Park City, Utah is a premier destination for skiing and snowboarding. There are more than 7,300 acres and lots of moguls, pipes, powder and trees. Some world-class skiers and snowboarders have trained, played and competed at Park City, such as Shaun White, Alex Hall, Ashley Caldwell and many more.
Getting There & Parking
If you’re looking for where to park if you're planning to take a lift to get on the mountain, you have several options depending upon which resort will be your base. Park City Mountain Resort has started a reservation parking system for Mountain Village base, from mid December through early April. Make your reservation online to avoid disappointment. From 8:30 AM to 1 PM, paid reservations are necessary at the Main, First Time, and Silver King lots.
For vehicles carrying four or more passengers, reservations are free. The Canyons Village base area, Park City High School (on weekends and holidays), and the High Valley Transit Park-n-Ride stations are all offering free parking. The Upper and Lower Sandridge parking lots in downtown Park City are free. Most of Main Street has free street parking. Bear in mind that if you’re staying at a resort, they may offer parking, or validate your parking tickets.
The skiing & snowboarding at Park City is considered world-class! Olympic athletes actually practice here and, of course, the 2002 Winter Olympics were held in Salt Lake City, Utah, with many of the events taking place at the Utah Olympic Park.
Two main ski resorts are right here in Park City. Deer Valley was voted the number one ski resort in the entire country in 2021 by Conde Nast Traveler. The other is Park City Mountain, which is the largest ski resort in the U.S.
Park City Mountain’s base elevation is 6,900 feet, with a summit elevator of 10,026 feet. The total skiable area is 7,300 acres, with a total of 348 trails. 15% of the trails are marked for beginners, 54% are marked for intermediate level and 31% are marked for expert level. There’s one superpipe and one mini pipe. There are four terrain parks.
Beginners will want to head to Park City Mountain Base to take the First Time lift. At the top you’ll have plenty of green slope options, either on top of the mountain, or all the way back down to the base. If you're a first or second timer like me, you'll want to hang out here and repeat going up the lift and down this bunny slope until you feel comfortable enough to branch out.
Those looking for intermediate and higher ski levels might be better off at Canyons Village base, where you can access blue level slopes or ride the Red Pine Gondola up even higher for more blue and black options. The longest run is the Dreampeak-Timberline, with a length of 4.5 kilometers. The hardest run is the Deschutes, with a length of .4 kilometers. There are two snowparks, with a fun park and a half pipe.
Snow conditions at Park City are awesome! Typically, between December and March, over a foot of fresh snow falls every five days. The snow density tends to hover around 8.5%, which is considered ideal for “floating skis” through powder. Overall, Utah gets around 18 powder days during the winter. I was there in early March and it was so lovely, but warm. My long sleeve was almost too much after heating up from all the adrenaline you get on the slopes!
As far as snow making, there are 480 snow cannons and 40% of the slopes have snow making capabilities. Night skiing is available every night at Park City Mountain. Snow blowing takes place both at night and during day, depending on when temperature conditions are right for it.
When hunger strikes, on-mountain eatery Tombstone Grill, on the base of Dreamscape and Tombstone lifts, is a popular hotspot for snowboarders. If you get the BBQ brisket and sweet potatoes, you won’t have to eat again for a week. Looking for something more elegant with table side service? Try the grilled salmon and spinach salad at Lookout Cabin off of Orange Bubble Express lift. Finally, the highest on-slope eatery is Summit House, off of Bonanza lift, where you can get artisan pizza, homemade savory soups and more.
Lift Passes & Rentals
There are four different kinds of lift passes available for purchase. They are:
- Epic Pass, which gives you unlimited access to all lifts with no blackout dates.
- Epic Local Pass, which gives you seasonal access except for holidays.
- Park City Youth Pass, which most of the young people in Utah choose. Access excludes holidays.
- Epic Day Pass, which you can get for between one day and seven days and use at all 38 area resorts. This pass also excludes holidays.
High quality ski & snowboard equipment rental is available at the Park City Town Lift Terminal. A lot of people choose to rent in order to be able to try out top of the line equipment before buying their own. For the best prices, they recommend booking your gear online. If you purchase an Epic Pass, you’ll get 25% off your rental. You can also get a rental discount if you sign up for lessons, so be sure to ask about that before paying full price for gear rental.
The wait times to pick up your rentals, especially during peak season can get pretty frustrating and long! Picking up rentals can be quite time-consuming because everyone has to try their boots on and get them fitted. To avoid wasting your time in a store instead of on the mountain, I have two different recommendations:
- You can pay a fee and opt for delivery of rentals to your vacation rental so you have no hassle.
- Be the first one in line at the rental shop!
Park City has an excellent ski & snowboard school. Whether you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, you want to introduce your kids to the sport, build your skills to a new level, or you just need to brush up on rusty skills, it’s very much worth it to attend a minimum half day of lessons at Park City’s Ski & Snowboard School. Benefits include being able to skip the lift lines, sample a variety of terrains and to learn from world-class ski & snowboard instructors.
You can choose from adult group lessons, child group sessions or private lessons. Note that skiers and snowboarders aren’t lumped in together. There are separate groups from the two sports.
Each full day lesson includes a recess for lunch. The lesson prices for kids includes the lunch. You can either bring your own aged lunch from one of the amazing downtown Park City eateries or buy lunch at the time. The price of lessons does’t include the cost of equipment rental or lift tickets, but you will get a discounted rate on those items.
- Ski Lift Access
- Full Access to the Mountain & Slopes
- Waiting to pick up your rental can be very time-consuming. Make sure you're either first in line or opt for delivery to your home.
- The sooner you purchase your passes, the more affordable they are. These sell out quickly, especially during holidays and peak months.