A Mountain Biker’s Travel Guide to Park City, Utah

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Photo: Courtesy of BIKE Magazine

With spring fast approaching, it’s nearly time to start planning summer road trips and two-wheeled vacations. In a town like Park City, the mountain snowpack won’t stay around forever, and when the trails start melting out, you’d best be ready to take advantage of the good dirt before the summer dust season sets in. In this quick guide to Park City, you’ll find all the resources you need to maximize riding and minimize time searching for the best post-ride beer and burger.

Park City, which sits at 7,000-feet, lends itself to true mountain terrain, with hundreds of miles of trails starting right outside town and disappearing into the surrounding peaks. Last fall, during our 2020 Bible of Bike Tests, we were able to suss out only a fraction of what Park City has to offer in the way of trails, but here are a few of our favorites.

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Although there are three bike parks in Park City, there is also about 400 miles of earn-your-turns trail. Photo: Courtesy of Anthny Smith/BIKE Magazine

Trails and Shops

Check out this route off Wasatch Crest, which is one of many old-school rides outside of Park City’s many bike-park-like, flow-style trail networks. With lots of descent (1,950 feet) and minimal climbing (441 feet), this shuttle-friendly trail is great for riders looking for something outside the bike park that’s still mostly in the down direction.

If you’re more into puff-and-pedal type of ride, our short-travel test loop from the Bible might suit your fancy. At 5.3 miles and netting 1,360-feet elevation change, this loop is a good afternoon jaunt, or a good intro into the Park City trails before you really dive in deep. You can also connect this route into other trails to extend the fun.

And then there’s Trailside Bike Park for those who just want to play at the playground. With advanced jump lines and green rollers alike, Trailside’s short runs will give you a great place to kill some time or hone your skills. A mellow climb trail takes you right to the top—this is an easy place to let time slip by, one run at a time.

Want even more? Check out mountaintrails.org for an in-depth look at the trails in Park City.

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The Trailside Bike Park offers everything from green rollers to black jump lines, all serviced by a mellow climbing trail. Photo: Courtesy of Margus Riga/BIKE Magazine

Of course, if you’re planning a visit in the early season, it’s a good idea to find out the trail conditions as different elevation (and thus different trails) will melt out sooner or later than others. JANS Bike Shop is one of the local shops in town that offers a wealth of wisdom and certainly a place to stop by on your way into town to get the latest beta. JANS also offers tours through White Pine Touring if the sheer amount of trail in Park City has you overwhelmed—it certainly was for us our first few days in town. As a full-service shop, they’re also a go-to for those mid-trip moments when you run out of talent and find yourself with a broken rig.

Lift-Assisted Resorts

Deer Valley Resort

With over 70 miles of trail spread over five mountains and 3,000 of elevation change, Deer Valley is quite the playground. Chairs operate June 14 to September 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you want to earn some extra credit in the summer months, some of the trails in the resort connect to the vast network of public trails around Park City.

Park City Mountain Resort

Also opening June 14, this resort offers a network of trails spread between two mountains, all accessed via chairlift. Both flow and old-school tech trails abound, and some connect back into the public trails, just like Deer Valley.

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Want even more air time? The flow trails in any of the bike parks serve up plenty of lip—the good kind. Photo: Courtesy of BIKE Magazine

Woodward Park City 

Park City’s newest addition, Woodward Park City falls under the Woodward sports camps umbrella. They offer lessons and camps in many extreme sports, and in the case of the Park City campus, campers will get to ride a lift-access course designed by Alpine Bike Parks.

Beer (and Burgers)

With a ride under your belt, it’s probably time to stretch that belt a bit with a trip to one of Park City’s many establishments for grub and adult beverages.

If you want to keep it local, there’s nothing more authentic than Wasatch Beers, which was the first brewery in Park City—in fact, it was the first in Utah. Get a Wasatch Burger along with your beer for the full experience.

Alternatively, High West Distillery was the first distillery in Utah, and is also located in Park City. They offer a range of drinks, as well as a full menu to satisfy your caloric needs.

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Or if you are more into the raw and rugged, there is a fair bit of that in the mountains. Photo: Courtesy of Margus Riga/BIKE Magazine

Perhaps something lighter is calling your name, in which case Squatter’s Craft Beer might be just the ticket. With locations in Park City and Salt Lake City, Squatter’s has a wide selection of beer as well as some light, pub-style meals like nachos and pizza.

If you’re just looking for drinks, Alpine Distilling offers cocktails and spirits drawing inspiration from European spirits, New Orleans cocktails and good ol’ Kentucky moonshine.

Dining of a Finer Kind

On the off chance your standards are a bit higher and dinner doesn’t consist of meat, cheese and bread, there are plenty of places to suit any taste palette.

To start things off, Chubasco has been voted Park City’s Best Mexican Restaurant every year since 2013. They have all the classic favorites (most under $10), plus they deliver. What more can you ask for?

Italian is also on the menu in Park City, and Maxwell’s has a family history of making delicious pizzas, pasta and more that stretches back to 1921. Go there for the food, but stay for, well, the delicious food.

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If you can’t make it to Park City in the summer, the fall colors aren’t too shabby of a compromise. Photo: Courtesy of BIKE Magazine

Not every meal has to be dinner though, and the SIlver Star Cafe offers a great brunch menu, as well as lunch and dinner. They also have dessert, beer, wine and craft cocktail menus too. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights Silver Star Cafe hosts live music at dinner.

For days when your ride might take you farther east to the mountains, Woodland Biscuit Company is a half-hour drive from Park City and a great spot for a hearty pre-ride breakfast.

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From high mountain passes to deep forest turns, Park City has enough to keep any rider champing at the bit for more. Photo: Courtesy of Margus Riga/BIKE Magazine

Lodging

Finding a place to sleep in Park City can leave you with decision paralysis. There are a lot of great options, as well as many vacation rentals—skipping the hotel room or campsite is sometimes the right move to make life easier. To make your life easier visit parkcitylodging.com for a complete listing of vacation property options.

Public Transportation

The bus system in Park City it top-notch, offering service between all three resorts, and even a transit bus to Salt Lake City. Almost all the buses have bike racks, so if you want to skip the drive to the trail, the bus might be a good option. There is limited space on each bus, though, so large groups could run into issues. Regardless, the buses all run late into the evening, so even in you don’t use them to get to your ride, you might as well ride them to get to the grub afterward. Check out the schedule here.

This article originally appeared on Bikemag.com and was republished with permission.

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