Park City, UT - A Pictorial
By Jim Kenney, aka JamesJ
EpicSki Travel Correspondent
This is my first discussion of Park City under its new identity combining Park City Mountain Resort with the adjacent ski area formerly known as The Canyons. Together, the two resorts are now simply branded as Park City and constitute 7300 acres of lift linked ski terrain, the most of any single ski area in the US. I skied Park City over three consecutive days in mid-February, 2015. Utah was experiencing a very subpar winter, yet most of the ski terrain was still open, albeit with firm or thin snow surfaces. During the final two days of my visit temperatures rose and I had a blast skiing fun, but unseasonable spring conditions in mid-winter.
The last time I had been to Park City was with a group of friends in 1987. We stayed in one of the ubiquitous condo units around town. This time I was alone and found thrifty accommodations in the men’s dorm at the Chateau Après Lodge circa 1964, one of the earliest ski lodges in Park City and only about two blocks from the base of Park City’s Payday chairlift. $40 per night got me a bunk in the dorm and included a decent continental breakfast. Let me know if there is another place in the US where a solo traveler can stay so cheap and so close to a similarly huge trail layout and great ski town?
There is a chance I may get back to Park City next winter. I’d love to experience the area again, in more typical Utah snow conditions. I am also curious to see how the layout skis after completion of numerous off-season improvements including the spectacular new Quicksilver Gondola connecting the two mountains. As a tourist I see the unification project as nothing, but a positive development.
Please click on the photos for expanded views. All photos are by Jim Kenney.
I often take advantage of free mountain tours sponsored daily at many major US ski areas. A strong skiing couple from Germany accompanied me on a tour of the Park City slopes led by the lady ambassador in blue.
The original Park City ski terrain opened in 1963 and was an ingenious repurposing of a played-out old silver mine. Remnants of the area’s mining past are still present at many locations around the resort.
The Jupiter chairlift serves a big chunk of double black diamond terrain at Park City. Portions of Jupiter Peak were "East Coast" firm at the time of my visit and very challenging.
I found looser snow from the 10,026’ summit of Jupiter Peak on an open slope called West Face, seen in the left background of this photo.
I stayed in a dorm at the Chateau Après Lodge in Park City, UT for $40 per night. It has affordable regular rooms too.
Moving to the terrain of The Canyons, there are some amazing mid-mountain residential properties near the Dreamcatcher and Flat Iron trail pods (seen in background of this photo). The new eight passenger Interconnect Gondola from Park City will extend to the base of the Flat Iron chairlift.
A group of fast junior skiers blew by me while tackling the double black diamond Charlie Brown trail near the summit of Ninety-Nine 90 Peak.
If I remember correctly, this is Snowdancer Trail off the Saddleback Express Chair. Joining friends on the hill makes any conditions FUN.
This is the view from Lookout Ridge beside the Orange Bubble Express Chair. That is the Iron Mountain trail pod in the background. Park City is behind Iron Mountain.
Good times outside the on-mountain Tombstone Grill.
Park City website: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/
Park City trail map: http://www.parkcitymountain.com/~/media/park%20city/pdfs/1516_pc_trailmap_web2.ashx
About the Author
- Husband, father and retired Department of Navy civilian, Jim Kenney is a Washington D.C. area native and has been skiing recreationally since 1967. Jim’s ski reporting garnered the 2009 West Virginia Division of Tourism’s Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article. To read other articles by Jim, click here.