Adventure Guide: Park City, Utah

Park City is a former mining town turned major ski destination—and its location just 40 minutes from the Salt Lake City International airport makes it the most accessible powder in the U.S. It’s both a cultural touchstone (it’s home to the Sundance Film Festival and has a storied past as one of the greatest silver camps) and a hotbed for sports and adventure (the U.S. Ski Team lives and trains here, and the Wasatch Mountains are a veritable playground for outdoor activities year-round). But winter is when Park City really shines—and we’ve got the insider info on where to stay, what to do and where to eat and drink. 

Stay

The Washington School House Hotel dates back to 1889 (it was, as the name implies, a school), but the 12 suites and rooms have been completely updated with reclaimed oak barn wood floors, heated marble floors in the bathrooms, and hand-selected vintage and antique furniture. With its prime location off Main Street, guests can hop off the ski lift just a few hundred yards away and take advantage of the on-property ski valet and guest-only après-ski lounge. 

The Lodge at Blue Sky, 25 minutes from downtown Park City, is set on a 3,500-acre private ranch and ideal for travelers looking for less of a crowded resort vibe. Guests can take private heli adventures to Utah’s high alpine wilderness, dine on farm-to-table cuisine in a private yurt, and ride horses on the Wasatch Mountain trails. 

Montage Deer Valley is a luxury ski-in/ski-out resort hotel at Park City’s other ski resort. After a day on the slopes, guests can warm up in the heated outdoor pool, hot tubs, sauna and steam room, or fireside in the Vista Lounge while taking in the mountain views. 

The Goldener Hirsch is a boutique, European-style mountain-side lodge in Deer Valley Resort's Silver Lake Village. Spend your après hours on the rooftop patio with a pool and hot tub. 

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Do

Skiing 

Park City, Utah, features two famous ski resorts just 35 minutes away from the Salt Lake City airport: Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort (which is skiers-only). Park City Mountain is the largest resort in the US, with 7,300 acres of terrain, over 330 trails, 43 lifts, 6 terrain parks, two distinct base areas, and ski-in/ski-out access to historic Main Street. It’s a bucket list destination, especially since Utah is famous for “The Greatest Snow on Earth”—AKA light, fluffy powder courtesy of the city’s high elevation and the region’s low humidity. 

Deer Valley is great for beginner skiers since you don’t have to contend with snowboarders, and the resort is super consistent about grooming the snow. And Park City Mountain features a 3.5-mile long run, one of the longest green runs in the state, allowing beginners to get comfortable with speed without worrying about pitch. Advanced skiers should head towards the back of Park City Mountain, where you can find black and double black terrain—in the form of steep bowls, gladed runs, and pristine powder—at Jupiter Bowl and McConkey’s.

Besides skiing 

Snowmobile across 7,000 acres of groomed trails on Garff Ranch, just out of town, or with Thousand Peaks Snowmobiling, located on a 60,000-acre private ranch. 

If you’re OK with a slower pace, snowshoe any of the hundreds of miles of trails (many of which are groomed regularly by the Mountain Trails Foundation). White Pine Touring offers local, backcountry, moonlight, and historic tours, while All Seasons Adventures’ tours include snacks 

You can also book private dog sledding expeditions with All Seasons Adventures or Luna Lobos Dog Sledding, both of which are led by trained mushers who race or rescue sled dogs. 

Try your hand at cross country skiing at Sundance Nordic Center, where there are 15 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails for both classic and skating skiing. 

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Eat & Drink

In town 

High West Distillery serves up signature spirits alongside mountain-inspired cuisine right off Main Street—you can actually ski in and ski out. 

No Name Saloon is home to the best burgers in town; it’s a favorite among tourists and locals alike. 

The Blind Dog flies in the freshest seafood you’ll find in Utah; order ceviche or oysters from the raw bar, or refuel with hearty organic steaks. 

Twisted Fern sources local, seasonal ingredients to create its wide-ranging menu, from white bean ravioli to bison bavette. 

Harvest caters to a healthier crowd, with vegan, gluten-free, or dairy-free versions available for most menu items. Even if you’re not hungry, stop in for coffee, cold-pressed juice, or smoothies. 

On the mountain 

Royal Street Grill is a great lunch spot in Silver Lake Village in Deer Valley. 

St. Regis’s cocktail lounge boasts a fire pit overlooking the valley and a pop-up yurt village for après ski. 

Mid-Mountain Lodge is a former miner’s boarding house that was converted into Park City Mountain’s only full-service on-mountain bar. 

RIME Raw Bar sits at the top of Deer Valley’s Jordanelle gondola, offering an unparalleled sushi experience on the mountain.

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ALICIA ADAMS ALPACA

Shop

Olive + Tweed curates apparel, art, and goods, but specializes in unique jewelry. 

Burns Cowboy Shop, family-owned since the late 1800s, is a must-visit, even if you’re not looking to buy western boots or apparel. 

Flight Boutique was started by two Park City locals and carries mostly high-end brands at accessible prices. 

We Norwegians is the best place to stock up on ski and sportswear if you don’t want to look like everyone else on the mountain. 

Root'd sells fine home decor, from rustic chic pieces you’d find in a ski chalet to artsy lighting options.

The Adventure Continues! Read On...