PARK CITY, UTAH
13 THINGS TO DO IN PARK CITY
The Ultimate Activity Guide for Summer & Winter Travel
By Ken Faught
I have been going to Park City since I was about 10 years old, and absolutely love this little gem. It the best place in Utah to vacation, and I have been able to explore parts of the state by off-road motorcycle that few are able to see.
Park City is one of our top travel destinations in the United States
Park City is absolutely beautiful, and it’s filled with high-end ski lodges, an incredible hiking and mountain bike trail system, and a wide variety of activities for those who love the outdoors. It also has a lot of cool niche art galleries, specialty coffee and ice cream shops, and dozens of incredible restaurants. It’s an area full of extreme wealth, where $10 million dollar plus homes are not uncommon and celebrities can be spotted year-round. World-famous musicians Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber have homes there and Gymkhana star Ken Block lives year-round in this slice of paradise. It’s so cool, in fact, that Outside magazine voted it as the “The Best Town in America.” To help you navigate all the fun things to do in Park City, we made this comprehensive list.
Jennifer Emig and I soaked in this 96-degree geothermal pool. It’s 35 feet deep, and there were SCUBA divers beneath us the entire time.
SOAK IN HOMESTEAD CRATER
The last time I went to Park City, I took one of my family’s best friends, Jennifer Emig. She’s part of our band Semi-Sober Travels, and always up for a good time. Homestead Crater is a geothermal spring, tucked away inside a 55-foot tall, behive-shaped limestone rock. As water percolated upward, it picked up minerals which were then deposited on the surface. Over tens of thousands of years, this eventually formed the volcano-shaped limestone deposit affectionately known as Homestead Crater. This is the only warm water SCUBA diving destination in the Continental United States, and Homestead Crater attracts diving enthusiasts from all over the country.
There are dozens of trails in addition to hundreds of miles of dirt roads available for mountain biking.
We love outdoor activities, especially mountain biking since my son is on a high school team and that’s all he talks about. There are 400 miles of downhill mountain bike trails in the greater Park City area, and it’s absolutely some of the best riding in America. Here’s the best map that we have found to date, and it’s full of all kinds of useful information. There are over three dozen shops that rent mountain bikes, and all the safety gear you would need. Also note if you are 65 years or older, you can legally ride E bikes on the trails.
Jennifer Emig scoping out the trail system in Park City.
DOWNHILL MOUNTAIN BIKING
Deer Valley offers lift service for a nominal fee and they have rentals. There are over 70 miles of trails at this ski resort, and a 3000-foot elevation drop. Deer Valley has three lifts (Silver Lake Express chairlift at the base of the resort, Sterling Express located mid-mountain, and Homestake Express located midway up the mountain. This is one of our top 10 things to do in Park City, and it’s great exercise
Beautiful weather makes hiking fun in Park City. There is a combination of dirt trail and wooden walkways all around the area.
Park City has nearly 500 miles of hiking trails, and most are really well marked. Jennifer Emig and I hike about 12 miles during our 4-day Park City adventure. Here is a link to our favorite trail map we have found to date.
We were in Park City in July 2020, and masks were required because of COVID-10 safety precautions. Two slides run side by side so you can race your friends down the mountain.
I first rode the Alpine Slide about 30 years ago with my parents and my sister. It’s a downhill luge that is nearly ¾ of a mile long, and it’s more fun than you would expect. You take about a 20-minute chairlift to the top and then the action begins. It’s one of our top 10 things to do in Park City for first-time visitors.
There is a total of 41 lifts servicing 7300 acres and 341 trails for skiers. By most accounts, Park City is the best place for snow skiing in Utah. There is also night skiing and a lot of ski-in/ski-out resorts in town.
Four wheeling in Park City and the surrounding areas is amazing because of the incredible trail system and all of nature’s beauty.
Jennifer Emig and I met up with my long-time friend Travis Whitlock for a full-day of Side-by-Side action. He’s born and raised in Utah and is an 8-time motorcycle hillclimb national champion. I have travelled all over the Western United States with Travis, and even competed with him in France. We drove around a lot of trails in Heber, which is about a half-hour drive from the center of Park City. There are over a dozen places that rent off-road vehicles and we recommend Unita Recreation.
I began my career as a journalist working for ATV News, a national newspaper that focused on three- and four-wheel off-road. In fact, the first time I ever rode a four-wheeler was in Park City with a bunch of friends as a teenager. Although I prefer motorcycles and UTVs, ATVs can be a lot of fun in this area. There are over a dozen shops that rent UTVs, but we recommend Tracked Out Adventures.
In 2019 I went riding with my long-time friend and business partner Grant Langston (with Pole Position Raceway) and David Manual. Grant is the only person in the world to win a FIM 125cc Motocross World Championship, AMA 125cc National Championship, and a 125cc Supercross title. We rode about 200 miles with about a dozen other riders.
OFF-ROAD MOTORCYCLE RIDING
For over 12 years, I was the editor of Dirt Rider, the world’s largest off-road motorcycle magazine and had the privilege to get paid to ride dirt bikes all over the planet. I have ridden several times in Park City and am working on with Jennifer Emig on a project that we will ultimately include a tour somewhere in Utah. There are several tour groups operating right now, but the best is Tracked Out Adventures, based in Saratoga Springs, UT. They a fleet of KTM brand bikes, which are generally considered the best for this type of activity.
This is one of my favorite winter activities, and Park City has a great trail system with several hundred miles of good riding around the valley. If you don’t have a snowmobile, you can rent one from any of the 14 shops within a 20 mile radius. We like Tracked Out Adventures, as the staff seems incredibly knowledgable and they also offer Park City guided tours.
HOT AIR BALOON FLIGHTS
If you have never ridden in a hot air balloon, you need to add this to your bucket list. It’s one of our top 10 things to do in Park City, and the views are incredible. Skywalker Balloon Company offers rides in Heber (Near Park City, Ogden and St. George).
Jennifer Emig’s favorite thing to do in Park City was the rafting on the Weber River.
RAFTING / TUBING
Sometimes it’s the simplest things that provide the most fun. That was the case when Jennifer Emig and I joined Weber River Adventures to go rafting for two hours. The river wasn’t extremely challenging, but it was incredibly relaxing and full of beautiful sights. We even went under a bridge when a train with about 60 cars cross 10 feet overhead, and we also had to lay flat on our backs to go under the highway. If you do this, take a few liters of water and make sure you use sunscreen.
My wife Amy, Jennifer Emig and I are always up for a few good drinks. Shameless plug for Soda Jerk Shot, one of the companies that we own with Jennifer and a few others.
As you know, the Semi-Sober Travelers love our bars, and Park City has plenty. Main street has all sorts of cool places both at street level and on rooftop. There’s not much of a live music scene, but most bars do offer tasty appetizers. We like the No Name Saloon because it’s very eclectic.
One of our favorite resorts in Park City, the famous Stein Erickson Lodge.
TOP 10 HOTELS & RESORTS
TOP 10 RESTAURANTS
Travel Planning Resource Guides
PLAN YOUR TRIP
*How to plan your trip. The ultimate guide loaded with all sorts of valuable information for best travel.
*Ultimate packing guide including things you never thought about or didn’t know exist.
*Where to find cheapest flights. This blog talks all about how to save money on travel, where to find the best travel deals and much more. This shows you how to become the best at travel.
*Best deals on hotels & resorts. See what 30 years of world travel teach you. An expert’s guide to saving money on resorts and hotels.
*4 most-important types of travel insurance. This is a must-read story to protect you on your journey. This could save you tens of thousands of dollars, so it’s important to have the best travel insurance.
*Our Travel Gear – What we take on our journey including the ultimate traveler’s packing list.
AVOID TRAVEL SCAMS
*16 Tips to help you avoid getting scammed. Important tips best for travel.
People Also Ask
*What is park city famous for? Snow skiing, mountain biking, outdoor activities.
*Is Park City Expensive. It’s a little pricey compared to most cities, but reasonable for a tourist destination.
*What percentage of Park City is Morman – 35 percent, while the state is 62%
*What is the highest paying job in Utah? Pediatricians
*Is it expensive to live in Utah? Not really, but Park City is pricey.
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Hi! We are Ken Faught & Vanessa Doleshal. We love adventure travel, photography & share our journey with YOU! Our goal is help you plan that perfect trip & keep inspiring you to take the next one.