Get Out! Park City has plenty of bike trails to explore
If you’re looking for a great getaway with plenty of biking, hiking and spectacular views, put Park City, Utah, on your short list of options. My boyfriend and I recently spent a week in the Park City area, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite destinations.
Our main reason for choosing Park City was because of the abundance of bike trails. Yes, we can bike here in Grand Junction, but we like to venture out and explore the bike trails of other areas as well.
Park City claims to have more than 400 miles of public trails; every subdivision that gets built has to include open space, and many developers choose to create multiuse trails. When you combine those with the trails located at each of the ski resorts, there truly are many, many miles of bike trails in the area.
One section of trails that continues to grow is the Glenwild area. These trails can be accessed from several different trail heads and are great for all levels of riders. They are perfect for long cross-country rides and are lower in elevation than many of the on-mountain trails. Most of these were built with bikers in mind, so the switchbacks are all rideable, and the downhill is fast and fun.
One particular area at Glenwild is called Bob’s Basin, and it’s home to four downhill-specific trails. These trails include rocky berms, wooden ramps and jumps and are a lot of fun for even intermediate riders. We found ourselves making several laps on these one day.
For a longer on-mountain ride, we chose the Mid-Mountain Trail, which is quite a long ride that covers multiple ski resorts. Currently you can start at the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley Ski Resort and ride all the way across to The Canyons Resort.
We opted to take a bike shuttle to the top of Guardsman Pass and start from there. This way we’d eliminate some climbing; our ride would still be more than 20 miles long, so we didn’t feel the least bit lazy taking a shuttle to the top. From here we took a downhill trail called “Scott’s Bypass” and then dropped down another trail into Park City Mountain Resort.
My boyfriend is great at navigating across these sections and pointed out various runs that we had skied in the past, Jupiter bowl and lift, Shadow Lake, etc. Ski resorts look so lonely and exposed in the summer time. It’s quite interesting to see them when they aren’t covered in snow.
Soon we reached an intersection with a warning sign: There is no way to exit this trail for the next 11 miles, until you reach The Canyons resort. Off we went.
From this point on, the trail mostly was downhill. It’s been rerouted in the past few years, and locals claim the new trail is “rocky and jumbly,” but we found it to be just fine. Back at The Canyons, we followed the encouraging signs (2 miles to go!) to Red Pine Lodge. Then we made one more climb before picking up another trail called Holly’s and using it to get back to the base and our condo.
By the time we were done, we’d ridden almost five hours and 25 miles. The views were spectacular, as was most of the ride, so it was worth it. The whole trail system is well-signed, so there’s little chance of getting lost, but stop by a bike shop like Jan’s and pick up a map anyway.
For our last day, we repeated last year’s Wasatch Crest ride. Being able to ride this on a weekday was awesome because we saw few people for most of the ride. It’s such a fast downhill ride that it’s nice to be able to stop and enjoy it without worrying about other riders flying down the hill behind you.
To be honest, though, we didn’t make a dent in all of the possible rides and combinations of trails that exist in the area. From downhill trails at each of the mountain resorts to other trail systems in the area, I think you could probably ride there for a month without doing the same ride twice.
Riding aside, Park City was just a great place to hang out. The Canyons offers free Saturday concerts in August with great bands like the New Orleans Brass Band and Soul Rebels. There is a weekly Farmer’s Market with lots of great produce, local eggs, fresh mozarella, pizza dough, bread and more. We found it quite easy to walk to the Farmer’s Market and buy almost everything we needed to make dinner.
Because September is sort of an “in between” season for Park City, it was easy to find an inexpensive condo to rent. We also saved quite a bit by cooking most of our meals.
For outdoor enthusiasts, Park City is definitely a great place to visit in late summer. It’s a bit cooler than Grand Junction, and there are all sorts of recreational opportunities from biking to paddle boarding and golfing.
I know we’ll definitely be making a return trip.
For more information on the bike trails and shuttles in Park City, visit bikegjco.com.