Nestled in Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range, Park City is one of the best little ski towns in America, offering sweeping landscape views of the valley below. As big fans of Colorado skiing, our family was a little uncertain about venturing outside our customary Centennial State resorts. I’m here to say that now I’m a huge fan of Park City.
One issue I’ve always had with our Colorado ski trips is the drive to the actual ski resort. I know this sounds petty, but when you have a big family that’s traveled all day just to get to Denver, facing another 2- or 3-hour—sometimes treacherous—drive up the mountain can be exhausting. A more streamlined possibility never occurred to me. Were we ever pleasantly surprised when we landed in Salt Lake City and learned we had only a 30-minute drive to Park City—and what a stunning drive!
Pumping in $50 million, Vail Resorts has linked two of America’s greatest ski areas—Park City and Canyons—creating the largest ski resort in the United States. Don’t let the sheer scale scare you (you’re not going to lose all your family members the first day to a black diamond in Never-Never Land). Although it’s massive, it doesn’t feel that way—unless maybe you’re an expert skier and wish to explore all 7,300 acres of their terrain. Most of our family just stayed on the Park City side and, within one day, felt the quaintness of the area’s skiing. Our older son did enjoy venturing out to ski on the other side of the mountain at the Canyons, connected to Park City by the new Quicksilver Gondola. Personally, I think his attraction to skiing over at the Canyons was eating lunch at Cloud Dine on top of the mountain (yes, you need to be a pretty good skier to get there), where the views are breathtaking and the food is delicious.
Besides the short drive to the resort and the amazing views from every angle, the other thing I loved about Park City was the weather! My biggest complaint about skiing is being cold, and then my kids get cold, so we end of spending too much time in the lodge trying to warm up instead of enjoying the great outdoors. Although I am no meteorologist, the weather just seems warmer in Park City. We were pleasantly surprised by not struggling to stay warm, but rather getting a little too warm wearing our many layers. Plus, Park City gets more than 400 inches of snow annually, making for dry and fluffy powder and excellent ski conditions.
Once a mining town, Park City is known now for its food, culture and history. The historic Main Street is incredibly charming with brick and wooden storefronts converted into shops and restaurants. For the family, Park City offers a ton of other things to do, including riding the Alpine Coaster, tubing at Gorgoza Park and visiting the Utah Olympic Park, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics.
With amazing powder, close proximity and stunning views, Park City has much to love. It’s a little town that really has it all, and our recent trip there certainly did not disappoint.