Park City, UT
After a couple of rainy, cold days the skies over Park City cleared and the temperatures warmed into the low 70s (with no humidity!). That means only one thing to the nimble hiker: “Get out on the trail!” So for our first hike we drove to Silver Lake Village, a ski area just above Park City, for a hike up Bald Mountain on the Ontario Canyon Trail.
Some locals setting out just ahead of us said that the trail was well-marked going up so we let them get a head start on us. But their definition of “well-marked” is different than ours as we immediately came to a fork in the trail. Since there was no directional marking we thought of the words of the late, great Yogi Berra, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it!” The trail we followed soon joined a ski slope which we followed it for about a half mile before finding another trail. Going up a ski slope is a bit of a challenge as they are usually very steep.
When we did find the trail it was a nice hike winding our way upward through the Aspen and pines on a series of switchbacks with a more gentle gain in elevation.
We had to hike another part of a ski slope for the last half mile but the view from the top made the steep climb worth while.
Can you see the state park and our motorhome in the above photo? Maybe a bit of zoom will help.
OK, some of you are a bit older and don’t have the youthful vision of these hikers. A more extreme zoom will help you.
From the top we joined Silver Lake Trail for the hike back down. The trail went through a number of wooded areas. We were impressed with the size of the Aspens as we hiked.
A number of ski slopes cross the trail. Some of them are very steep!
The next day we decided to give our hiking legs a rest, so we put on our bicycle legs for a ride through the town. We parked the Jeep near US-40, a four lane highway that by-passes Park City, and rode the bikes in to town on the Historic Union Pacific Rail Trail. The paved trail goes slowly up hill for about five miles into the town.
Once in town there are a number of bike trails and bike-friendly streets. We took the streets to Town Lift Plaza to have some lunch. The plaza is in the heart of town and has a chair lift, so you can walk from the shops to the lift, go up into the mountains, then ski back down into town.
After lunch we rode UP through the town on Main Street, not an easy task since the road is so steep. We then took a bike trail that runs back along the edge of town following Silver Creek. The path is paved and has a number of underpasses under major roads. The underpasses are decorated with neat artwork. In the first one there are murals depicted scenes from Park City’s mining heritage.
Below is a photo of the ceiling in the underpass. Look closely and you will see the small blue square in the center. Imagine you are looking up an air shaft in a mine tunnel and the square is the sky. The photo does not capture it very well and the effect is more impressive in real life.
A short distance down the path is the Sound Garden. Someone with too much time on their hands created some interesting musical “devices.”
A second underpass is painted with cartoon characters.
On our ride back we rode over to Park City High School. The school is rated academically number one in Utah and in the top 200 in the country. The view from the football field is pretty impressive.
We have more to share on our visit to Park City but this blog is getting a bit long. Look for the rest of the story coming soon!