Family Ski Resort Guide | Park City Mountain

Family Ski Resort Guide | Park City Mountain

Local Lexi

By Local Lexi \ December 16 2019

Nearly endless terrain awaits discovery at Park City Mountain. You’ll never grow tired of exploring the many nooks and crannies of this ski area spread over 17 peaks (yes, you read that correctly), 13 bowls, and 8 terrain parks, (one being the 22-foot superpipe where the pros train). With over 330 named trails encompassing more than 7,300 skiable acres, Park City Mountain holds the title as the largest ski area in the United States.

In the 60’s, with an infusion of cash from the federal government, the United Park City Mines company pioneered a new resort called Treasure Mountain atop the dwindling silver mines. To this day, charming old mining structures still dot the storied slopes of Park City Mountain. With $50 million dollars in recent infrastructure upgrades and the addition of the former Canyons Resort, Park City Mountain is unrivaled in terms of its acreage and access to amenities, activities, and fine dining.

Park City Mountain is ideal for riders and skiers of all levels with plenty of long, wide groomers that do wonders to enhance confidence. Park City Mountain welcomes snowboarders on its slopes so it’s a better option for shredders than nearby Deer Valley which is a skier’s only mountain. With the convenience and glitz of the historic Park City Main Street nearby, there is no shortage of diversions on a trip to Park City.

Pro Tip: If you need to purchase day tickets, do so in advance online to save some money. More tips on finding the best deals on daily lift tickets here.

Park City Mountain is located just west of Park City's historic Main Street. Approximate driving times (in favorable driving conditions) and distances are listed below. Travel time from the Park City Mountain Village to the Canyon’s Village will be approximately 10 minutes or less.
Salt Lake City: 33 miles – 45 minutes
Provo: 45 miles – 1 hour
Ogden: 68 miles – 1 hour, 10 minutes
Logan: 112 miles – 1 hour, 50 minutes
St. George: 310 miles – 4 hours, 30 minutes

In a 5th Grader’s Words: "Park City Mountain is awesome because there's something for everyone. I can have a fun day there skiing with my 3-year-old brother but I can have just as much fun skiing with my friends or my dad on the challenging runs. I never get bored skiing there and I guess I never will!" - Milo, Age 10


TERRAIN & MOUNTAIN STATS

Skiable Acres: 7,300+ Acres
Vertical Drop: 3,226 Feet
Number of Runs: 330+
Terrain: 8 Terrain Parks (2 Halfpipes)
Chairlifts: 4 Gondolas, 32 Chairlifts, 2 Rope Tows, & 4 Conveyor Lifts
Night Skiing: No

Looming above the town of Park City, the Park City Mountain offers wide cruisers, terrain parks, swift chairlifts, steeps, and the (in)famous expert terrain of Jupiter Bowl and McConkey’s. The resort is serviced by two substantial base areas, the Park City Mountain Village and the Canyons Village; it is possible to ski between the two mountains by riding the Quicksilver Gondola. You can also start your day right from Main Street in town with a ride on the Town Lift.

Pro Tip: Spend at least two days at Park City Mountain to explore each base area. There is so much terrain that it’s worth dedicating a day to visiting each base area and its surrounding trails.


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The Canyons Village

The Canyons Village features tons of lodging, a modern ski village, shopping, excellent restaurants, and a lively après scene. The Canyons Village services around 4,000 acres of finely groomed blue runs on multiple aspects, a dedicated learning zone, glades, hike-to terrain, and expert terrain off the Ninety-Nine 90 lift. As the closest base area to Salt Lake, the Canyons Village serves as a great basecamp and is ideal for families of differing ability levels. This is because the diversity of terrain suits learners and experts alike.

Pro Tip: Catch the complimentary Mountain Experience Tour that meets at the top of the Red Pine Gondola twice daily. This free tour provides an opportunity to become familiar with the terrain accessible from the Canyons Village.

This side of the mountain offers the best and greatest amount of beginning and learner terrain. With the creation of the new High Meadow Park, learners are no longer restricted to the lower base elevations. This dedicated alpine learning zone features fun and gentle green runs serviced by the speedy High Meadow chairlift.

Intermediates will love the variety of blue-rated groomers off the Tombstone Express or Dreamscape lifts. The runs off Tombstone afford a bit more vertical. Advanced intermediates may want to explore the terrain off Sun Peak Express or Saddleback Express which feature a mix of blue and black rated trails.

You’ll find a bit more vertical and longer runs on the Canyon’s Village; experts can keep busy exploring black diamond terrain and tick off the chutes and steeps of Ninety-Nine 90. The Super Condor lift provides access to hiking terrain and Murdock Peak.

The terrain parks on the Canyons Village side include the Pine Draw park at the village base and the intermediate Transitions park located at the top of the Sun Peaks chairlift with over 40 features and 3 jumps.

Pro Tip: If the weather turns foul or the kids need a welcome space age distraction, take a lap on the Orange Bubble Express. The heated seats and protective orange enclosure create a truly novel (and cozy) experience.


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Park City Mountain Village

The Park City Mountain Village is a bit smaller in size with a number of bars, restaurants and shops. Learners or beginners can begin their day from the First Time or 3 Kings chairlifts. There are also two surface lifts adjacent to the First Time lift for those just testing the waters.

The bulk of the ski area’s terrain parks are accessible from Park City Mountain Village. Newer park rats can warm up in the Little Kings park off the Bonanza chair. Intermediates will enjoy the Pick Axe Park, inspired by Park City’s mining lore. Medium to large jumps, rails and wall rides are included in the 3 Kings and Pick N Shovel parks. Practice your transitions in the 13-foot Minipipe and take a peep at the looming 22-foot walls of the Eagle Superpipe: the legendary venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics and multiple Grand Prix events.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the unique mountain tours on this side of the mountain. Park City Mountain's Historic Mining Tours not only establish the lay of the land, but the tour highlights the history and context of historic sites and mining ruins along the runs. Gain a colorful glimpse of Park City Mountain's past and rich mining heritage. See the Points of Interest section for further info.

Payday Express and Crescent Express grant access to steeper blue rated terrain and a handful of black diamonds. Crescent provides quick access to one of the more popular chairs on the mountain, the high-speed 6 pack King Con chair. This chair serves up quite a few blue cruisers and also connects to the Quicksilver Gondola and the Canyons Village area of the mountain. Intermediate skiers won’t want to miss the view from the top of McConkey’s on a clear day. Once you’ve absorbed the scene of Mt. Timpanogos, Heber Valley, and the distant Uinta Mountain Range, catch the winding Georgeanna blue run down.

Pro Tip: Relish the thrill and novelty of skiing right down to Park City’s historic Main Street on the blue-rated Quit’N Time. Snap a picture overlooking the quaint view and then grab snack and a craft cocktail at everyone’s favorite watering hole, the High West Distillery and Saloon. Catch the Town Lift to return to the slopes, savoring the thrill of soaring high above the bustle of the street below.


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Expert skiers will want to make way for the Bonanza chair which links to other lifts that serve up mainly black diamond terrain. Bonanza, however, offers green and blue runs. The most challenging terrain features chutes, steeps, and open powder bowls off Jupiter Peak and the McConkey’s Express and Jupiter chairlifts.

Pro Tip: Dodge the crowds on a powder day by riding the Town Lift to catch the Bonanza Express; you’ll save a little wait time by skipping the Silverlode or Crescent Express lifts.


PARKING & PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Parking is available at both base areas. From the Canyons, the standard parking at the Cabriolet Parking Lot does require a quick ride on the Cabriolet to access the base area, but there is more parking available here. There is less parking available at the Park City Mountain Village’s three surface lots, so it’s recommended to use the free bus service unless you are staying near this base area. From downtown, simply catch the Town Lift between Main Street and Park Avenue. For more info on parking at Park City Mountain and Canyon's Villages click here.

Consider riding the UTA Ski Bus to avoid driving and help reduce congestion. In the winter months, the Utah Transit Authority (UTA), runs daily service from November or December until March or April. Routes 901 and 902 connect Salt Lake City and Park City. Once you arrive in Park City, the Park City Transit System offers free transit around town and to both ski areas. Note that both of the resort’s base areas are serviced by Park City’s complimentary transit system.  Check the UTA website for a current schedule and read our Guide to Ride the Ski Bus.


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BASE AREA LOGISTICS

Park City Mountain’s two main base areas each offer a good selection of dining and shopping in addition to ski school, ticketing, and rental/demo shops. Your desire for terrain should dictate which base area to launch from. Each base area also includes day use lockers; find them in the lower level of the Legacy Lodge at Park City Mountain Village or next to Canyon Mountain Sports in the Canyons Village.

Guest Services operates out of the Park City Mountain base area on the first floor of the Legacy Lodge. These folks can provide extensive info about the mountain, conditions, and help with lost and found or personal services.

Transit between the two base areas is fairly simple with free bus system from Park City Transit. There is a central transit pavilion at the Park City Mountain Village and at the Canyons Village, there are multiple bus stops outside the various hotels. Busses arrive approximately every 15 minutes or so and free transit is provided between the base areas, to a transit hub on Main Street and Deer Valley. Visit the Park City Transit website for more information and route schedules.

Ski and snowboard valet is offered for guests skiing or riding Park City Mountain for two or more days. This overnight service is located on the snow near the PayDay Express lift at the Park City Mountain base or adjacent to the Ski and Snowboard School office in the Canyons village. Open daily from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM, the cost is $10 per snowboard or set of skis.

For those with an eye toward relaxation, the RockResorts Spa is located in the Grand Summit Hotel in the Canyons Village. Personalized treatments, massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, and much more are available for those who wish to take some time to refresh and rejuvenate.


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SKI & SNOWBOARD SCHOOL

Pro Tip: Book a ski or snowboard lesson at Park City Mountain at least 48 hours in advance to save time, money, and guarantee availability. Their online booking system is seamless and you can add rental equipment as well, streamlining the entire check-in process day of.

Park City Mountain is a fantastic place to discover new skills and build upon your foundation. The knowledgeable and passionate instructors are the perfect guides for getting to intimately know the nooks and crannies of this sprawling resort.

The Ski & Snowboard School offers lessons for all ages and ability levels in addition to a wealth of special programming. For clinics and programs, visit Park City Mountain’s website.

Lesson Navigation: To prepare for your lesson click here. Lesson meeting areas are located at both villages and guests can specify their preference for either the Park City Mountain Village or the Canyons Village during the booking process.

Private Lessons
Whether you’re a never ever or a seasoned expert, a private lesson is always an opportunity to hone your technique and discover the mountain with one-on-one coaching. Learn at your own pace or book a private lesson for the entire family.

Children’s Group Lessons
Group lessons for youngsters at Park City Mountain are broken up into age groups and focus on fostering a love of sport in a positive environment with small group sizes.

Ultimate 3 Ski Lessons
With a maximum class size of 3, the Ultimate 3 Ski Lesson provides 3-year old skiers with personalized instruction for any ability level.

Ultimate 4 Ski & Snowboard Lessons
For students 4-6 years of age, this small class will kick off a successful start with a maximum of 4 students. Children are grouped by skiers or snowboarders and ability level.

Ultimate 5 Ski & Snowboard Lessons
Children ages 7-14 will be grouped in lessons of up to 5 students with a focus on progression with highly qualified instructors.

Teen XP Group Lessons
For teens aged 15-17 these lessons foster independence and self-expression on the mountain. With an emphasis on safety and instilling good decision making, the Teen XP lessons help teens foster a love for the sport while exploring the mountain.

Adult Group Lessons
If you’re brand new to the sport, looking to build your skill set, or hoping to set your sights on new challenges, there are a variety of lesson plans for adults at Park City Mountain. Women’s groups, foundational lessons, never-ever lessons, and refresher courses are just some of the options.


SKI SHOP & EQUIPMENT RENTALS

Renting gear at Park City Mountain can be fairly painless with their seamless online reservation service with Rentskis.com. With two slopeside pickup locations or complimentary delivery to your hotel or condo, there is no faster way to get to the slopes. You can also earn a discount by reserving in advance. The resort offers a ton of choices for guests including Rossignol, K2, Salomon, Atomic, and Head. There are rental shops located at both Park City Mountain Village and Canyons Village. Guests can pick up, return, or exchange gear at either shop and take advantage of the free ski valet service.

Just steps from the Payday lift at the Park City Mountain Village, Legacy Sports can be found in the lower level of the Legacy Lodge. From the Canyons Village, the Canyon Mountain Sports Rental shop is adjacent to the Red Pine Gondola. Both shops can also perform full-service tuning and repair. While there are countless shops located in and around the town of Park City, it’s a cinch to rent directly from the mountain and exchange your gear from either base area should conditions change.

For logo gear, check out the Legacy Sports logo shop in the Legacy Lodge at the Park City Mountain Village. As the official logo store for Park City Mountain, there is a large selection of tees, hats, sweatshirts, ornaments, jackets, souvenirs, and more. Additional shops with gear from well-known brands can be found in the Canyons Village.

Park City Mountain also has two specialty shops for snowboarders. One Sweet Ride is located in Canyons Village and offers premium brands like Burton, Volcom, ThirtyTwo, 686, Roxy, Vans, Lib Tech, and more. On the Park City Mountain Village side, head to Max Snowboards which is stocked with an equally impressive array of brands and knowledgeable service.


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LODGING AND DINING OPTIONS

A wide selection of accommodations are available through the resort ranging from townhomes, luxury ski-in/ski-out condos, budget-friendly options, hotel rooms, and more. The resort has lodging partners in Canyons Village, Park City Mountain Village, along Historic Main Street, and in Kimball Junction. Connect with Park City Mountain directly to consider booking options and determine if any specials or package deals are available.

The best selection of lodging can be found at the Canyons Village with a large number of true ski-in/ski-out condos and hotels. This village lies about 10 minutes outside of the heart of town and can easily be accessed by the free transit system, hotel shuttles, or car services.

The newly renovated Grand Summit Hotel is just steps from the snow in the hub of the Canyons Village. Modern and understated elegance makes the soothing atmosphere of this hotel a relaxing place to crash after exploring the slopes.

The new Apex Park City Residences, nestled on the slopes above the Canyons Village, encompass sophisticated design, modern architecture, and alpine charm. Ski directly to the Orange Bubble Express or Red Pine Gondola from these luxurious digs. With floorplans of 3-5 bedrooms, this is a great option for families or groups.

From the Park City Mountain Village, consider the premium location of The Lowell Condominiums, just steps from the Ski & Snowboards School and close to a bus stop and the bustling activity of Park City’s Main Street. The Resort Plaza Condominiums will also offer floorplans of 1-4 bedrooms and ski-in/ski-out access.


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Canyons Village - Dining
Don’t miss the most notable eatery in The Canyons Village: The Farm, one of Utah’s top 10 rated restaurants. This gem features fresh, farm-to-table ingredients and a stellar wine list. For a jump start in the morning, Murdock's Cafe serves up good coffee and a hearty breakfast burrito.

Once on the slopes, don’t miss the new Tombstone BBQ at the base of Tombstone Express. An on-mountain culinary experience the restaurant features a beer bar, wonderful outdoor seating, and a western BBQ-inspired menu with brisket, pulled pork, smoked wings, and homemade sauces.

Cloud Dine is a perennial favorite on the mountain, featuring breathtaking views and a made-from-scratch menu presenting both hearty and healthy selections. Perched atop a Wasatch ridgeline, Cloud Dine may very well offer Utah’s best high elevation handmade doughnut! Sample freshly made pizza, salads, and chef-inspired meals.


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Park City Mountain Village - Dining
One of Park City Mountain’s biggest initiatives has been to upgrade the dining experience across the mountain. A visit to the iconic Mid-Mountain Lodge showcases the commitment to the guest experience and crafting elevated dining options across the resort. The 120-year-old historic miner’s boarding house has been upgraded to a signature dining experience. Expanded indoor seating, a chef-driven menu, craft cocktails and a full-service bar do not disappoint. The deck is the perfect place to sample a tasty sandwich or a creative cocktail.

Pro Tip: When you’re feeling glamorous, ask for stash items off the menu. If you don’t know what that means, get savvy with this Ski Utah guide to skiing Park City Mountain.

Another dining highlight is Miner's Camp at the base of Silverlode Express and Quicksilver Gondola. Savor homemade soups, chili, artisan salads, and the ever-popular Mediterranean gyros or kabobs. This is a cafeteria-style eatery but you won’t’ find the traditional greasy ski hill fare. The made to order stations, fresh ingredients and local inspiration will fuel your afternoon turns.

One of the easiest restaurants to meet as a group is the Summit House, located at the top of the Bonanza lift; it’s accessible from 5 other chairs. It’s also suitable for picky eaters thanks to a wide-ranging menu encompassing tossed salads, homemade soups, sandwiches, freshly tossed pizzas, and excellent hot cocoa.

From the Park City Mountain Village base area, hit up Legends on the first floor of the Legacy Lodge. This family-friendly gastropub serves up delicious locally-sourced meals and features a full-service bar.


CHILDCARE

Park City Mountain maintains the state-licensed Little Adventures Children’s Center childcare facility on a year-round basis from the Canyons Village base area. Children aged 6 weeks to 6 years are provided with engaging and age-appropriate activities. Reservations are required.


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POINTS OF INTEREST

For a memorable visit, consider these unique points of interest when planning a trip to visit Park City Mountain.

Historic Mining Tours
Discover Park City Mountain’s rich silver mining and skiing history on a complimentary guided Silver to Slopes Historic Mining Tour. Intermediate or expert skiers will explore the mountain to uncover historic mining structures, hidden relics, and great stories. Upon completion of the tour, signature pins are awarded to commemorate the visit. Tours depart twice daily; visit Park City Mountain’s website for details. For more info on the tours, check out this Ski Utah article.

Meet the Avalanche Dogs
Come meet Park City Mountain’s spunky and intelligent avalanche dogs on Saturdays atop the Bonanza lift at 1:00 PM. An additional demonstration is hosted on Fridays at 4:30 PM from the Canyons Village. For more information, visit the Park City Mountain Avalanche Dogs Facebook page.

Rent a Fat Bike
If you’ve got a down day in Park City, rent a mountain bike with fat tires or book a tour with White Pine Touring and explore the endless miles of biking trails around Park City.

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