One of three originally separate ski areas adjacent to the historic silver mining town of Park City, Utah, just 50km east of Salt Lake City, Park City Mountain Resort is sandwiched between the exclusive Deer Valley ski area to the east and the Canyons ski area to the north-west.
Already a busy, bustling resort, Park City officially linked up with Canyons in 2015, after being taken over by Vail Resorts, to make the new ski area the largest in the USA, covering a mammoth 7,300 acres, and creating two distinct base areas with nine hotels, and more than two dozen restaurants.
The new Quicksilver Gondola provides the lift link between the two, which now have 348 linked trails. It is also possible to ski across from Park City to Deer Valley, although Deer Valley doesn't officially support the practice and is an exclusively skier-only resort (i.e. snowboarding is not permitted there).
Park City Mountain Resort is the most accessible from central Park City itself, its main slope-side base area and principal access ski lifts are located just off the city's main Park Avenue highway, and there are pisted footbridges linking the slopes right into the heart of Park City's quaint downtown Main Street area.
There are a number of large hotels at the main base, but the surrounding urban area effectively serves as one large resort, offering a wide choice of accommodation and amenities within a pedestrian-friendly radius from the slopes.
Park City - Ski Map & Pistes:
Park City Mountain Resort has a sizeable ski area, with seven distinct sectors spread over a series of lightly wooded ridges and bowls that stretch back deep into the mountains to the south-west of the city. The layout of the area is very user-friendly, with spacious beginners' slopes at the main base area and a great range of immaculately groomed long green trails and blue runs directly accessible via the nearest fast chairlifts.
The slopes immediately above the main base area also house a couple of good terrain parks and a halfpipe, as well as the resort's competition pistes and a number of groomed black runs; most of these home-sector slopes are also floodlit for evening access. Worth noting that the combined Park City/Canyons area now includes seven terrain parks, one super pipe and one mini pipe.
The highest and toughest terrain is found off the summits of Jupiter Bowl and Jupiter Peak, furthest away from the city-side base areas; Jupiter Bowl, Scott's Bowl, Puma Bowl, and McConkey's Bowl here are laden with steep ungroomed double-diamond black runs, a number of which can only be accessed by passing through control gates, open only when conditions are good enough and safe enough.
At the end of the day, or at the end of the evening after night-skiing sessions, a good choice of home-run pistes lead back to the main base area, and, thanks to a series of pisted footbridges, directly into the city's lively downtown Main Street district, perfect for those who don't want to miss a minute of après-ski time.
The now linked Canyons ski area is particularly renowned for its natural beauty and its wealth of gladed areas, plus the many powder-rich, rideable gullies from which the area derives its name.
Beginners have their own separate spacious zone at the mid-altitude Red Pine Lodge services level, at the top of the Red Pine Gondola that rises from the central base area. Not only does this mean that learners can share in the thrill of being up on the mountain from day one, but it also ensures reliable snow conditions on the beginners' slopes; progression pistes are also then closer to hand, the chairlift-served nearby High Meadow offering a perfect proving ground.
Intermediates have the greatest choice of accessible terrain, ranging from long well-groomed cruiser pistes to perfectly pitched ungroomed inter-piste powder fields and glade areas ideal for skill-building.
Park City - Off-Piste, Backcountry & Ski Touring:
Off-piste access beyond the ski area boundary is not permitted, but much of the high-end in-bounds terrain in the hike-to summit sectors and off the non-lift-served Pinecone Ridge, at the easternmost edge of the area, feels very much like backcountry-style territory.
Advanced skiers and riders can easily head over to Canyons for the glades and the gullies and the chutes (couloirs), especially in the Murdock Peak sector and the area's summit sector of Ninety-Nine 90 - alluding to its peak altitude of 9,990 feet above sea level (3,045 m). Heli-skiing/boarding is also available from a landing pad near to the Red Pine Lodge, offering guided off-piste expeditions deep into the surrounding Wasatch Range.
Park City - Restaurants, Bars & The Town:
The plaza at the big slope-side Lodge development at the main base area at Park City Mountain Resort houses a handful of shops, cafés, restaurants and bars, plus a small outdoor ice-skating rink; it's a pleasant enough place and the bars are fairly lively during late afternoon and early evening après-ski hours, but the large adjacent car parks and quiet surrounding suburbs make this area feel a bit soulless at other times; the Corner Store bar is the prime après-ski spot here, with live music most days.
A little further to the south, a pair of home-run blue pistes converge and flow across a series of pisted footbridges to the base of the town chairlift in a buzzing little elevated plaza at the upper end of Park City's bustling downtown district; this is by far the most attractive base and is just a few steps away from the many shops, cafés, restaurants and bars that line the 'historic' Main Street.
Main Street provides the heart and soul to this otherwise unusually urban-feeling ski resort, and is the main focus for Park City's nightlife, offering a wide range of good restaurants and a host of lively bars and nightclubs: the key downtown après-ski spot nearest to the lifts is The Brew Pub, live music fans gravitate to the Spur Bar, whilst lounge lizards and clubbers head for Downstairs. And don't miss the High West Distillery, where you can sample one of the fantastic whiskies made on site, or just stop in for some great local food.
While skiing or riding at Park City Mountain, try lunch at Lookout Cabin, with spectacular views of the Wasatch Range or ski into Miners Camp restaurant at the base of the Quicksilver Gondola.
Canyons Resort village is a pleasant enough base, too, with an adequate selection of eateries, bars and basic shops, focused on a compact central pedestrian area. Off-slope leisure facilities are provided by the Canyons Resort Spa and Health Club at the Grand Summit Hotel, which features an outdoor heated pool, hot tubs, a full-service wellness and beauty spa, plus a 24-hour fitness suite.
Park City - Ski Hire:
There are multiple options for ski hire in Park City, including Park City Sport, Town Lift Rentals, Jake's Ski Rental and Silver Star Ski and Sport. Delivery services Ski Butlers and Black Tie also operate here.
Park City - Ski School:
Park City Mountain's Ski & Ride School provides a full range of ski and snowboard lessons, whether you're staying at Park City or at the Canyons resort.
Park City - Snow Forecast:
For the all-important snow reports, check out the latest three-day Park City snow forecast. Combined with the embedded Park City webcam will keep you updated about the weather in Park City.