Utah

26 Awesome Things To Do In Park City, UT in Winter & Summer

by Mac Misseldine

things to do park city ut

Whether the mountains are blanketed with snow or erupting with wildflowers, there’s never a shortage of things to do in Park City.

I’ve been addicted to Park City since the first time I visited the winter wonderland on a family ski trip. The snowboarding part was a disaster for my siblings (apparently I’m not a good instructor), but I was hooked.

I’m not just talking about the amazing powder, though that’s certainly been drawing me back every winter. I loved the city itself — the old-town charm of historic Main Street, extraordinary restaurants, quirky boutiques, and a never-ending list of things to do around town.

For a long time it was just the Park City winters that captivated me. Then I made an impromptu trip to check out the Park Silly Sunday Market, and was delighted to discover that the city is just as exciting during summer. In fact — and it hurts my snow-loving soul to say this — there’s actually more to do in summer when the snow melts away.

Whether you’re planning a ski trip or summer getaway, family outing or romantic escape, Park City is brimming with fun and exciting things to do. Here’s a list of the most popular activities and destinations the city has to offer, starting with my favorite time of year (and Park City’s claim to fame): ski season.

Winter Activities

park city winter sports
Photo: Patrick T’Kindt

Skiing & Snowboarding

Whether you’re a snowboarder or a skier, I guarantee you’re going to love the slopes in Park City.

The gargantuan Park City Mountain features 7,300 acres of ski-able terrain and backcountry access, so you’ll never have to ski the same run twice in a single day. The resort offers multiple terrain parks, natural halfpipes, and a Super Pipe where you’ll often rub shoulders with pro athletes.

If you’re a skiing purist, head over to the five-star Deer Valley Resort. Snowboarding isn’t allowed here, so skiers get to enjoy the entire mountain and its endless moguls to themselves. Deer Valley also limits the number of passes available each day, so you’ll never have to deal with overcrowded runs.

Cross Country Skiing

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Park City has been a premium cross country skiing destination for decades, offering over 43 miles of groomed trails across the surrounding mountains.

Basin Recreation maintains more than 15 miles of free trails connecting Willow Creek Park with the Utah Olympic Park area. You’ll find another 15 miles of free trails at Round Valley, too.

There’s also the White Pine Nordic Center, conveniently situated in the heart of Park City. This fee-based park grooms more than 12 miles of classic and skate ski track every day, offering classes and guided tours in addition to private cross country skiing.

Snowshoeing

What’s your favorite summer trail in Park City? Chances are you can enjoy the same scenic trails and viewpoints over winter with a pair of snowshoes strapped to your feet.

With hundreds of miles of trails around Park City, many of which are groomed and maintained by the Mountain Trails Foundation, it’s easy to find an exciting snowshoeing trail that matches your skill level and appetite for exploring. Many trails are dog-friendly, so you’re welcome to bring your furry friend along for the adventure.

Dog Sledding

Calling all dog people — if you’re missing your fur-buddy back home, book a dog sledding tour and spend the day with a pack of huskies and arctic breeds that’ll have you grinning from ear to ear.

Rancho Luna Lobos and All Season Adventures both offer guided tours with professional racers from all over the world. It’s a truly unique and exhilarating experience, not to mention a guaranteed winner when you’re exchanging vacation stories at the office.

Snowmobiling

 

 
 
 
 
 
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For the ultimate high-octane winter thrills in Park City, hop on a snowmobile and shred through the untouched backcountry that few visitors get to experience. Take a moment to look around as you’re plowing through powder-filled mountain meadows and you’ll get a close look at the local wildlife, too.

Thousand Peaks Snowmobiling operates a 60,000 acre private ranch that’s exclusively reserved for snowmobiling patrons. Visitors will enjoy unrivaled seclusion and top-of-the-line Ski-doos that’ll take you up to 11,000 feet in elevation.

Backcountry Snowmobiling is another popular choice, boasting the highest basecamp of any local outfitter at 7,500 feet. Take the full tour of the pristine backcountry and you’ll wind up visiting Utah, Idaho, and Montana along the way.

Ice Skating

Over the winter, you’ll find an open-air ice rink adjacent to Park City Mountain that features ice skating and ice hockey. This is the most convenient choice for folks staying at the Park City Mountain Resort, as it’s right next to resort’s restaurants, fire pits, coffee shops, and boutique shops.

For year-round ice skating, head to the Park City Ice Arena. The indoor facility boasts an Olympic-size hockey rink that offers open skating, private groups, lessons, and ice hockey games.

Snow Biking

Don’t let the snow keep you from cruising along your favorite Park City trails. With a fat tire bike, you can ride the same summer trails you love at Round Valley, Willow Creek Park, the Historic Rail Trail, and Glenwild.

Sundance Film Festival

Time your Park City trip just right and you’ll enjoy the rare opportunity to rub shoulders with the biggest stars in Hollywood at the Sundance Film Festival. The festival takes place each winter around the end of January to early February, hosting exclusive screenings, panel discussions, and star-studded parties.

Anyone is welcome to visit Sundance to partake in a little “stargazing,” but if you want to attend the screenings and parties you’ll want to purchase tickets well in advance. The theaters fill empty seats with bystanders just before the show, but you’ll wind up waiting in line for hours with no guarantee of actually getting in.

Summer Activities

park city mountain biking
Photo: CJ Crosby

Utah Olympic Park

Utah Olympic Park was originally constructed for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games, hosting the bobsled, luge, skeleton and Nordic combined events. The Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center pays homage to this with memorabilia, collectibles, and the Alf Engen Ski Museum, which recounts the evolution of winter sports in Park City.

When you’re finished touring the museum, ready yourself for an action-packed day of thrilling adventure. Utah Olympic Park features multiple zip lines, tubing down the Nordic ski jumps, ropes courses, airbag jumps, and a discovery course for the kids.

Of course, the main attraction at Utah Olympic Park is the Summer Bobsled Experience. Appropriately named The Comet, the Olympic track is one of the longest slides in the world, delivering more than 3,000 feet of twists and turns with speeds of up to 60 mph.

Hiking

With over 400 miles of hiking trails around Park City, hiking is always a viable option. Popular hikes include the Armstrong Trail, Rob’s Trail, Mid Mountain, and the Wasatch Crest Trail.

If you’re up for a scenic drive before your hike, hop in the car and head west into the Wasatch Mountains or east to the Uintas. You’ll find even more popular hikes in both directions, including Lake Mary and Lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood Canyon.

Mountain Biking

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Huffing it on foot isn’t the only way to explore the backcountry around Park City. Over 75% of the city’s trails are bike-friendly, and there are a number of bike shops in town where you can rent a mountain bike if you didn’t bring your own.

Designated an Epic Trail by the International Mountain Bicycling Association, the Mid Mountain Trail is the go-to spot for mountain biking in Park City. Other popular biking trails include the Wasatch Crest, Lost Prospector, Flagstaff Loop, and Flying Dog.

Horseback Riding

Itching to explore Park City without breaking a sweat? Book a guided equestrian tour and let your four-legged friend do all the work as you trot through the scenic backcountry.

Red Pine Adventures is just around the corner from Canyons Village, providing guided tours through a gorgeous tract of private land near the resort. Group and private tours are available, both lasting about an hour and a half.

For an even more exclusive private tour, head to The Lodge at Blue Sky. This secluded luxury lodge also features mouthwatering meals, photography tours, fly fishing, and an 18-stand sporting clay course. Go ahead and plan on spending the whole day here, because you won’t want to leave.

Fly Fishing

When the snow disappears and Park City transforms from a winter wonderland to a lush mountain paradise, the snowmelt transforms the area’s creeks and rivers into a world-class fly fishing destination.

The Provo and Weber Rivers are the best public fishing spots to cast your line around here, both of which are blue ribbon fisheries. If you prefer to fish in still water, head to any of the nearby reservoirs including Jordanelle, Rockport, and Echo.

You’ll find a variety of tackle shops in town where you can gear up for your fly fishing adventure, or you can book a guided tour with a local outfitter — many of which offer lessons for families and first-timers.

Golf

Park City boasts 15 golf courses — seven public, eight private, and every one worthy of an afternoon on the fairway. The city is a rare destination that offers quantity and quality, with five Park City courses earning a spot in Golf Digest’s list of the Best Golf Courses in Utah.

Glenwild is widely considered the best golf course in Utah, with Golf Digest crowning the Tom Fazio-designed course one of the top 200 golf courses in America.

The list of top-tier private golf clubs in Park City continues with Talisker Club at Tuhaye, Promontory, and Park Meadows Country Club. If you’re up for a scenic drive on your way to the golf club, Victory Ranch in Kamas and Red Ledges in Heber are both worth the short drive.

For public golf courses, consider scheduling a tee time at Canyons Golf, Soldier Hollow, or the highly-regarded Wasatch Mountain Golf Course nestled in the scenic state park.

Water Sports

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Whether your idea of a day on the water involves a wakeboard, jet skis, or paddle board, you’ll find ample opportunities to set sail around Park City.

Jordanelle State Park offers the closest reservoir, featuring a resort-style beach and on-site rentals for boats, jet skis, kayaks, paddle boards, and more. The lake also boasts an inflatable water sports park at Aqua x Zone that the kids are sure to enjoy.

If you’re willing to drive a little, head south to Deer Creek or Strawberry Reservoir. To the north, you’ll find Rockport and Echo Reservoirs as well.

Zip Line Tours

Ready to see Park City’s stunning landscape from a new perspective? Get your heart racing and adrenaline pumping as you fly over the forest on a zip line.

Utah Olympic Park offers three exciting zip line experiences. The Summer Freestyle and Summer Extreme zip lines mimic the experience of Olympic athletes flying down the Nordic ski jump, while the Summer Drop Tower features a 377-foot ride that ends with a free-fall drop from the 65-foot tower.

For more heart-pounding adventure, head to Zipline Utah at Deer Creek State Park. These guys have several world record setting zip lines, including the longest zip line over water and the longest continual zip line.

The fun doesn’t stop there. You’ll also find a collection of zip lines conveniently located at Canyons Village, including two thrilling Ziptours, the Ziprider, and the Flying Eagle.

OHV Riding

Park City is surrounded by epic OHV trails, including the popular Deadhorse ATV Trail. Bring your own expensive toys, or rent them from a local outfitter like Lofty Peaks, Wasatch Excursions, or Uinta Recreation.

For guided OHV tours, head to the 10,000 acre Rendezvous Ranch. North Forty Escapes offers a variety of ATV tours ranging from 2-6 hours, all on private land away from crowded public trails.

Family Activities

park city rafting
Photo: Destination Sports

Snow Tubing

Ask any of my siblings about their favorite Park City memory, and I guarantee the answer will be tubing at Gorgoza Park (aka Woodward Park). Between riding the lift up the hill and flying down the pre-carved lanes, it’s one of those fun family activities that the kids will be talking about for years to come.

Gorgoza Park isn’t the only game in town for tubing. In fact, the Soldier Hollow Nordic Center boasts the longest tubing lanes in Utah and a conveyor lift system that gets you up the hill faster so you’ll spend less time waiting in line.

Ice Castles

If you’re one of those families that listens to the Frozen soundtrack on repeat, make your kids’ day by taking them to the Ice Castles in Midway. Believe me — it’s even more magical than you’re picturing.

Constructed with hundreds of thousands of icicles hand-placed by professional ice artists, the special winter attraction features ice-carved tunnels, frozen thrones, slides, and delightful ice sculptures brought to life by colorful LED lights.

Alpine Slide & Mountain Coaster

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Park City Mountain offers a variety of summer activities from disc golf to scenic lift and gondola rides, but the Alpine Slide and Mountain Coaster are definitely the prime attractions.

The Alpine Slide is one of the longest slides in the world, featuring four chutes with over 3,000 feet of luge-like track. The speed-control makes it kid-friendly, though the driver must be at least 16 years old and the passenger at least 35 inches tall.

When you’re ready to kick the excitement up a notch, head over to the Mountain Coaster. With more than a mile of elevated track and toboggan-style cars, the coaster can reach speeds of up to 25 mph as you race through the ride’s exhilarating twists, loops, and curves.

River Rafting & Tubing

Whether you’re in the mood for floating down a lazy river or rushing through the rapids, Park City has you covered. A number of local outfitters offer guided tours down the Provo and Weber Rivers, or you can rent your own kayaks and tubes to float the river at your own pace.

For guided river tours, check out All Seasons Adventures, Destination Sports, Utah Outdoor Adventures, or Park City Rafting. Tours range from two hours to a full day, with equipment ranging from group rafts to inflatable kayaks and inner tubes.

As for the lazy river crowd, Barefoot Tubing will set you up with an inner tube to cruise through the Weber River’s mild class II rapids. You can also head south to Deer Creek, where High Country Adventure offers the same tube rental service for the Provo River.

Park Silly Sunday Market

Operating every Sunday from June through September (with a handful of exceptions), the Park Silly Sunday Market is an open-air market with something for everyone. The market turns historic Main Street into a street festival on Sundays, replete with shopping boutiques, games for the kids, delectable food, and libations for the adults.

Swaner Preserve & EcoCenter

 

 
 
 
 
 
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The Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter features a 1,200 acre nature preserve and expansive 10,000 square foot LEED Platinum building with interactive exhibits to educate visitors on the local environment. Operated by Utah State University researchers and staff, the Preserve and EcoCenter offers wildlife viewing opportunities, nature tours, and educational programs for kids and adults.

The Swaner Preserve boasts more than 10 miles of trails, so be sure to bring your hiking boots!

Chairlift & Gondola Rides

For folks who want to soak in the scenic landscape without breaking a sweat, it’s tough to beat Park City’s chairlifts and gondolas. You’ll find operating lifts at both resorts, and there’s even a chairlift in town that takes you from Main Street to the base of Park City Mountain.

When you reach the top of the lift, hop off and stretch your legs on one of the scenic hiking trails. When you’ve had your fill of the sights, you can hike back to the resort or ride the lift back down.

Year-Round Activities

park city main street
Photo: Olivia Hutcherson

Hot Air Ballooning

The mountaintop vistas around Park City are astounding, but you’ll find the best views in town from the basket of a hot air balloon. Picture the sun rising over the Uintas and the Kamas Valley with a champagne toast at the apex of your ascent, and it’s easy to imagine what makes it such an unforgettable experience.

Hot air ballooning is a year-round adventure in Park City, so don’t just lump this in the summer activity group.

Sure, summer offers clear blue skies and a lush green landscape, but spring features a neat mix of snow and defrosted forest. Winter flights are always stunning with snow-capped peaks, and autumn never fails to deliver an astounding explosion of color with the fall foliage.

When you’re ready to book this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, check out Bigfoot Balloons and Skywalker Balloon Company. They offer private and shared flights, with flights taking off every day at dawn (weather permitting, of course).

If you’re more in the mood to watch hot air balloons than jump into a basket yourself, mark the Autumn Aloft festival on your calendar. Every September the city hosts a festival that draws hot air balloon enthusiasts from all over the world, creating a skyscape spectacle that’s a delight to enjoy from the safety of your picnic blanket on the grass.

Explore Historic Main Street

No trip to Park City would be complete without a walk down historic Main Street. Mingling old-town nostalgia with modern design, the heart of the city features an eclectic assortment of boutiques, art galleries, and restaurants.

As you’re indulging in some much-needed retail therapy, be sure to wander into the many galleries that line the street. You’ll discover extraordinary photography, exquisite paintings and more that’ll leave you speechless.

When you’re ready for lunch, head to Freshy’s Lobster Co. on weekdays and Yuki Yama Sushi on weekends. For dinner, reserve a table at Riverhorse on Main, Handle, or Grappa for a tantalizing culinary experience that you’ll rave about for months.

Of course, it’d be a shame to leave Park City without visiting at least one of the city’s breweries, wineries, or distilleries. Stop by Wasatch Brewery for a beer, Old Town Cellars for a glass of wine, and High West Distillery for a bottle whiskey — and keep in mind that all of these fine establishments pair their drinks with great food, too.

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