Home & FamilyTravelMountain Peaks and Valleys: Wintertime Activities in Park City

Mountain Peaks and Valleys: Wintertime Activities in Park City

It’s no secret that Park City is one of America’s premier ski/snowboard hubs. The Wasatch powder that’s so ridiculously easy to access from town ranks among the finest anywhere: It’s the kind of snow that people get downright religious about. Yet a wintertime visit to the Wasatch Back needn’t be all about high-speed runs down the slopes. In fact, you can have an unforgettable getaway without ever strapping on the skis.

Here are a few of the other activities and destinations on hand that make Park City a winter wonderland for everyone, whatever your predilections.

 

Other Outdoor Fun

Surrounded as it is by the jagged peaks and deep-set canyons of the Wasatch Mountains, Park City is a year-round destination for lovers of the outdoors, and the ski slopes are only part of the equation. There’s a vast network of trails in the vicinity of town open to snowshoers, who get to commune with the delicious silence of snowbound aspen stands, deep spruce-fir woods, and sunlit meadows in the company of ravens and mule deer. If you’d like a faster-paced mode of locomotion for roaming the foothills, try a fat bike: Its supersized tires allow you to pedal across the snowpack to your heart’s content!

There are also plenty of outfitters offering horse-drawn sleigh rides, dogsledding tours, snowmobile expeditions, and other diverse winter activities. If you really want to get a fresh perspective on the beauty of Park City’s Middle Rocky Mountains backyard, climb aboard a hot-air balloon for a tranquil aerial survey. And just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t go fly-fishing in one of the area’s outstanding trout streams.

 

Olympic Magic

The 2002 Winter Olympics called Salt Lake City home, but many of the competitions–from bobsledding to Nordic jumping–took place in Park City’s Olympic Park. Still a training ground for professional athletes, the park’s also a major, multifaceted attraction for the general public–and there’s no entrance fee!

At Olympic Park, you can explore the legacy of the Salt Lake City games at the George Eccles 2002 Olympic Winter Games Museum or take in the broader snow-sports story showcased in the Alf Engen Ski Museum. Or experience the one-of-a-kind thrill of bobsledding (with an expert driver steering the way), or tackle the family-friendly Mountain Challenge obstacle course. You’ll feel that Olympian spirit take over you no matter what you do here.

 

In-Town Delights

Park City itself has lots to occupy the wintertime visitor. The historic Main Street appeals on so many levels: There’s the town’s colorful heritage on display, of course (with the Park City Museum providing a one-stop-shop primer), as well as the first-class, here-and-now shopping and dining scene, all of it wrapped up in one beautiful and charming visual package. Maybe you’ll even get to overlap with one of Park City’s signature annual events: the Sundance Film Festival, which takes place in January. From art galleries to Utah-brewed craft beers, Park City’s cozy main drag provides the cosmopolitan counterpoint to the wintry wilderness’s hearty adventures.

While it’s certainly true that you haven’t fully experienced Park City until you’ve paid a visit to one of the world-famous ski resorts, it’s equally the case that the Wasatch Back is a multidimensional vacationland. Backdropped by the snowy peaks of the Middle Rockies, you’ve got a real embarrassment of wintertime pleasures–something for everybody!

Eva Duran is an experienced travel guide and has a good idea where to head for wintertime fun in places like Park City. She enjoys sharing her insights with an online audience and frequently writes for several online travel guides.

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