Park City Mountain Resort had been eluding us for a number of years. We had several false starts booking a trip due to unfortunate timing on our part. This is a popular resort and trying to schedule a trip that happens to coincide with the famed Sundance Film Festival is a bad idea. This time we planned better. As part of a Utah Sampler ski adventure, we finally managed to arrange a trip (and more importantly, secure accommodations) covering four Utah ski resorts: Solitude, Alta, Deer Valley, and last, but most certainly not least — Park City Mountain Resort.
Why Ski Park City?
We were curious about Park City for a number of reasons. First, were intrigued by the historic western town with the cute little lift running right to its center. The huge amount of terrain also piqued our interest, covering over 7300 skiable acres. We had followed closely Vail Resort’s sudden acquisition of neighboring Canyons Resorts a few years back. The two ski areas are now connected by a gondola, making it the second largest ski resort in North America (Whistler Blackcomb is #1). Our main challenge would be trying to figure out how to see as much of it as possible within only a few days.
Want to take a quick peek? Check out our 1 minute Youtube video, or just read on to learn more.
Park City Ski Resort – The Terrain
It’s hard to know how best to tackle this behemoth of a resort. The terrain certainly has a ton to offer to both skiers and snowboarders alike, with 300+ trails, 41 lifts, 8 terrain parks, 14 bowls, six natural half pipes, one super pipe and one mini pipe. As our vacation rental apartment was conveniently situated right at the Park City Base, we made a plan to work our way across to the Canyons Base and back, in time to ride the lift into the historic town center for lunch. Not surprisingly, this was a little ambitious. We ended up stopping for a hot chocolate break and snack on the mountain and then having a late lunch in town, before taking the lift back up for one last run. It would truly take weeks to explore this resort properly. One of the great things about this ski area, however, is that the bases and town are all linked by a very well run free bus service. This allows you to finish your day at any base and then just hop a bus back to where you started (or take an Uber !). See a complete trail map here.
Park City Mountain Resort is located only 1.5 miles from Deer Valley Resort so you can very easily ski both resorts during one ski vacation. Please note the use of the word “ski” as Deer Valley does not allow snowboarding.
Park City Ski School and Daycare
Park City Mountain Resort has an absolutely world class snow school with just about any lesson format you can think of. Ski lessons are offered from 3 years and up, and snowboard lessons from 4 years. A variety of formats are available including privates, semi-privates and group lessons. Depending on where you are staying, you can select the lesson location that is most suitable — Canyons Village Base or Park City Base. Family group lessons also provide an attractive option if everyone is more or less at the same level. Learn more at Park City Ski and Snowboard School.
If you require child care, keep in mind that the daycare facility is located only at the Canyons Village Base at the Grand Summit Hotel (this may impact where you choose to stay). The Little Adventures Children’s Center welcomes babies (from 6 weeks), toddlers and young children up to 6 years old. For children 2- 6 years there is an optional 1 hour private ski lesson add-on available. Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak times. Learn more at Park City Child Care.
Other Park City Activities
You are never going to be without something to do at Park City Mountain Resort. Optional winter activities include ice skating, riding the Eagle Zip Line or the Park City alpine slide (Alpine Coaster), sleigh rides, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. There is also almost always some form of entertainment going on such as live music, meet and greets with the avalanche dogs, and much, much more. Be sure to check the Calendar of Events before your visit so as not to miss out.
The Main Street area of Park City is also fun to explore with plenty of restaurants to choose from, nice boutiques and galleries.
Family Friendly Park City Hotels
While there are some nice hotels in town around Main Street (check out the swanky Main & Sky), for quicker terrain access or for lessons, you may prefer to stay at the Park City or Canyons Base. There are several well reviewed ski in / ski out properties at Canyons including the beautifully renovated Hyatt Centric Park City (They have a canine concierge !), the Grand Summit Hotel (with the daycare within it) and the luxurious Waldorf Astoria. The Marriott Mountainside is a great choice at the Park City Base.
Due to the fact that things were pretty solidly booked during our stay, we ended up going with a vacation rental apartment at the Park City Base. There are tons of Park City condos, houses and apartments listed on sites like VRBO.com and Homeway.com, but as with hotels, book early as the good ones disappear quickly.
Park City Restaurants
I feel like a visit to Park City wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the High West Distillery and Saloon (great food and a kids menu). This place gets very busy (does not take reservations), so you might be best to try off-peak times. Riverhorse on Main also get tops marks (has a kids menu), as does Yuki Yama sushi. Regardless of where you choose to dine, if the establishment does take reservations, I suggest making one in advance to avoid eating at 5pm or 10 pm.
Getting to Park City and Park City Transportation
Park City Resort is only a 35 minute drive from Salt Lake International Airport. There are numerous companies that run shuttles and buses to the area. If you are renting a car, be aware that at times you may experience full winter driving conditions. Our visit happened to follow a great snowstorm and we were very happy to have rented an AWD from the airport. Learn more on the Visit Park City website.
Once in Park City, it is very easy to get around via their free bus service, taxi or Uber.
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Disclosure: During our stay in Park City, we were kindly welcomed by Ski Utah and Park City Mountain Resort. All opinions in this post are entirely my own. As always on this site, however, I strongly encourage you to also thoroughly read recent reviews from other travelers prior to making a travel booking.