Summit County's Hidden Gems

By Katie Van Riper Nov 7, 2022
Between the unbeatable ski resorts and the quintessential western mountain town Park City Main Street, Summit County is anything but a wallflower.
Summit County's Hidden Gems

Between the unbeatable ski resorts, the quintessential western mountain town Main Street, Sundance Film Festival, and the recent Time magazine article naming it one of the “50 Best Places in the World, Park City is anything but a wallflower. The town has been on a growing global stage for decades, expedited by things like the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, and most recently popular tv shows like the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. There are few things in and around Park City that feel undiscovered, but there are still some hidden gems around Summit County if you dive just a little bit deeper.

Here is a look at my favorite places, spaces and things to do:

7880 Club - Deer Valley, Park City

Tucked off Empire Pass at Deer Valley are the beautiful Stein Eriksen Residences and within them one of my favorite little gems in PC. The 7880 Club, a small restaurant open to the public within the residences offers one of the best views of Deer Valley and Main Street. This is my favorite recommendation for visitors and locals alike because of its “off the beaten path” nature.

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Hi Mountain Burger - Downtown Kamas

I’m a sucker for an old school burger joint. I can do bougie wine and charcuterie with the best of ‘em, but I love a classic burger and fries restaurant. When I moved up to Park City from Salt Lake City, I missed Millie’s Burgers immensely - a 40-year-old SLC establishment on 2100 South complete with hand cut fries and house made sauces – so when I stumbled on Hi Mountain Burger in Kamas it felt like a little slice of the city life I love so much. Hi Mountain is an absolute classic. Their tagline is “In a world of strip malls and fastfood, we like to be different,” and different they are. There is plenty of nostalgia here too; kindly referred to locally as the “Drug Store” from its history of being the town’s pharmacy. You can find everything from a traditional burger, hand-squeezed fresh limeade, malted shakes and banana splits. Take a walk down memory lane with the food from your childhood right here in Summit County and enjoy the mellow vibes of Kamas.

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Old Town Cellars – Main St. Old Town, Park City

Hardly a hidden gem anymore, but despite its incredible popularity, what I love most about Old Town Cellars, or more affectionately, OTC, is it’s tucked away in the busy and bustling Park City Old Town. As passersby move along Main Street for a dinner reservation or shopping, it’s easy to pass this unassuming door on 408 Main, but once you’ve visited OTC once, this will be a staple in your routine. Old Town Cellars, Park City’s winery and “Official Wine of Après” offers an intimate and modern rustic downstairs bar and lounge space with a super welcoming staff and array of OTC wines (plus other wines and beers “from friends”). We love to stop by OTC for a glass or two of wine before a dinner date, or even swing in after a backcountry ski tour before heading home. My favorite is the Elusive Chardonnay, appropriately named to pay homage to the elusive ski town cougar, which are known to call the mountains and foothills of Summit County their home. Buy a bottle to enjoy on-site or to bring home and admire the beautiful mountain megafauna art carried through some of their wine bottles (like the Outlaw Reserve and Perpetual Reserve). Local’s tip: swing by OTC on a Sunday to buy bottles of wine when the liquor store is closed.

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Rocky Point Preserve – Wanship

In the beautiful mountain community of Tollgate Canyon, you can find this unassuming trailhead. With just five or so parking spots, you will likely have 260 acres of the preserve to yourself. Home to deer, elk, red hawk and plenty of other wildlife this is an amazing, quiet spot to meander through the mountains and meadows and is far removed from the plethora of mountain bikers and hikers you will find on the trail systems in Park City proper.

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Uinta Christmas Tree Permit

Did you know you can harvest your own Christmas tree from designated areas of the Uinta National Forest in Summit County? This has become one of my favorite holiday traditions since becoming a PC local, and for just $20 and a permit application you and your family can make it one of yours!

Summit County Hoppy Hour – Main St. Old Town, Park City

Even though this super cool event only happens once a year (early October), if the timing of your visit works out it should be high on your list. The Summit Land Conservancy, a local nonprofit dedicated to preserving open spaces around Summit County (including the Rocky Point Preserve as mentioned above!), celebrates a summer of harvesting local and naturally occurring hops throughout the county with the release of “Clothing Hoptional” Ale at the annual Hoppy Hour, brewed and hosted by Wasatch Brewery. If you’re a summer visitor or a local, you can help collect these wild hops with the Summit Land Conservancy team on their “Hops Hunters” hikes from June through August. How cool is that?


Chop Shop – Kimball Junction, Park City

Tucked away in a quiet corner of one of the busiest shopping centers in Park City you can find the Chop Shop, a new Park City staple that rivals any butcher shop. Their focus on locally sourced and highly sustainable meats and cheeses is truly a Summit County point of pride. At the Chop Shop, you can stop in for grab-and-go sandwiches, a selection of meats and cheeses from their butcher case or deli counter, or my personal favorite: a hand-selected cheese and charcuterie board the staff will help you select based on your preferences. Post up at the counter for a glass of wine or bring the goodies – house-made Bolognese or take-and-bake croissants, biscuits, and chocolate cookies - home for a date night or a dinner party and know you’re supporting an array of local businesses beyond the Chop Shop, including the Ballerina Farm and Gold Creek Farm, both out of Kamas, Utah.

Both tucked away in the hustle and bustle of Old Town Park City and in the far stretches of Summit County these hidden gems are the best of the best of outdoor activities, unique experiences, incredible views, and libations and nibbles. The enchantment of Summit County doesn't end on Old Town's Main Street - there is so much to explore around Summit County.