Hiking and Biking in Park City

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.

The trailhead is just beyond the chair lift

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.

Going up a ski slope

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.

Looking east at Jordanelle Reservoir

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.

Town Lift Plaza

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.

The Mining Mural Underpass

Right side of the wall across Silver Creek

Left side of the same wall mural

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.

Looking up!

Mural on the other wall

A short distance down the path is the Sound Garden.  Someone with too much time on their hands created some interesting musical “devices.”

Chimes made from old auto brake drums

A wooden xylophone

A second underpass is painted with cartoon characters.

The path coming out of the second underpass

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!

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33 Responses to Hiking and Biking in Park City

  1. libertatemamo says:

    What a pretty spot! We’ve wanted to visit for a long time, but mostly for the distillery (High West) which is just amazing!! Now we can add hiking/biking to the list 🙂


  2. paul weaver says:

    Way to go Pam & John. Marsha says we may “need” to visit Park City. Back to Utah is in our future. :-). Looks like some gorgeous hiking country!

  3. We did a similar ski area mountain hike Whitefish, MT…it was weird crossing the ski slopes imagining people flying down on their skis! (We are not skiers.)

    That’s a really neat bike ride, love the murals and the Sound Garden!

    • placestheygo says:

      It seems the ski resorts have done a great job creating summer fun on their slopes by adding mountain biking and hiking trails. Smart idea! We thought of you as we hiked some of the bike trails. They were really nice smooth tracks, no rocks with good switchbacks. You might enjoy biking them.

  4. Mary says:

    Looks like you are hitting all the good spots.

  5. LuAnn says:

    I would not think about the hiking in a ski resort area but it makes perfect sense. Love the murals around town and that sound garden.

  6. Looks like a good bike ride around town. Both times we stayed at Jordanelle it was cold and rainy so we didn’t get to do much.
    We’re heading to Utah in the next couple of weeks, so I’m guessing you will be gone by then 😉

    • placestheygo says:

      Our stay started out with two very cold rainy days. Thank goodness the weather cleared nicely:) Yes, we have left Utah! We are heading to Carson City to meet friends and drive 395 for the month of October. We haven’t done this route yet. Maybe this winter we’ll catch up:)

  7. Pam says:

    Wow, another place to put on my bucket list. It’s been a long time since we have been to Park City.

  8. debbiemc14 says:

    Nice bike trail. I love that they decorated the tunnels. It adds so much interest. And the sound garden is a nice touch too.

  9. Jodee Gravel says:

    Last time I was in Park City I was driving a large moving van in December – I like your visit much better! Love the detail in the mine mural and the whimsy in the cartoon one. A great use of “flat” space for those passing by to enjoy. I would love the sound garden!!! Glad you zoomed the RV park, guess I have a pair of those older eyes :-)))))

  10. Sherry says:

    Great picture of the gorgeous view at the top of your hike. LOL at your zoom help for the elderly. Looks like a very nice campground from up there. UP hill to town didn’t sound all that appealing until those neat underpasses. Skiing back to town………only in the west. Neat post.

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Sherry! It was interesting to hike up to the top of Bald Mountain since we had been looking up at for days from our MH. The ski lift in the center of town was very interesting.

  11. Ingrid says:

    We love Utah and can’t wait to explore more of her; Park City being high on the priority. That campground looks like something we’d really enjoy.

    • placestheygo says:

      Jordanelle SP was very nice. We really lucked out and were pretty much alone. There was a little TAB across from us and a fifth wheel on our left but no one was ever there:) The one draw back to the park is that many of the sites are unlevel.

      • Ingrid says:

        Last year, I read a couple of other bloggers that really liked this SP. So your post was a nice reminder and love it when you can get a place practically to yourself. When the time comes, you’ll need to let me know which sites are the most level 🙂

  12. pmbweaver says:

    Your Yogi Berra quot is so timely. Love that guy.

    What a view from the top. I picked your MH out in the first photo. I have eagle eyes…lol

    Those murals are outstanding. I love them.

    Cathy has told me about several of the places you visited today. They just love, love, love that place. I see Paul made a comment about us getting back to Utah. I say….Lets do it.

    The info on the high school is amazing. Good for them. Must be the teachers! Ya think?

    • placestheygo says:

      Yes, John was quite clever bringing Yogi into the post this week:) I figured you would be able to pick out the MH. The zoom was for our “older” friends…haha! I would say that the teachers probably had a lot to do with the ranking, but it does help to have a top students! Yes, come back to Utah! There is just so much to do in this state.

  13. Gay says:

    Between musical instruments and murals, looks like the bike ride is a must do. But the hiking sure makes my mouth water. Nothing quite like the aspens in any season, but they sure steal the show in the fall! Nice spot you have to call home there!

    • placestheygo says:

      Jennifer Nealy posted on the bike trail when they stayed at Jordanelle SP. I was glad she did so I knew exactly what to look for because the Sound Garden was hidden. But we did luck out and get here in time for the golden aspen. Sure made for gorgeous hikes:)

  14. Laurel says:

    Love that photo of the golden aspens against the cobalt blue sky! You discovered some great spots in Park City — so now we really have to go back. The music garden looks cool. We were thinking to bike the town trail, but biked to Heber City from Watsatch Mountains State Park — although it’s about 15 miles outside of Park City, we loved staying there.

  15. Jim and Barb says:

    If you have time you should hike up to the Fifth Water Hot Springs up Diamond Fork Canyon. It is a great hike!

    • placestheygo says:

      I wish we hadn’t been a little behind in our blog which doesn’t usually happen. But we left Park City area on Wednesday! Darn! We’ll have to keep this hike idea for our next visit. Thanks for thinking of us:)

  16. I am just discovering this part of Utah and so glad you are scouting out the activities for us.
    That mural is so cool and realistic.
    I hope we will have new wheels soon so we too can use our biking muscles and follow that neat area.

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