Pack Your Trail Gear, We're Hiking (In-City) Park City, Utah
Even if hiking isn’t at the top of your vacation to-do list, you can’t visit Park City, Utah in the summer and not try out at least a couple of scenic treks. Located in a valley that’s surrounded by the Wasatch Mountains, Park City is a labyrinth of hiking trails, from flat and wooded to steep and picturesque. There are all-day out-and-back options, tons of loops, trails that are easily accessed and trails that you have to work a little harder to find, but no matter your preference or skill level, you really can’t go wrong by just setting out on foot.
One unique thing about hiking in Park City is that the town is filled with ski lifts and gondolas, which give you access to elevation and even more hiking terrain, not to mention incredible views of the valley.
We did our fair share of hiking during our month-long stay but the following two hikes were our in-city favorites.
Armstrong Trail to Dawns Trail Loop (Moderate, 3.3-mile loop)
We love this hike on a hot day because there’s lots of tree cover. We started the hike at the Silver Star lift and wound up through the tall aspens and evergreens, passing a few ski runs before coming to a clearing which offers a phenomenal view of Park City. The great thing about this hike is that elevation gain is minimal and you have slightly shorter and longer loop options, depending on how long you like to hike. But hands down the best part about this trail is that it starts and ends near the Silver Star Café, and as we all know, there’s nothing better than celebrating finishing a hike with a well-deserved beverage and delicious meal.
Insider Tips: It’s best to avoid this trail on the weekends, as it can get packed with hikers and bikers. Watch for mountain bikers as you head up the trail. There are areas that are sun-exposed so bring proper sun protection.
Silver Lake Trail to Bald Mountain (Moderate, 4 miles out-and-back)
Though this hike is rated as moderate, it’s quite steep with rugged switchbacks in some areas, and when added to the starting elevation of 6,570 feet, you may need to allow for a little extra breathing room, so to speak. The beginning of the trail is heavily forested, which we appreciated, and the trail is only open to hikers so you don’t have to worry about navigating through throngs of mountain bikers. Along the way to Bald Mountain, there are flat vistas/view points, which are well worth a short stop-and-see for views of the Jordanelle Reservoir, and eventually the Uinta Mountains and Park City valley as you near the top of Bald Mountain. An option for those who prefer a quicker way down: hop on the Sterling Express chair lift, which will take you to the base of Deer Valley Resort, and drop you quite near the Stein Eriksen Lodge, for a delightful post-hike lunch or early dinner.
Insider Tips: You have to pay to ride the chair lifts UP the mountain, but they’re free if you’re only coming down. Hike early to avoid the heat, go later to avoid crowds.
For an excellent round-up of can’t-miss Park City hikes, visit StayParkCity.com.