worth the short journey for its cozy seating area and roaring fire. Opt for spiked cider or select craft beer, and don’t miss late-night bites like their famous garlic Asiago cheese fries.

The popular O.P. Rockwell Lounge is a hot spot for live music and crafty cocktails in an historic building on Main Street; the venue boasts two bars, VIP areas, and lounge spaces – VIP packages with reserved seating and cocktail service are ideal for bigger groups.

Shopping

Stroll along Main Street for the best shopping in Park City, which includes chic boutiques, upscale gift shops, and (of course) some go-to spots for leather and western ware.

Goofy and eclectic, Paisley Pomegranate is Park City’s favorite shop when it comes to gifts and souvenirs. You’ll find everything from cutesy kitchen-ware to handcrafted jewelry in this store, as well as pillows, books, picture frames, hand-blown glass, and much more.

Stop by Root’d for unique home décor and gift items, much of which are crafted by local artists. The 4,000 square foot storefront on Main Street boasts beautiful interior design inspiration (like antler chandeliers and print pillows) hand-picked by owner Melissa Berry.

Family-owned since its beginnings in the late 1800s, Burns Cowboy Shop remains the authority on cowboy boots and fine western wear. All goods are high quality and the selection is vast for both men and women; if you’ve ever wanted a pair of authentic leather cowboy boots, this is the place.

Activities

Source: Park City Mountain Resort

The resort offers plenty of outdoor adventure on the Park City and Canyons sides, including guided snowshoeing and snowmobile tours. Take advantage of the greater Park City area with guided adventures beyond the resort boundaries.

Next to Canyons Village is a piece of private property with extensive groomed snowmobiling trails run by Red Pine Adventures; kids ages 5 and up can ride, and professional guides will lead you through forests, open snow fields, and the hidden winter wonderlands around Park City.

Consider an afternoon away from the resort with a guided fly fishing trip – popular with families and friends groups alike. A “blue-ribbon” destination, the Provo River provides some of the best fly fishing in the country, and professional guides offer their best tips and tricks on the full and half-day trips.

Make dinner an adventure in itself with a sleigh ride to the Viking Yurt. A 25-minute ride up the mountain leads guests to a private yurt where a delicious dinner and live entertainment await – a truly unique experience of the Rockies.

Family Fix

Park City is known for being family friendly, and we’ll bet that your kids will meet instant friends in ski school or running down the hotel hallways. Because family time is valued at this resort, tons of activities are kid-friendly and offer excellent value: consider one of these for an afternoon away from the slopes.

Two can ride at the same time on the Flying Eagle Zip Line, which soars above the slopes of Park City and offers kids and parents alike big thrills. The seats are spacious and comfortable by zip line standards, and youngsters of at least 42” height can ride with an adult.

You’ll find mini snowmobiles and lift-serviced tubing at Gorgoza Park, a winter playground for kids of all ages. We love Gorgoza for its varied offerings, including a special play park for kids 6 and under and evening activities that last until 8pm.

The Alf Engen Ski Museum has a new exhibit which offers guests the experience of ski-flying – just one of the popular interactive exhibits. The family can also explore Utah and Olympic ski history, virtual ski jump, and avalanche awareness concepts.

Ready to book your Park City ski vacation? We can help you find the best deals here.