Park City

Park City, Utah

Written by Ron Thompson • Photos by Greg and Heather Burke • Last updated Oct 21, 2017

The largest ski area in the entire United States, home to the greatest snow on earth (so locals claim), and named one of the top 20 prettiest towns in the country by Forbes… ladies and gentlemen, it’s Park City! As ski resorts go, this place is up there with the best in the world, totaling up an enormous 7,300 acres of ski terrain with over 300 trails and counting. But it’s not just sheer vastness that makes Park City stand out. It’s the holy grail of excellent quality powder, consistent snowfall, and a distinct lack of wind that generally keeps the white stuff fresh, dry, and floaty. Unique meteorological elements conspire to create spectacular snow that you’ll only find in Utah, with Park City enjoying just over 30 feet of it on average each year!

Terrain off the Jupiter Chair, Park City

To keep things objective, it’s time to point out that Park City does have its flaws. Much of the accommodation here is located away from the lifts, so rolling out of bed and onto the slopes is unlikely. Being so popular, and close to Salt Lake City, means you should be prepared for lift queues and busy slopes, particularly on weekends. Nearby ski resort Alta also beats Park City in the numbers when it comes to steep slopes and snow depth. That said, the pros most certainly outweigh the cons, and it’s perfectly groomed airstrip-sized runs make Park City a mountain every skier and snowboarder will enjoy.

Looking down the Red Pine Gondola

Second only to Whistler Blackcomb in size when compared to all the ski areas across North America, it’s no surprise that Park City has something for everyone (and that goes for non-skiers too!). All levels of ability are catered for, and freestylers will love the world class ramps and halfpipes here, courtesy of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Off the mountain, the town itself has been carefully restored, particularly around Main Street, where you’ll see charming historic buildings that hark back to the 19th-century silver mining boom. A short wander will quickly reveal refined restaurants, designer boutiques, and plenty of lively bars, proving that this town is far more sophisticated than first meets the eye. As if all that wasn't enough, it’s also home to the Sundance Film Festival!

The Mountain

View of Jupiter Bowl, Park City

What is now known as Park City used to be two separate ski areas, with the former Canyons Resort connected to create one colossal mountain resort. Vail Resorts pumped in over $50 million on the project to bring 17 mountain peaks within the all-encompassing Park City Mountain Resort. The two ski areas still retain their previous character despite the merger, with Canyons serving up longer runs with more vertical drop than its neighbor. Park City's specialty is an abundance of amazingly wide trails to keep even the most enthusiastic carver busy all week.

View at Ninety-Nine 90, The Canyons

You do get a lot of vertical rise at this resort, 3,200 feet to be precise, with lifts reaching up to 10,000 feet. The majority of runs leading off the top peaks are double black diamond bowls and gullies, however the mountain is undeniably best-suited for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, with over 50% of all the trails on the mountain being blue squares. This might turn off advanced skiers and boarders craving the steep stuff, but there is a hidden blessing that comes with the resort being a haven for intermediates. After a big dump of fresh powder the off-piste isn’t tracked out anywhere near as fast as at other nearby resorts (Alta, Snowbird, we’re looking at you!)

When to Go

The ski season at Park City can last for five whole glorious months, from mid-November to mid-April. The start and tail end aren’t going to offer the best snow, so if you can aim your trip for any time between the beginning of February to the middle of March. This time of year gives you the best chance of scoring fresh deep powder with all the trails and lifts open. When it comes to snowfall, there is no reliable pattern in Utah, but the local consensus is that the second half of February is when the best powder is served, usually around the time of the Presidents’ Day national holiday. During the Sundance Film Festival, you may find the slopes surprisingly quiet, but restaurants get booked out months in advance and accommodation prices are usually turned up a notch, so make sure you've secured a ski and snowboard deal.

Elevation

Base
6800 feet
Base
Summit
10000 feet
Summit
Vertical Drop
3200 feet
Vertical Drop

Lifts

Gondola & Trams
4
Gondola & Trams
High Speed Sixes
6
High Speed Sixes
High Speed Quads
8
High Speed Quads
Quad Chairs
6
Quad Chairs
Triple Chairs
8
Triple Chairs
Double Chairs
4
Double Chairs
Surface Lifts
5
Surface Lifts

Terrain

Beginner Runs
8 %
Beginner Runs
Intermediate Runs
42 %
Intermediate Runs
Advanced Runs
32 %
Advanced Runs
Expert Runs
18 %
Expert Runs
Total Runs
347
Total Runs
Terrain Parks
8
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
3 miles
Longest Run
Skiable Terrain
7300 acres
Skiable Terrain
Snowmaking Area
500 acres
Snowmaking Area

Opening and closing dates

Season Open Date Close Date
2017/2018 11/23/2017 (estimated) 04/15/2018 (estimated)
2016/2017 11/26/2016 04/16/2017
2015/2016 11/21/2015 04/10/2016
2014/2015 11/22/2014 04/19/2015

Lift ticket and season pass prices

Category Age restrictions Price (USD unless otherwise stated)
Adult 13 - 64 $129
Child 5 - 12 $83
Senior 65 & over $89
Season Pass
(Epic Pass)
$899

Overall Rating

4.6 / 5 based on 72 reviews
Brandon

This resort is usually vary busy and it is expensive to ski. The mountain is very well groomed and taken care of with high speed, high capacity lifts accessing more advanced terrain.

Posted on Nov 20, 2017
Travis Van den Broeke

This was a fun place to ski for my first winter in Utah. Very expansive, takes a while to get to the top, lots of lifts is both a pro and a con. Way too developed. I don’t like having to ski through condos to get places.

Posted on Nov 19, 2017
George

I like the backcountry exit. I think they should add backcountry gate at Saddle back chairlift. The resort offers alot variety of terrain backcountry access very convienant can be even better

Posted on Nov 18, 2017
David le

Park city is nice. I didnt get to explore much but it was fun!!! I would love the opportunity to go more and explore more. Everyone should go and see park city it is a beautiful place.

Posted on Nov 11, 2017
David Z

Great all around resort. Quicksilver gondola affords for a tremendous amount of skiiable area. Terrain to please beginners and experts, although there are definitely resorts with better chutes/sidecountry. Wonderful town, albeit pricey.

Posted on Nov 09, 2017
Weston

Park City is a perfect mountain for beginner/intermediate skier. For advanced/expert skiers who don’t enjoy hiking it is great once you know where the goods are. It could take a couple of days to find the terrain you want to spend your time on as an advanced skier, and the vertical drop on the steep terrain can be very short lived for the number of lift rides it requires to get to the good stuff. Side-country access is amazing. You could do a side country tour from canyons village Alta in a single day...and all in the greatest snow on earth.

Posted on Nov 20, 2017
Jade Lawrence

Park City/Canyons is a massive resort with the best snow on earth. I started skiing there in middle school and have enjoyed the mountain for 20 years. Canyons has some of the best/easiest back county access I've ever seen. I got my pass taken from me for going out of bounds when I was just 13 years old. I also landed my first backflip in Canyons backcountry. PC & Canyons will always have a special place in my heart :)

Posted on Nov 18, 2017
Jarred Martin

Alittle pricey but well worth the visit, i have zero complaints and had an amazing time! I especially liked how many restaurants and snowboard shops there were it made it super easy to stay close to the mountain and the lodge!

Posted on Nov 11, 2017
Hunter

Best resort in the country when you look at all factors. Have been going for years and will always make it my number 1. Best day of my life was morning of day I was leaving, if it wasn't for close proximity to Salt Lake I would have missed it.

Posted on Nov 10, 2017
Preston Johnson

Me and my friends have been skiing here for years and it’s always a blast, the nice thing about this resort is that even though it doesn’t get the most snowfall they can make their own so you’re guaranteed a good time no matter what

Posted on Nov 09, 2017

Ski Resorts in Salt Lake City